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Setting the Table: Lessons and Inspirations from One of the World's Leading Entrepreneurs. Danny Meyer
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Setting the Table: Lessons and Inspirations from One of the World's Leading Entrepreneurs. Danny Meyer

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,108 ratings  ·  167 reviews
A landmark, bestselling business book and a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the creation of Danny's most famous eating establishments, "Setting the Table" is a treasure trove of valuable, innovative insights applicable to any business or organization.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Marshall Cavendish Corporation (first published October 1st 2006)
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Nov 30, 2008 Mindy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Library Leadership
I don't think I will ever find a business book that is as great as "Good to Great" but this book is definitely up there in my top two or three. This is an easy to read, and if you love food, gripping book about how to open, develop, grow, evolve, design, run and have fun in a restaurant. Bu it goes way beyond restaurants.

In his introduction Danny says, “In the end, what’s most meaningful is creating positive, uplifting outcomes for human experiences and human relationships. Business, like life,
A friend of mine turned me on to this wonderful business book by James Beard award-winning Restaurateur Danny Meyer (of Union Square Cafe, Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Shake Shack, The Modern, and Hudson Yards Catering fame).

My friend had mentioned to me that this was a book that his boss (an accomplished businessman and investor who I greatly admire) couldn't stop talking about. It wasn't far into this book that I too could see the reason behind the enthusiasm of my
Leslie Nord
Written by successful New York restauranteur Danny Meyer - he shares what he has learned about growing restaurants successfully. Lots of specific details pertinent to restaurants that I skipped over - but found his advice on how to treat customers to be valueable and applicable to libraries and other businesses. A sample of his wisdom, "our business is to give people a story to tell."
Captivated Server

This book has been an inspiration! I chose to rejoin the restaurant industry as I finished college because it was what I knew and was comfortable with. After giving the corporate world a chance, I took my business degree back to where my passion was.It was more than encouraging to hear praise for those who have love for hospitality! Working in a restaurant isn't what it used to be and I don't have! that hanging over my head any longer.

A great read for anyone interested in hospi
Chris Esposito-bernard
Balanced, Well-seasoned & Still Craving Shake Shack

I did not go out of my way to read this book. I read it because my boss was reading it and wanted to talk about it with someone. I knew nothing about Danny Meyer and had no idea what I was stepping into. I just bought a copy for my Kindle and just started reading it.

Looking back, I should have known about this book. I love Shake Shack and have been in NYC long enough to know better. But once I realized that I was reading by the man who crea
I thought there was no way that a restaurant owner in New York City was going to be able to tell me anything I didn't already know about hospitality, but Danny Meyer blew me away with his insight and wisdom.

Here are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from this book:

"Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side"

"Hospitality is a team sport"

" and life have a lot in common with a hug. The best way to get a good one was first to give one."

"Service is th
James J. Gurksnis Jr.
Great if you're interested in going into the business.

I liked Danny's passion for opening multiple restaurants and the fact that he was able to keep his customer base when he opened separate entities. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in going into the restaurant business on their own.
The state of mind at which I finish this book is awash in two dichotomous realities: utter relief, in what has been a persistent journey to finish something so tepid and platitudinous in delivery; and a misplaced sense of pompous accomplishment in doing so. Thus defines the broad crux of my review.

My main aim was to glean some unique insight into management and professional success. I think the restaurant place is an astute metaphor for all business; stress, pressure and human relationships defi
Aug 06, 2011 Josh rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wealthy wannabe restauranteurs
not poorly written at all, and in fact pretty engaging. i just cant stand danny meyer. basically, if you have a cool 500k of daddy's $$$ and know some shady real estate agents in nyc, you can own a restaurant too!!!
Wil Reynolds
In my soul I believe that making people feel special is a competitive advantage, whether that is with employees or with clients.
Do your clients feel like guests?

I think people who work in the hospitality (particularly hotels) look at their jobs in one of two ways, most see their jobs as helping someone to have a good night’s sleep, in a clean and nice room. Some others see their job as making sure guests are relaxed, that guests enjoy their city, and that guests don’t have to worry about a THING
David Kibbe
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.
Mahmoud Khoder
One of the best business books I ever read: my intake on this book Danny Meyer owned and managed more than 9 restaurants, as we all know that once you have more than one business it is impossible to be in each one at the same time, Danny managed with high level of excellence to integrate a dynamic system with an empathic human touch, I recommend reading this book with the combination of reading the E-myth book, having systems in place to escalate your business growth should not replace the authe ...more
One of the best leadership books I've read. It's about hospitality but Danny Meyer tells his story of being a restaurant/entrepreneur and in doing so provides incredible, real-life leadership principles and lessons.

A few takeaways:

* Hospitality is the foundation of my business philosophy. Virtually nothing else is as important as how one is made to feel in any business transaction. Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side.

* Business and life have a lot in common wi
JJ Casas
While I have nothing to do with the restaurant business, my photography business relies on great customer service just like any business. Danny Meyer explains his story of how he became a top notch New York restauranteur and more importantly, how he propelled his restaurants to be the very best.

