17 Secrets To Building Danny Meyer’s Restaurant Empire

Danny Meyer

Image: Business Insider

Since opening in 2004, Shake Shack has become a phenomenon: people will wait in lines for hours for a burger made with the chain’s special “shack sauce.”  

It was a brilliant concept devised by New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group also includes a host of other restaurants — Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Blue Smoke, among others — employing more than 2,000.

Of the 25 restaurants Meyer has opened, only one has closed — a stunning track record given that 80% of New York City restaurants fail. 

From a detailed profile by the New York Times and an exclusive interview with Business Insider, we’ve compiled the 17 ways Meyer has become New York’s most successful restaurateur.