Required Reading: Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

“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 Magazine 

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

Setting the Table goes behind the scenes to how a touch of luck, work ethic, timing and intuition played into the great success of Danny Meyer & Union Square Hospitality. One of my favorite sections of this book comes mid-way through in a chapter titled Constant, Gentle Pressure. Meyer details his struggles with developing the leadership skills necessary to run multiple ventures, in addition to keeping up with big picture ideas as the CEO. 

"Constant, gentle pressure is my preferred technique for leadership, guidance and coaching. It's the job of any business owner to be very clear as to the company's nonnegotiable core values. They're the riverbanks that help guide us as we refine and improve on performance and excellence. A lack of riverbanks creates estuaries and cloudy waters that are confusing to navigate. I want a crystal-clear, swiftly flowing stream. Riverbanks need not hinder creativity, and in fact I leave plenty of room between the riverbanks for individual expression and personal style. (Setting the Table; pg. 190)

Meyer doesn't prescribe specific fixes as every situation and business is different, it's what is special about this book. It's not self-help, it's self-awareness and covers an array of topics from business, psychology, hospitality, confidence, and leadership.

It's an insightful look into the not-so-perfect science of management and provides powerful pieces of advice on finding creative solutions where there is little definition. If you're an entrepreneur, interested in starting your own business, or simply looking to read an amazing story about how New York's greatest food destinations came to be (including Union Square Cafe, Eleven Madison Park, and Shake Shack) - you must pick up a copy!

Check out Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

History of Union Square Hospitality



Photo Credit: USQ Hospitality