Meyer, Danny 1958- (Daniel Harris Meyer)
Meyer, Danny 1958- (Daniel Harris Meyer)
Born March 14, 1958, in St. Louis, MO; son of Morton and Roxanne Meyer; married Audrey Heffernan, 1988; children: four. Education: Trinity College, CT, graduate.
Home—New York, NY.
Writer, restaurateur. Founder of New York restaurants, including Union Square Café, 1985—, Gramercy Tavern, 1994—, Eleven Madison Park, 1998—, Tabla, 1998—, Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, both 2003—; Union Square Hospitality Group, founder, 1998.
IFMA Gold Plate Award, 2000; Innovator of the Year Award, NRN, 2002; Share Our Strength's Humanitarian Award. Meyer's restaurants and chefs are the winners of twelve James Beard Awards.
(With Michael Romano) The Union Square Café Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Michael Romano) Second Helpings from Union Square Café, HarperCollins Publishers (New York, NY), 2001.
Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, HarperCollins Publishers (New York, NY), 2006.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer is well known in culinary circles for his string of New York restaurants, beginning with the Union Square Café which opened in the mid-1980s. Since then he has founded many other successful ventures, all of them scoring high points in restaurant guides. Meyer shared secrets from his restaurant in his 1994 book, The Union Square Café Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant. Writing in Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Nigel Haworth found it to be "exciting and comprehensive without being too deep." Haworth went on to especially commend the chapter on appetizers that Meyer and his coauthor and chef, Michael Romano, include in the book. Reviewing the same work in People, Lisa Greissinger felt the introduction was "practical," and the authors' tips on matching wine and food "unpretentious." Similarly, Booklist contributor Barbara Jacobs praised the "hospitable spirit [that] pervades this collection." Following the popularity of The Union Square Café Cookbook, Meyer again teamed up with Romano to provide more culinary advice in the 2001 Second Helpings from Union Square Café. Here, the authors offer favorite recipes from rabbit fried in sage to crabmeat-artichoke tortelli.
Writing on his own, Meyer provides business rather than recipe tips in his 2006 Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, "a business book that, while aimed at a mass audience, is one in which every principle is illustrated many times over by examples drawn from his string of 11 New York City restaurants," according to a reviewer for Restaurant Hospitality. Meyer explains the business plan he has used to achieve such overwhelming success in the New York restaurant industry. One of the first principles is something that upends traditional business notions: for him, it is not the customer who comes first, but rather the employees. Treat your workers right and you will create a successful business. He wants his employees to pay close attention to the delivery of the product; in this case, food. With that accomplished, a positive atmosphere is created, and one in which customers will feel welcomed and comfortable. The reviewer for Restaurant Hospitality went on to note that this piece of advice was "one out of several hundred nuggets of practical, full-service restaurant-specific information in this book." Other advice from Meyer includes getting to know the likes and dislikes of one's customers and hiring employees who display emotional skills rather than purely technical ones. Further praise came from a Publishers Weekly reviewer who termed Setting the Table an "honest, modest book [that] will appeal most to foodies and aspiring restaurateurs but also offers insight for entrepreneurs in any industry." Similarly, Newsweek writer Dorothy Kalins felt that the array of business principles and truths that Meyer presents in his book "have made him successful not only at his restaurants … but with the people who work there, too."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 1994, Barbara Jacobs, review of The Union Square Café Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant, p. 93.
Business Week, September 6, 2004, "Why Off-Menu Is in Vogue; Danny Meyer Spills the Beans," p. 104; October 9, 2006, "Working out with … Restaurateur Danny Meyer. His Killer Gym Sessions Help His Back—and Head," p. 96.
Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Nigel Haworth, October 30, 2003, "Kitchenbible," p. 52.
Crain's New York Business, February 13, 1995, "Restaurateur Meyer New Arbiter of Taste," p. 2; May 14, 2001, "Ready for a Ribbing; Danny Meyer Fires up the Barbecue and Jazz," p. 3.
