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Extended Audio Sample Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business Audiobook, by Danny Meyer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (502 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Danny Meyer Narrator: Danny Meyer Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN: 9780061252686
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Danny Meyer started Union Square Cafe when he was 27, with a good idea and scant experience. He is now the CEO of one of the world's most dynamic restaurant organizations that includes eleven unique dining establishments—and each is at the top of its game. How has he done it? How has he consistently beaten the odds in one of the toughest trades around?

In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he's learned while developing the winning recipe for doing business he calls "Enlightened Hospitality." This innovative business philosophy emphasizes putting the power of hospitality to work in a new and counterintuitive way: The first and most important application of hospitality is to the people who work for you, and, in descending order of priority, the guests, the community, suppliers, and investors. This way of setting priorities stands the more traditional business models on their head, but Danny considers it the foundation of every success he, and his restaurants, have had.

Full of behind-the-scenes history on the creation of Danny's most famous restaurants, and the anecdotes, advice and lessons he has accumulated on his long and ecstatic journey to the top of the American restaurant scene, Setting the Table is a treasure trove of innovative insights that are applicable to any business or organization.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Anyone in the hospitality industry would do well to consult Setting the Table.

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Restaurateur Danny Meyer offers a rich menu of business tips.”

    Time

  • “Danny Meyer, restaurateur nonpareil, shares his never-fail recipe for business success.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Meyer is the best salesman for his own words, and, one suspects, for his restaurants as well.”

    AudioFile

  • James Beard Foundation Award
  • Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 2/6/2014

    " Danny Meyer tells the story of his desire to make a perfect NYC restaurant (and then another, and another) given his values of hospitality, caring for staff, sharing a joy of great food at a reasonable price. Yes, profits came last as he took his lumps in the blood sport of idealistic restauranteering, but he has thrived in the long run because his staff are loyal and the customers more so. Reads easily as either great anecdotes from the restaurant world or as a primer on small business management--in any field. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Rising | 1/29/2014

    " Interesting read- good for those interested in the restaurant business, little light though "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Cecere | 1/28/2014

    " My boss bought this book for me and all my co-workers. I found it surprisingly engaging. While Meyer's personal background was lengthy, it was interesting and very readable. It helped me to really understand Mr. Meyer and his theories of enlightened hospitality from the core, and made me yearn to work for someone who cares as deeply about providing a memorable experience as he does. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat Monahan | 1/27/2014

    " He calls it the final chapter or what you do to make up for a mistake. He says to do something creative after a goof, so that the client telling about how you screwed up will have to include how you rectified the situation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 1/22/2014

    " I'm not sure that everyone would find this book to be interesting. But I've never worked in the restaurant industry, so I found it rather fascinating. In fact, this book made me want to drop everything to become a waiter at a Danny Meyer restaurant! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey P. | 1/6/2014

    " I work for OpenTable and this guy is on our board so it was a must read. I have a few of these that i give to my restaurateurs if anyone needs one... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/6/2014

    " great read if you are at all interested in hospitality! i am surprised they haven't had us read it for class "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne Donahue | 12/23/2013

    " I enjoyed reading how a great restaurateur began. Very interesting. His insightful management style appeared so compelling that I want him to be my boss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Funk | 12/1/2013

    " After spending many years in hospitality I appreciate Meyer's insights about taking care of your staff. I have given this book to many on my staff as it is an easy read and some great information on how to care for guests. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Garrett Shirey | 11/2/2013

    " Wow. Danny, thanks for sharing your wisdom. This guy does more than manage restaruants, what a wonderful insight to good hospitality thus good relationships....thus good business. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 10/27/2013

    " I had to read this book for a conference, and while I usually dislike business books, I really enjoyed this one. It was a health mix of biography, New York restaurant scene, and some helpful leadership tidbits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle Bauman | 10/26/2013

    " Give a great recount of Danny's life and of his thinking on hospitality. Very good if you are in the hospitality business to gain a new perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johno | 9/9/2013

    " Little slow at the start, but quickly picks up. If you're in the restaurant business or any business that is intensley face-to-face with your clientele, this is a great book to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 8/24/2013

    " 1/2 memoir and 1/2 concepts. I enjoyed chapters 4,5,7,9,10 and 12 the most. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke Everett | 7/21/2013

