• Setting the Table

  • The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
  • By: Danny Meyer
  • Narrated by: Danny Meyer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-28-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (841 ratings)

Regular price: $10.26

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Publisher's Summary

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, one that includes 11 unique dining establishments, each at the top of its game. How did he do it? How has he consistently beaten the odds in one of the toughest trades around?

In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he learned while developing the winning recipe for his way of doing business � what 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 recipients of hospitality are the people who work for you. In descending order of priority, the next most important receivers of hospitality are guests, the community, suppliers, and investors. This way of setting priorities stands more traditional business models on their heads, 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, Setting the Table is a treasure trove of innovative insights applicable to any business or organization.

©2006 Danny Meyer (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Non-fiction, Abridged, 2007

"This honest, modest book will appeal most to foodies and aspiring restaurateurs but also offers insight for entrepreneurs in any industry." (Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jay
  • Oliver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 12-04-07

Solid

If you are looking for a how to book, this is not it. But it is a solid book providing a foundation of concepts that have allowed one man to succeed in an industry where many fail. i would have preferred a little more of the drier materials like the guts of the business, but over all i was impressed with it, a good read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

ABRIDGED VERSION!?

Buyer beware! I happened to be switching from recording to paper copy of this book and the recording is absolutely abridged! There are whole sections missing from the recording when compared to the book.

I’ve already read this book in the past - great information on Danny Meyer and the beginnings of USHG. Also provides helpful, albeit high-level, business frameworks that apply to restaurant world, greater business landscape, and general interactions among people. Definitely worth a read, but perhaps find an unabridged copy first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Book Every Restauranteur Should Read

This book is not the normal "how to" book. Instead, it explains in detail Meyer's vast experience and basically the mindset he had going into his very successful restaurant ventures starting from his very first restaurant.

A running theme in the book is how "hospitality" over rides everything else bringing a deeper meaning of being a restauranteur rather than just making money.

It's an inspiring book letting the reader take a look into what goes on in the mind of one of the most successful restauranteurs in the world.

The audiobook is high quality and having the man himself narrate the book, you can hear the difference. He's not just reading text. He experienced it.

Highly recommended for all restauranteurs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent and insightful!

As a member of the hospitality and business communities, I sincerely feel a 5-star review is totally appropriate.

This book was well written, well spoken, and very insightful from both a business and hospitality standpoint. It was great getting to know Danny AND his companies.

It made me want to work for his company!

Keep it up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More biography than information

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's great if you want a biography of Danny Meyer and his restaurants.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for info on Danny Meyer and his restaurants, go for it. If you actually want to learn about hospitality in business, don't bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jackie
  • Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • 09-22-08

Inspiring listen

I love to hear about people undaunted by all the reasons something isn't a "practical" idea, who do it with passion and succeed beyond their wildest hopes. A happy, inspiring listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive book on owning a restaurant.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Great insights into how to manage almost every part of a restaurant (minus finance).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Excellent book. Well written and delivered. Part restaurant/ business how to part self bio. Definitely worth purchase.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 02-03-18

ABRIDGED!

You probably downloaded this book without knowing that it's abridged. It's a useful book for anyone getting into the hospitality business.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing Book !

Where does Setting the Table rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is not only about the Restaurant business. For me Its all about, leadership, hospitality and family.
Amazing writing style and easy to understand.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Khalaf
  • 06-07-17

Not ideal if you're after learning

The book is mostly about the author's journey to fame. There isn't much to learn here, except perhaps that hospitality should be your main focus and that you should not expand too quickly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • carlos a albuquerque
  • 05-06-18

A restaurant "Bible" for life and staff support.

In my opinion, a much needed guide for support for all. Professional or not is worth reading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carlos M.
  • 03-09-18

brilliant

Definitely one of the best books ever re hospitality management and business development. . .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel Forster
  • 03-05-18

the hospitality play book...

Danny Meyer is the ultimate, genuine host who is at the fore front of his game... his value driven approach is laid out in this book and performed to perfection at his amazing restaurants...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • lianghh
  • 01-26-18

High end restaurant stories

This book was recommended by a successful London coffee shop owner to me. I don’t think it was that suitable for me as it talks about a very formal world of hospitality and in my eyes, an outdated one based on white cloth decked European restaurant culture. I did however learn from Danny Meyer about an attitude towards employees, credibility, honesty and respect that I aspire to.
I recommend this book if terms such as “excellence” excite you and if you have been an admirer of one of the restaurants in New York and wanted to learn something about it and about the person behind it. Otherwise it goes way too much into his personal life in the first few chapters. I might revisit the middle chapters about customer service again tho.
The narration of the book was excellent (barring a horrid French pronunciation) and never dull.