Good books

I’ll admit I’m in love with my Kindle which is AWESOME.  I really recommend getting a kindle if you love reading.  It is constructed with a kind of electronic ink that doesn’t hurt your eyes if you’re reading for too long like a tablet or nook might do.  Over winter break, I made a cover for my kindle using a book that I bought for 10 cents at my local library:

It looks like a book…

…but it’s not!

Over spring break, I started reading one of the most interesting (and luckily job related) books ever!

Danny Meyer’s Setting the Table, describes Meyer’s journey from studying politics to living in Europe to starting a number of restaurants in New York City, and now his own company.

Danny Meyer is a successful restaurateur and also CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group.  He started restaurants including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and the ever-popular fast food chain Shake Shack, and describes the innovative method behind his success in this book.  He describes the influence of his childhood love for food and how that influenced him to ultimately change careers.  He goes on to explain the process of opening each of his restaurants and dealing with the blows that life throws at him every day.  From poor reviews from critics to falling chandeliers during dinner service, Meyer seems to have seen it all.  At Tabla, his Indian-style restaurant, he was getting harsh criticisms about the food being both too eclectic and not eclectic enough.  How did he deal with this?  By separating the upstairs and downstairs dining areas into separate styles of food.  One serving indian inspired food, and the other serving Indian focused food, all in one restaurant!

I have to say that although I’m not a fan of burgers, I can’t resist a Shake Shack burger.  The last time I went, this was branded on the table:

“Handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY. This surface was once part of a bowling lane.”


Here and here are interesting interviews with Danny Meyer and will give you an insight into what the book is like without having to read it all if you don’t get the chance!

I’ll leave you with an interesting quote that shows what he thinks about his employees:

“Learning to manage volunteers-to whom, absent a paycheck, ideas and ideals were the only currency-taught me to view all employees essentially as volunteers.  Today, even with compensation as a motivator, I know that anyone who works for my company chooses to do so because of what we stand for.   I believe that anyone who is qualified for a job in our company is also qualified for many other jobs at the same pay scale.  It’s up to us to provide solid reasons for our employees to want to work for us, over and beyond their compensation.”

2 thoughts on “Good books

  1. Lauren, so happy that you enjoyed Setting the Table, and that you’ve had a chance to visit Shake Shack and experience a Danny Meyer restaurant in person. Hope our team sees you again soon!

    Best of luck the rest of your semester at Cornell!

    -Brandy, Shake Shack

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