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The Restaurateur Who Got Rid Of Tipping

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Jan 02, 2017

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

60 percent of restaurants fail within first year. 80 percent fail in the first 5 years. But over the past 30 years, restaurateur Danny Meyer has opened one successful restaurant after another, from the high-end Union Square Cafe to the ever expanding Shake Shack burger chain.

Along the way he's broken a lot of the industry's rules. For instance, he doesn't believe the customer should come first. And last year he started eliminating tipping at his restaurants.

So how has this guy managed to succeed where so many others have failed?

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“Tipping is actually one of the biggest hoaxes ever pulled on an entire culture," Danny told Dan Pashman live on stage at Manhattanville College.

Plus Danny reveals which waiter questions annoy him most, why he puts his employees’ needs above his customers', and how his dad’s bankruptcies affected his approach to business.

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And we couldn't let Danny get away without nerding out with us Sporkful style on burgers. At Shake Shack, why don't they sever the hinge of the bun? We ask Danny!

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with Dan on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

- "Stacks" by Erick Anderson

- "Stony Brook" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "On The Floor" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

Photos:  FlickrCC/stevensnodgrass; Courtesy of Danny Meyer; FlickrCC/churl

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