In the book, Danny walks through with you how he brings hospitality to the next level across his restaurants. While most people know that "customers are always right," Danny illustrates what exactly he an
Who knew that one of the world's top restaurateurs was also a gifted writer? The first third of this book, written in memoir form about his early career, completely absorbed and touched me. His stories about his father and grandfather I found especially poignant. He then turns his attention to his business insights and his concept of enlightened hospitality, which I experienced for the first time a couple of weeks ago as I ate at his flagship Union Square Cafe in NYC. The staff treated me like a ...more
Nov 18, 2014 Loulwa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Loulwa by: my manager
Shelves: food, business
Great recommendation if you want to set up a food or hospitality business. Some stories can be distractive and not well written.
The writer is a businessman and not that creative, which is clearly reflected in his book. The lessons and steps are clear and well understood.

Would have been more exciting in some parts, the book doesnt seem flowing in words. It is a story but at the same time like a long business case study.

I listened to this book on CD so my references to sections might seen a bit odd if you're reading a print version. The first disc was mostly autobiographical. About half way through the second disc Mr. Meyer makes his first reference to working with the staff as a big part of hospitality.

Some of the ideas he brings up are interesting. One that comes to mind is the idea of hiring based on 49 percent skill and 51 percent what we might call emotional intelligence (although that's not what he calls
What if you ran your business like one of Danny Meyer's infamous restaurants in NYC? That is the idea of this book: that a culture of elevated hospitality can be possible for every organization. This excellent book, which is both bio and lessons learned along the way, belongs on the shelf of every leader of people and is now one of my most recommended business guides.
Jul 30, 2007 Cathy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: food lovers & business owners
it's packed with delicious little snippets from danny meyers' life, but you have to wade through a lot of vague movitational filler to get to the 180 days spent traveling & eating in europe alone, the birth of shake shack in madison square park, how he came up with the name for tabla (loooooove their kulfi dessert!), and scouring the southern red states for the best bbq.

it's more common sense than business sense, extremely heavy on the name-dropping (a good networking resource if you want to
I'm not sure anyone not interested in going into business for themselves as a restaurateur or business management would find anything of note in this. There's a lot in it about generosity and the power of being nice, and I'd like to check out his restaurants in NYC, but...I'm not really sure why I read this.
This was a non-traditional business book that was actually enjoyable. Danny Meyer seems to have his pulse on how to manage employees and how to succeed in the hospitality realm. I definitely found some golden nuggets with which to work on personally in my job, and thoroughly enjoyed reading his theories on who to prioritize and how to make smart decisions. If you are interested in Danny Meyer restaurants (Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, ...more
Great book with observations, advice and specific examples that are generalizable to managing customer relationships in broad range of business environments.

I'm generally not a fan or frequent reader of this type of book, but found this one surprisingly engaging and likely to join my "worthy of periodic rereads" list.
A successful restaurant owner shares his philosophy on how to run a successful business and motivate employees similar to the "lead with luv" techniques that were used at Souththwest Airlines, prior to the retirement of Herb and Colleen. Even if you are not in the restaurant business you can learn the difference between good customer service and true hospitality!
Dec 28, 2014 Amanda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I guess since I'm not a foodie the beginning of the book was a whole lot of name dropping that put me off - I didn't know anyone he was trying to impress me with and I got bored and couldn't continue.
Although I got tired and a bit bored by the finish I gained a respect and admiration for the expertise and dedication of Danny Meyer. It bodes well for the success of Shake Shack.
I had read a review of this book that said it was one of the best business books. That review, plus the subtitle about the transforming power of hospitality caught my attention. So I asked the library to buy the book.

At first, I thought this was going to be an excellent memoir. Nothing wrong with that, but not how the book was billed. And then, finally Meyer starts talking about his business practices. Oh my! I want to go work for him, so I can learn more. I believe we need his help writing the
I enjoyed this book and learning about the model of "enlightened hospitality" that Danny and his team use in their restaurants. I'd love to try one of them out when we go to New York City sometime in the future.
Melanie Mauer
hugely influential for me - i picked it up at the gift shop in MOMA and have made it a point to visit another Danny Meyer restaurant each time I'm in NYC
Jim Cerone
Lots of VERY good advice here (I've dog-eared many pages!). Loses steam about 2/3 of the way thru but still highly recommended for any business person.
Anythinkers are reading this book to learn a new perspective on hospitality, and there is much here that is applicable across many industries. I found the behind-the-scenes anecdotes about building a restaurant almost as thrilling as the insights into hospitality, management, and business. The philosophies Danny Meyer presents are timeless, and many are at the core of what we do at our libraries - make people feel comfortable, feel like they're home. Much of what he shares in this book will stic ...more
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Considered by the New York Times to be "the greatest restaurateur Manhattan has ever seen," Danny Meyer is CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group. His restaurants have won an unprecedented twenty-one James Beard Awards. His book, Setting the Table, was a New York Times bestseller.
More about Danny Meyer...
Union Square Cafe Cookbook Ri Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from Danny Meyer's Acclaimed New York City Restaurants Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 140 New Favorites from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant Negócios à Mesa - Como criar um restaurante de sucesso The Union Square Cafe Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

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“The excellence reflex is a natural reaction to fix something that isn't right, or to improve something that could be better.

The excellence reflex is rooted in instinct and upbringing, and then constantly honed through awareness, caring and practice.

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“Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.” 1 likes
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