A St. Louis Missouri native, Danny Meyer grew up in a family that has a passion for cooking, food, and travel. He spent his childhood developing what he would later discover to be his passion for food, wine, and hospitality. At the age of 27 Danny opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe. He later opened renowned establishments such as Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and the hamburger hotspot, Shake Shack.

This humorous and informative story chronicles Danny’s successes and the humbling mistakes he’s experienced along the way. Here are some of our key takeaways.

The Customer Comes Second

To be successful you must first meet the needs of employees, then guests, followed by the community, suppliers and finally investors, in that order. “If you are devoted to your staff and can promise them much more than a paycheck, something to believe in,” he says, “you will then get the best service for customers, which will, in the long run, provide the best return to your investors.”

51% Solution

“You can teach technical skills, but you can’t train employees emotionally. But you can teach managers how to hire for a specific emotional skill set.” When selecting new hires, Danny looks for candidates whose strengths are divided 51%-49% between emotional hospitality and technical excellence. People who are naturally kind, empathetic and curious, along with having a strong work ethic.

Pick up your own copy of Setting the Table to read more of Danny’s insights on how any business, regardless of industry, can lead with hospitality first.