Operations

Danny Meyer wants to bring enlightened hospitality to more than just restaurants

Union Square Hospitality Group's consulting arm has launched a new e-learning platform for a broader audience.
Union Square Hospitality Group
Union Square Hospitality Group is known for the restaurants Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern and more. | Photo: Shutterstock

Danny Meyer has long been considered a guru of restaurant hospitality. Now his consulting business Hospitality Quotient (HQ) is launching a new e-learning platform for a broader audience, called HQ+.

HQ launched in 2011 as a division of the New York City-based Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), founded by Meyer, who is now executive chairman. HQ’s training curriculum was developed around the principles of “enlightened hospitality,” which Meyer described in his book “Setting the Table,” considered by many to be a must-read for the restaurant industry.

The new HQ+ is designed to bring to life USHG’s approach to hiring, training, brand building and creating memorable experiences, with the perspective that the “endless power of hospitality” directly translates to higher employee retention, revenue and elevated customer loyalty, the company said. The platform can be tailored for specific teams or goals.

Over the years, brands from outside the restaurant industry have taken advantage of HQ training through partnerships, including Delta Air Lines, L’Oreal and Marriott International, the company said.

“Shortly after the publication of ‘Setting the Table,’ we started getting calls from other business leaders asking if we could spend time with their teams to reveal what was behind the warm hospitality our restaurant had become well known for delivering,” said Meyer in a statement. “What surprised me was that many, if not most, of the leaders we met came from industries that, on the surface, looked very different from ours—healthcare, technology, insurance—and yet they recognized that the benefits of hospitality were universal. HQ was created to translate the beliefs and behaviors that define our organization to businesses and individuals across the world.”

HQ+ is available starting at $15 per month for individual users and $18 per month for team members of small- to mid-sized organizations, with custom packages for larger companies.

Like Meyer, a growing number of restaurateurs have launched consulting arms in recent years.

Last year, José Andrés Group, based in Washington, D.C., launched a consulting division offering support with operations, design, finances and real estate.

In February, Chicago-based Fifty/50 Group acquired the consulting group Korgen Hospitality co-founded by Ken McGarrie, author of “The Surprise Restaurant Manager.” The move led to the creation of Fifty/50 Consulting, which also offers services beyond restaurants to a broader audience.

Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), founded by Richard Melman, has also had a consulting arm for more than two decades with clients from the restaurant world, but also hotels, grocery stores and entertainment venues.

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