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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book of 2010
I don't know what happened in the 10+ hours it took me to fly from Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon, because I was absolutely engrossed in this wonderful book. I bought it because my husband and I are opening an agriturismo in northern Italy, but it isn't just a book for future restaurant owners. The author is such a lovely man with so much wisdom to share. Along with...
Published on 25 July 2010 by Elizabeth Ballarin

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3.0 out of 5 stars ETHICS OR MANAGEMENT STYLE
Probably not that inspirational, more a summary of paying attention to detail, following a theme and lots of hard work. I did agree with the ethos Danny suggests for customer service by focus on staff development. Much better than management theories and bull written elsewhere, and relevant because he has made a successful living business
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book of 2010, 25 July 2010
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This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
I don't know what happened in the 10+ hours it took me to fly from Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon, because I was absolutely engrossed in this wonderful book. I bought it because my husband and I are opening an agriturismo in northern Italy, but it isn't just a book for future restaurant owners. The author is such a lovely man with so much wisdom to share. Along with being an entrepreneur extraordinare, he's a terrific writer. His concept of hospitality is something we all can, and should, apply to our daily lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual but great, 1 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
Whilst I am not a big fan of business "how to" books, this is a thoroughly engaging read. I am a self confessed "foodie" and this makes for a fascinating insight in to how truly difficult it is to run a successful restaurant. Meyer writes very well and has a fantastic line in self deprecation which is undoubtedly one of the reasons for his success.

Plenty of useful insights for any business person and I would say absolutely essential reading for anyone contemplating opening a restaurant.

Despite the book's narrow focus, I think that most people (even if uninterested in either business or restaurants) would find this book interesting and informative and a very easy page turner.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the table, Danny Meyer, 19 Nov. 2007
By 
Richard Hughes (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An inspirational book, we bought copies for all our management team. Meyer reiterates what the restaurant game is all about, and, while focussing on his unique approach, his lessons can be appiled to a multitude of businisses. Importantly its a really easy read for people who dont do management manuals!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shake up your ideas with this feast of a read, 16 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
The US edition of Setting the Table, Danny Meyer's inspiring guide to success as an independent restaurateur, has a brilliant blue cover with a single saltshaker. The edition I bought does not and that is the only weakness with this useful guide to setting up your first shop, moving from one to two, from two to four, and from four to infinity.
The saltshaker is relevant because it is attached to a brilliant story about leadership from Meyer's early days in the mid-1980s when he had opened his first restaurant and was developing his business style.
Pat Cetta, an experienced restaurateur who informally mentored Meyer asked him to clear a table of everything except a saltshaker.
He asked: "Where is the saltshaker now".
"Right where you told me in the centre of the table."
"Are you sure it's where you want it?" I looked closely. The shaker was actually about a quarter of an inch off centre. "Go ahead put it where you really want it." I moved it very slightly to the centre. As soon as I removed my hand, Pat pushed the saltshaker three inches off centre.
"Now put it back where you want it," he said. I returned it to dead centre. This time he moved the shaker another six inches off. "Now where do you want it?"
I slid it back. Then he explained his point: "Your staff and your guests are always moving your saltshaker off centre. That's their job. It is the job of life. It is not your job to get upset. Your job is just to move the shaker back each time and let them know exactly what you stand for. Let them know what excellence looks like to you."
Wherever your centre lies, know it, name it, stick to it and believe in it, Meyer advises.
Later in the same chapter he offers great advice on how to hire managers and his belief in abundance. "The more we give, the more we get back."
He describes how Stanley Marcus, the great American retailer, taught him that the "road to success is paved with mistakes well handled" and provides a five point checklist.
He discusses how to use space in restaurants to ensure more happy customers. He explains how to gain investment, how to say no to opportunities. How to work with suppliers. How to build local connections. How to energise your local area and establish your business as part of the community.
The book is rich in detail about how it feels to grow from one business to two and how to set up a head office, when his company grew to have more than 1,000 employees.
While this is a book for every retailer to read, for those of you who love food and wine, it is a must read. His stories of his family's business and life ups and downs provides relevance for every independent business person.
Meyer has operated a hot dog stand and a Michelin three star restaurant. His current portfolio includes many of New York's top eateries. Setting the Table should be by your desk helping you build your business and shake up your ideas.

For more, see [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightened Hospitality, Enlightening Read, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Setting the Table (Kindle Edition)
An amazing insight not only into the Union Square Hospitality Group but into the mindset of Danny Meyer and his process through developing one of the most successful restaurateur empires in the States.

A timely read, as Shake Shack is now open in Covent Garden, this book really illuminates the fundamental stages Danny went through in pioneering hospitality within restaurants. A useful guide for anyone in the restaurant or hospitality industry, this book provides an ultimate guide book for where we all strive to be when we commit to working every day. It is also a useful reminder of the purpose of hospitality business: inspiring passionate staff to serve customers and bring beauty into the every day. Danny is an inspiration and I'd recommend this to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good so far, 8 Feb. 2013
By 
Matthew Kershaw "mattski2000" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
I'm a couple of chapters in so far and enjoying it. It's always interesting to hear people's catering war stories. Some interesting parallels with Blood, Bones And Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.
One thing though - in the Kindle version, every instance of the word 'service' is spelled 'ser vice' with a gap in it. As you can imagine, in a book about catering, it's a pretty common word!
I'm sure his restaurants aren't run as sloppy as that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars His Majestic of Hospitality, 16 April 2014
This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
I downloaded first in audio. Excellent. Inspiring. Even I listen to it just to motivate me as I am a manager in restaurant business myself. Listen the whole book seven times already and I bought the paperback just to take notes for reason if I ever want to open a restaurant. Any kind from a fast food to a white tablecloth fine dining or use different notes for recruiting, motivating, managing.
Excellent!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great style of writing - full of insights, 14 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
Excellent. I really liked the style and structure of writing, there aren't many books as this one. It will give you some deep insights about hospitality, which is not only for restaurant, but all the businesses out there. Really enjoyable to read, I got myself a punch of notes to use in my businesses. Thank you Danny Meyer, I can't wait for my next trip to NYC to try out some of his restaurants.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ETHICS OR MANAGEMENT STYLE, 4 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Setting the Table: Lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs (Paperback)
Probably not that inspirational, more a summary of paying attention to detail, following a theme and lots of hard work. I did agree with the ethos Danny suggests for customer service by focus on staff development. Much better than management theories and bull written elsewhere, and relevant because he has made a successful living business
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5.0 out of 5 stars core logic, 28 Jun. 2013
By 
Mrs. P. Czyzak-dannenbaum "Peggy" (London, Miami and roving) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Setting the Table (Kindle Edition)
This is a very compelling case for how to deliver exceptional service no matter what the product. The logic is clear, the execution is clear, and the writing about it is clear. I found it a very useful book. Nothing is surprising but Danny Meyer comes across as a an exceptional leader and someone anyone should be happy to work for.
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