Industry giant Danny Meyer of Union Square Cafe and Shake Shack shows CBS This Morning viewers how to hack a restaurant, where he talks about the menu, the shape of the tables, noise levels, and more in an effort to prioritize diners’ feelings as much as cook a fine meal.
“When people choose to come back or not, they may say it has to do with what you put on the plate or what you pour into the glass,” Meyer tells travel editor Peter Greenberg. “But I guarantee you that the decision to return has almost everything to do with how did we make you feel.”
According to Meyer, diners’ moods are shaped as much by tables and noise as something like the service. “You want to have a variety of table shapes because you don’t want people’s eyes or their experiences to get boring,” he says.
At his restaurants, “The table is always going to be ever so slightly wider than it is deep. It drives me crazy when I go to a restaurant and the person I came with is further away from me than the two people on either side of me with whom I didn’t come.”
And as for noise, he says it’s like salt in the hands of a chef: “Too much is wrong and too little is wrong.”
And then there’s a final tip from Meyer: “The next time you’re looking at a menu, consider ordering a side dish as a starter instead of an appetizer,” he says through the anchor. Restaurants typically charge more for appetizers than side dishes “and it can be an equally satisfying experience.”