Esquire, November 1, 2006, "Danny Meyer: What I've Learned," p. 64.
Fortune, April 29, 2002, "Birth of a Rib Joint: New York City's Highest-Rated High-End Restaurateur Is Going in a New Direction: Down-Home," p. 187; July 24, 2006, "Keeping Tabs on a Food Empire," p. 36.
Interview, August 1, 2002, "All the Dish: Where the Food Is Smokin' and Lip-smackin'," p. 85.
Library Journal, August 1, 1994, Judith C. Sutton, review of The Union Square Café Cookbook, p. 116; August 1, 2001, Judith Sutton, review of Second Helpings from the Union Square Café, p. 151; August 1, 2001, review of Second Helpings from Union Square Café, p. 151; September 1, 2006, Susan Hurst, review of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, p. 158; September 1, 2006, review of Setting the Table, p. 158.
Nation's Restaurant News, March 24, 1986, "Review Boosts Sales by 50%; Union Square Cafe Sees ‘Incredible Growth’," p. 3; March 31, 1997, "Meyer Urges Restaurateurs to Abandon Tipping System," p. 4; April 29, 2002, "Focus on Hospitality Earns Restaurateur Meyer NRN's 2002 Innovator of the Year Award," p. 4; October 27, 2003, "Meyer Defines Difference between Hospitality, Service," p. 18.
National Post, November 4, 2006, "Dealing in Delectables," p. 9.
Newsweek, November 6, 2006, Dorothy Kalins, "Style: Glorious Food Books," p. 69.
New York, July 18, 1994, "Why Ask for the Moon When He Already Has Three Stars," p. 18; October 9, 2006, "Danny Meyer Walks into a Pub: In the Uber-restaurateur's New Book, He Distills the Finer Points of Hospitality. So How Does the Local Shebeen Measure Up?," p. 96.
New York Times Book Review, December 4, 1994, Richard Flaste, review of The Union Square Café Cookbook, p. 24; December 2, 2001, review of Second Helpings from Union Square Café, p. 56; January 14, 2007, "Are You Being Served?," p. 15.
New York Times Magazine, September 10, 2006, "Eat, Drink, Manhattan," p. 17.
People, December 12, 1994, Lisa Greissinger, review of The Union Square Café Cookbook, p. 39; April 16, 2001, "Rare, and Well Done: Restaurateur Danny Meyer Lives His Obsession—Being the Best," p. 129.
Publishers Weekly, July 25, 1994, review of The Union Square Café Cookbook, p. 48; October 16, 2000, "Think Like a Chef," p. 74; July 16, 2001, review of Second Helpings from Union Square Café, p. 176; August 7, 2006, review of Setting the Table, p. 47; September 11, 2006, "Let's Do Lunch," p. 31.
Realtor Magazine, December 1, 2006, "Recipe for Success," p. 56.
Restaurant Business, June 10, 1993, "Putting Food on the Table," p. 105.
Restaurant Hospitality, January 1, 2007, "Buy This Book, Then Live It," p. 26.
Time, October 2, 2006, "The Business of Hospitality," p. 87.
Town & Country, November 1, 1998, "Mr. Hospitality: Danny Meyer's Recipe for Success Goes Well beyond Keeping the Customer Satisfied," p. 194; November 1, 2006, "The Meyer Touch," p. 118.
U.S. News & World Report, February 26, 2007, "From Chef to CEO," p. 12.
Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2002, review of Second Helpings from Union Square Café, p. 11.
Washington Post Book World, November 19, 2006, "More Proof That We Are What We Eat," p. 8.
Bluesmoke.com,http://www.bluesmoke.com/ (June 13, 2007), "Danny Meyer."
CBS News Online,http://www.cbsnews.com/ (January 26, 2003), "More Than Just Food."
New York Post Online,http://www.newyorkpost.com/ (November 30, 2006), "Union Sq. East."
Paris through Expatriate Eyes,http://www.paris-expat.com/ (June 13, 2007), Terrence Gelenter, interview with Danny Meyer.