Date: Feb 12, 2018Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

SOLD OUT! Danny Meyer: The King of Hospitality Shares Recipes for Success

Mon, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM CohnReznick



Walk into any Danny Meyer restaurant and chances are you will come away impressed by the setting, the chef and the service.

These elements are crucial for a restaurant to become successful, he feels. Meyer should know after having been in hospitality for over three decades. In 1985, at 27, he started Union Square Cafe. A decade later, Meyer launched Gramercy Tavern, and other spots followed: The Modern, the global burger chain Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, to name a few.

“Almost everything from that moment forward [after launching Gramercy Tavern] was finding a place that I was intrigued by, and then trying to find what’s the right idea and who’s the right chef for that idea,” Meyer told in July 2017. “More and more what I find interests me is if you give me the frame, I’ll figure out what kind of art belongs inside that frame, and I’ll figure out who to do it with,” Meyer adds.

Danny Meyer will join the HBS Club of NY for a sumptuous conversation about the restaurant business and share his thoughts on restaurants he admires, the future of the Union Square Hospitality Group, and finding success in business.



Danny Meyer

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Danny Meyer grew up in a family that relished great food and hospitality. Thanks to his father’s travel business, which designed custom European trips, Danny spent much of his childhood eating, visiting near and far-off places, and sowing the seeds for his future passion. In 1985, at the age of 27, Danny opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, launching what would become a lifelong career in hospitality.

Thirty years later, Danny’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) comprises some of New York’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, and more. Danny and USHG founded Shake Shack, the modern-day-roadside-burger restaurant, which became a public company in 2015.

Under Danny’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.

In 2016, USHG launched a pioneering initiative to eliminate tipping throughout its New York restaurants. This new way of business, called Hospitality Included, is designed to compensate the restaurant team more equitably and professionally, while providing clear paths for professional advancement.

Danny has been generously recognized for his leadership, business achievements, and humanitarianism, including the 2017 Julia Child Award, the 2015 TIME 100 Most Influential People list, the 2012 Aspen Institute Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership, the 2011 NYU Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City, and the 2000 IFMA Gold Plate Award. Together, Danny and USHG’s restaurants and individuals have won an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur (2005) and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America (1996).


Antoinette Bruno

After finding success on Wall Street, Antoinette realized something was missing: an intimacy with food, she enjoyed while living in Europe and working her way through school in restaurants. Her Wall Street job afforded her the luxury of eating at the finest restaurants, but that wasn’t enough. She left behind her lucrative career and enrolled in the Chefs’ Program at Ritz Escoffier in Paris. Bruno earned her culinary stripes working in the south of France and then returned to the US, ready for her new culinary career.

In 1999, Bruno became CEO of, combining her culinary training with her business know-how. The mission statement of became about giving chefs the tools they need to be the best they can be in a fractious and competitive industry. In 2001, Bruno also took on the role of Editor-in-Chief, leading StarChefs to become an industry authority on chefs and food trends. The Rising Star Awards were launched in 2002 as a platform for young chefs to be recognized broadly. And in 2006, Bruno and Partner Will Blunt launched the International Chefs Congress, a professionally culinary symposium like no other in the world.

In 2005, Bruno developed a passion for photography and began to give the StarChefs audience a visual account of her tastings through her daily “Food Porn” postings. Since then, her photos have been published in 11 books, countless magazines, and many national newspapers.

Prior to helming StarChefs, Bruno earned a post-graduate degree from the London School of Economics and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She’s been a judge on Iron Chef, a guest on morning programs across the country, and was nominated for James Beard Awards for Best Multi-Media Feature and Best Food Website. Bruno is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, The James Beard Foundation, and Women Presidents’ Organization; she was elected to the board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs in 2012.

Date Time

Date: Feb 12, 2018Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM


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