Summary of When Hospitality Means Finding the No

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When Hospitality Means Finding the No summary

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Hospitality is all about saying yes, or is it? While a cheerful yes is often the easiest response for service providers who wish to maximize the customer experience, a well-intentioned no is often the best or only choice to maintain integrity. With impeccable comedic timing, Danny Meyer, a New York City restaurateur and the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, delivers a litany of humorous anecdotes that illustrates why those in the service industry must add the word “no” to their vocabularies to keep their reputations intact and to elevate their service.

About the Speaker

Restaurateur Danny Meyer is the founder and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns and runs several celebrated fine-dining establishments in New York City.


In the hospitality industry, saying yes to a customer is a commitment to deliver.

Restaurateur Danny Meyer has spent many years teaching others to elevate their hospitality acumen by “finding the yes” in difficult situations. He appreciates that learning this lesson can be difficult. Saying no tends to be most people’s default response, because saying yes implies a promise to deliver. But Meyer’s ethos of always searching for the yes made his restaurant chain a pioneer in terms of customer service. For instance, when a regular customer insisted on having cereal for lunch, a member of Meyer’s staff would run to a store to buy cereal to serve. When no other restaurants were doing so, Meyer was happy to have customers transfer their drinks from their bar bill to their restaurant bill.

For Meyer finding the yes isn’t always enough; he teaches his staff that in some situations, it may be necessary to “

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