Setting the Table: service vs. hospitality

I found Setting the Table in my library recently. Written by Danny Meyer, an award-winning restaurant owner in New York City (Union Square Cafe and a range of others including the restaurant and cafes of MoMA), who is passionate about ‘enlightened hospitality’ and ‘being nice to people’. He distinguishes:

“Service is the technical delivery of a product. Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes the recipient feel. … It takes both great service and great hospitality to rise to the top.”

Danny Meyer

He attributes his continued success to the way he prioritises his five primary stakeholders in his decision-making:

  1. employees
  2. guests
  3. local community
  4. suppliers
  5. investors. 

The book is a few years old, but his insights from 30 years in hospitality are inspiring as well as entertaining and feel timeless and relevant for any visitor facing organisation, not just restaurants. 

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Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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