• 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 (937 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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 of 5 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.

3 of 3 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.

2 of 2 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.

4 of 5 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

every restaurant manager and owner

This book is the very best restaurant owners book I have ever read. I am going to make this required reading for all my shift leaders and managers.

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

Tasty business advice

The author does an excellent job of taking concepts from an industry that often is portrayed as chaotic and full of failures and highlights what makes some restaurants truly great. Beautiful personal and industry insights that you can really sink your teeth into and apply to your own business, no matter the industry. Particularly great for anyone in service industries (ie. real estate) and personal services (Wealth management, insurance, etc)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

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

Hospitality for the masses

I now quote Danny almost every day: "Hospitality is present when you do something FOR someone. It is not present when you do something TO them. I keep trying to translate that into healthcare every day. Thank you Danny for wonderful, helpful, insightful words.

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

Inspiring and articulate

Articulate, inspiring, and insightful. This is not a “how to” book, but rather a “how to think about it” book, which in my mind is even better given the restaurant industry’s ever-changing and unpredictable nature.

It was enjoyable to listen to and all of his thoughts were and articulated simply, yet powerfully. I Walk away with many precious nugget of actionable wisdom that I have already started to use successfully restaurants. Loved it And will probably re-read sections of it for years to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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
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    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.