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Danny Meyer

Restaurateur; founder, executive chairman, and former CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group; founder of Shake Shack; one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015
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A pioneer in farm-to-table fare, recognized as one of the most significant influencers to the multibillion dollar “fine casual dining” phenomenon, restaurateur and executive chairman of Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer, has helped shape consumer demand and expectations of food and restaurant experiences for more than 30 years.

When he opened Union Square Café in 1985, he pioneered a new breed of American eatery, featuring local ingredients and his model of enlightened hospitality, which have come to define his endeavors in the culinary world. Now with 10 unique restaurants, including beloved eateries such as Eleven Madison Park, Modern and Blue Smoke, Meyer and his establishments have earned critical and commercial acclaim and unprecedented honors, including 25 James Beard Awards.

In 2001, Meyer was again on the forefront of a growing trend, with what started as a gourmet hot dog cart, that he grew to become Shake Shack, a leader in the disruptive move toward “fine casual” fare. With a successful 2015 IPO and 63 locations from Dubai to London, Shake Shack continues to expand and attract devoted fans globally.

Guided by his philosophy of enlightened hospitality, featured in his book, Setting the Table, his unique employee-first business model prioritizes its people as the foundation for providing uncommon excellence and hospitality to guests, the community, suppliers and investors. An active leader in the fight against hunger, Meyer has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest and is equally active in civic affairs.

With a proven capability to identify and implement what’s coming next, Meyer captivates audiences with fascinating insight, visions of the future and strategies for business leaders and entrepreneurs that challenge conventional thinking.

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