The Transforming Power of Hospitality by Danny Meyer (GLS18)

At GLS18, the author of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in BusinessDanny Meyer‘s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) comprises some of New York’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, Shake Shack, among others.

Meyer shared the following insights in an interview with Elaine Lin Hering of the Triad Consulting Group:

The restaurant industry is about 49% technical skills and 51% hospitality skills.

Being thoughtful is a combination of thinking and feeling.

“If I can make you feel better than my competition then you can keep the customer even if the food is just as delicious.”

Is the customer always right?

It isn’t about always being right. It’s not about making sure you are right but making sure the customer has been heard.

Success is a road paved with mistakes well handled.

Write a great next chapter in the way we handle our mistakes.

Mistakes provide great opportunities for learning.

5 A’s of Mistake Making:
  • Awareness
  • Acknowledgement
  • Apologizing
  • Act On It
  • Apply Additional Generosity
On Scaling Impact:

We try to talk people out of working with us so that we only get those who really want to be with us.

Emotional skills can be celebrated but cannot be taught.

6 Emotional Skills (A High Hospitality Quotient):
  • Kindhearted and optimistic – Kind eyes and hopeful.
  • Curiosity – Every day is an opportunity to learn something new.
  • Work Ethic – Someone who cares about how well we do.
  • Empathy – They care about how others feel.
  • Self-Awareness – We know ourselves and what makes us stressed.
  • Integrity – They have the judgment to do the right thing even when no one else is looking.

Hospitality is a team sport!

People with a high hospitality quotient find joy from helping others find joy.


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