Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
A landmark, bestselling business book and a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the creation of Danny's most famous eating establishments, Setting the Table is a treasure trove of valuable, innovative insights applicable to any business or organization.
teach the salespeople that everyone goes through life with an invisible sign hanging around his or her neck reading,“make me feel important.” Giorgio and Mary Kay had it right.The most successful people in any business that depends on human relationships are the ones who know about that invisible sign and have the vision to see Tu r n i n g Ov e r t h e R o c k s 93 how brightly it is ﬂashing. And the true champions know best how to embrace the human being wearing the sign. De spite
worst” he’d ever experienced. A week later, in its review, the Post gave us zero stars. Its gossip column “Page Six” piled on by noting that Al Roker of the Today Show had thrown his book party at the “critically panned” Blue Smoke. I was feeling raw, reading nothing but scarring reviews—yet somehow we remained packed every night. Either the public wasn’t reading the reviews, or people just didn’t care what the critics said. Or perhaps people were taking a grisly interest in witnessing and even
(Montrachet,Tribeca Grill) went out on a limb to defend us on the website Citysearch, writing, “Look, we are competitors with these guys but I have to tell you—Blue Smoke is and will be a great restaurant.You don’t understand what goes on there.” It was an amazing and welcome gesture of loyalty and friendship. Bro a d c a s t i n g t h e Me s s a g e , Tu n i n g i n t h e Fe e d b a c k 181 Not long after this, Eric Asimov called me. “I’ve got two things that will surprise you,” he said.“I
pressure.The name for this management style came to me from another restaurateur, who was using it to describe his view of our company. I was in Aspen for one of my annual summer appearances as a speaker at the Food and Wine Classic. My partner at Union Square Cafe, Paul Bolles-Beaven, and I had returned to town following an appearance on Good Morning America at the crack of dawn, and we dropped in to the Ajax Tavern Constant, Gentle Pressure 191 in search of a cup of coffee.We got to talking
is far less effective. If you are constantly gentle but fail to apply pressure when needed, your business won’t grow or improve: your team will lack the drive and passion for excellence. If you exert gentle pressure but not constantly, both your staff and your guests will get a mixed message depending on what day it is, and probably won’t believe that excellence truly matters to you. If you exert constant pressure that isn’t gentle, employees may burn out, quit, or lose their graciousness—and you