Danny Meyer is a Restaurateur, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Founder of Shake Shack, One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015.
Why Danny Meyer?
- A game-changing entrepreneur, he grew a collection of acclaimed New York restaurants, including Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, into a multimillion dollar success story
- He outlines how his unique employee-first, enlightened hospitality business model is applicable for leaders across all industries
- The recent IPO of his other fine casual venture, Shake Shack, proved again that he is on the forefront of global trends.
A top CEO keynote speaker and a pioneer in farm-to-table fare, recognized as one of the most significant influencers to the multibillion dollar “fine casual dining” phenomenon, restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer, has helped shape consumer demand and expectations of food and restaurant experiences for more than 30 years.
A pioneer in farm-to-table fare, recognized as one of the most significant influencers to the multibillion dollar “fine casual dining” phenomenon, restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer, has helped shape consumer demand and expectations of food and restaurant experiences for more than 30 years.
When he opened Union Square Café in 1985, he pioneered a new breed of American eatery, featuring local ingredients and his model of enlightened hospitality, which have come to define his endeavors in the culinary world.
Now with 10 unique restaurants, including beloved eateries such as Eleven Madison Park, Modern and Blue Smoke, Meyer and his establishments have earned critical and commercial acclaim and unprecedented honors, including 25 James Beard Awards.
In 2001, Meyer was again on the forefront of a growing trend, with what started as a gourmet hot dog cart, that he grew to become Shake Shack, a leader in the disruptive move toward “fine casual” fare.
With a successful 2015 IPO and 63 locations from Dubai to London, Shake Shack continues to expand and attract devoted fans globally.
Guided by his philosophy of enlightened hospitality, featured in his book, Setting The Table, his unique employee-first business model prioritizes its people as the foundation for providing uncommon excellence and hospitality to guests, the community, suppliers and investors.
An active leader in the fight against hunger, Meyer has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest and is equally active in civic affairs.
With a proven capability to identify and implement what’s coming next, Meyer captivates audiences with fascinating insight, visions of the future and strategies for business leaders and entrepreneurs that challenge conventional thinking.
Suggested Keynote Speaker Programs
Under Danny Meyer’s leadership, USHG is renowned not only for its acclaimed restaurants but also for its distinctive and celebrated culture of Enlightened Hospitality.
This guiding principle of prioritizing employees first and foremost has driven and shaped USHG’s ongoing evolution from a small group of restaurants into a multi-faceted hospitality organization.
Businesses that prioritize their employee experience see greater returns for all of their stakeholders, from customer experience to community enrichment and beyond.
SERVICE VS. HOSPITALITY
Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Danny addresses the critical difference between service—the technical delivery of a product—and hospitality—the way the interaction makes you feel—drawing on examples from the restaurant industry to illustrate the powerful impact that hospitality can have on employee engagement, customer loyalty, and sales.
And in any organization, hiring the right people, training them for excellence, and giving them room to grow is of the utmost importance.
Danny shares his philosophy of the 51%er, a framework for hiring employees who lead with the emotional intelligence that underlies great hospitality.
INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP—THE HOSPITALITY INCLUDED CASE STUDY
Central to Danny’s business philosophy is the question: “Whoever wrote the rule?” Union Square Hospitality Group’s innovative spirit has taken the company to new frontiers that transcend the restaurant industry.
Danny shares stories from his entrepreneurial roots and case studies from throughout his career (including Hospitality Included, a recent initiative to eliminate tipping) to illuminate the power of risk-taking and the value of a mistake well handled.
New York, USA
Speaking Fee – Usually between $75,000 USD- $100,000 USD