    " Great hybrid food/business book. It's nice to know that such a successful person has a business model that's essentially based on being a decent human. Mostly, it made me want to visit all of Meyer's restaurants in NYC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 7/7/2013

    " The best hospitality book I've ever read. Great details of how Danny started and grew his highly successful restaurant organization, and truly inspiring to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy Waters | 6/8/2013

    " Danny Meyer's achievements are fantastic and his book provides a glimpse of the planning and execution behind his enlightened hospitality. I thought the book should have been edited more to retain an active and energetic tone. It was repetitive in places so I skimmed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 taylor cocalis | 4/2/2013

    " an uplifting and enlightening guide to the pleasures of hospitality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frankiejohnny | 1/15/2013

    " Interesting life. Written as a story, with great advice, and funny anidotes. very enjoyable. A Great read for managers, and how to manager other people with success in mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 9/23/2012

    " Very cool inspiring book about how important it is to be kind in business and make people feel good through their experience with you and follow your vision and your gut and be authentic and all that. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katieprinsen | 6/21/2012

    " An autobiography by Danny Myers about his restaurants and the importance of customer service. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nik | 2/27/2012

    " The book anyone and everyone working in hospitality should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 12/8/2011

    " Provided a vicarious insider experience in the world of New York culinary competition and illustrated the importance of standards and attention to detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin Ferrari | 10/21/2011

    " If you work in the restaurant businees, or maybe even just the hospitality business, then this book has to be read. Danny Meyer is like my idle! The work he does is amazing and his book portrays it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monika | 9/18/2011

    " I'm almost finished with this book. Danny Meyer is a true restaurant visionary! An amazing journey about his career and business! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Michel | 9/6/2011

    " Great book - lots to learn about how to make people feel special and important. And much to learn from Meyer about what it means to lead well and humbly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kent | 8/18/2011

    " great insight on the difference between customer service and hospitality "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammed alkindy | 8/2/2011

    " the book show how employees are managed by a restaurant owner. alot to be learned by others "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 5/31/2011

    " I enjoyed reading how a great restaurateur began. Very interesting. His insightful management style appeared so compelling that I want him to be my boss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammed | 3/3/2011

    " the book show how employees are managed by a restaurant owner. alot to be learned by others "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 3/3/2011

    " Very cool inspiring book about how important it is to be kind in business and make people feel good through their experience with you and follow your vision and your gut and be authentic and all that. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 2/16/2011

    " Now MUST go to New York for a food trip! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 8/18/2010

    " Danny Meyers writes a good story of his developing his excellent restaurant business in NYC. Clearly committed to excellence. That comes through on every page. I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 8/13/2010

    " After spending many years in hospitality I appreciate Meyer's insights about taking care of your staff. I have given this book to many on my staff as it is an easy read and some great information on how to care for guests. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 8/7/2010

    " 1/2 memoir and 1/2 concepts. I enjoyed chapters 4,5,7,9,10 and 12 the most. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magnus | 6/5/2010

    " Another great business book. If you have any desire to learn more about what makes great restaurants great, Danny Meyer has a lot to contribute.

    Full of practical examples, highs, lows, worries and solutions from 25 years of creating and running some of the best restaurants in New York. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 4/14/2010

    " I believe the lessons in hospitality discussed in this book are relevant for anyone regardless of their career path. I'm probably biased because I also believe that everyone should hold a job as a waiter at some point in their life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 4/7/2010

    " The book was generally a good business and autobiography book. Some great statements are made that seem obvious once read but might not have been realized until reading them.

    I enjoyed reading it ... although it was not amazing. "

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About the Author

Danny Meyer, a native of St. Louis, opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, in 1985 when he was twenty-seven, and went on to found the Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, North End Grill, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, as well as Jazz Standard, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient. Danny, his restaurants, and his chefs have earned an unprecedented twenty-five James Beard Awards. Danny's groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table, was a New York Times bestseller, and he has coauthored two cookbooks with his business partner, Chef Michael Romano. Danny lives in New York with his wife and children.

Michael Romano joined Union Square Cafe in 1988, preparing his unique style of American cuisine with an Italian soul. In 1993, Michael became Danny Meyer's partner. Under Michael's leadership, Union Square Cafe has been ranked Most Popular in New York City Zagat surveys for a record seven years. The restaurant also received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year. Michael has coauthored two cookbooks with Danny Meyer, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Second Helpings. He is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards, including the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in New York City in 2001, and in 2000, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.