January 15, 2007
News & Opinion: NYT Book Review on Setting The Table
I picked the Sunday New York Times yesterday and saw Setting The Table (written by Danny Meyer) was reviewed by Sara Dickerman. Her review shows she likes the book, but Dickerman thinks Meyer gets a little cutesy:
But Meyer is not giving advice to would-be restauranteurs: his book aims for a broader business audience. Whether his model of "hospitalitocracy" can expand beyond the service industry is hard to say, but Meyer certainly tries hard. This book wants to be a business parable of sorts--the kind populated by metaphorical parachutes, cheese, and sharks. Meyer apparently can't resist the genre: he thinks of staff members "not as servers, but as surfers"; he imagines businesses as moth-attracting light bulbs; and he refers to the press, somewhat predictably, as a shark.
Meyer is more persuasive and interesting, both as a storyteller and as a business adviser, when he sticks to concrete examples from his working life instead of spinning them into catchphrases that might work in PowerPoint presentations...When Meyers slips into generic business-speak, that all-important narrative gets lost.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.