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Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Joins MBAs for Block Lunch

With great leadership comes great humility. You’re only as good as your last transaction. - Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, joined Dean Peter Henry and MBA students for NYU Stern’s Block Lunch event series this fall. Meyer shared his personal and professional story beginning as a Political Science major in college and his path to becoming one of New York City’s most prominent restaurateurs.

He shared several pieces of advice:
  • You can afford to pick a job that won’t be your last job
  • Surround yourself with people who are both honest and gifted
  • Get all stakeholders – staff, investors, suppliers – to root for your success
  • Look for opportunities to invest in your local community and encourage employees to get involved and volunteer
  • With great leadership comes great humility – You’re only as good as your last transaction
  • Employee happiness is critical for long-term success
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Meyer also described his recipe for sustainable business success: 49% service and 51% hospitality. According to Meyer, hospitality is the X factor that keeps his restaurants, including Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, top-ranked in NYC’s Zagat guide. Taking this management strategy beyond the restaurant sector and applying it to industries spanning healthcare, finance, entertainment and more, Meyer and colleague Susan Salgado, a Stern alumnus (PhD ’03), have launched a new consulting business called Hospitality Quotient. (Read more in the fall 2013 issue of STERNbusiness, pg 16.)

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