Video Transcript

00:12 Scott Gerber: So, let's go back to that moment where you start your first business. You had a father as you said in business, and your father actually went bankrupt during his lifetime. And you sort of saw the entire experience. Did that have an effect on you as you were about to journey into your own venture?

00:28 Danny Meyer: Absolutely. The good news is that it didn't dampen my desire and willingness to make a bet on myself. But what I did see, and it was an incredibly painful thing. I'll never forget sitting in the living room with my brother and sister, and my mom and dad, and my dad tearfully telling us that his travel company was not only not gonna make it anymore, but we learned the meaning of the word bankruptcy, which I had never heard in my life as a 14-year-old. And something that I think about to this day was that, I always associated his bankruptcy with over-expansion, number one. And number two, not surrounding himself with incredibly talented people.

01:15 Meyer: Now, I could be wrong about that, about both of these judgments. What did happen though is that, it took me 10 years to open a second restaurant. So, the good news though is that Union Square Cafe, my first restaurant to this day. In fact, I was just there earlier today during lunch service, is thriving, it's busier than ever, yeah, I think it's better than ever. And I think a lot of that is because I spent 10 years learning the profession without expanding. And the restaurant developed deep roots and it's really the soul of our company. However, during those 10 years, I also learned that expanding in and of itself for a business is not a reason that the business cannot work. And it really took me a long time to separate me from my dad, and to realize that what I had experienced and watched, didn't mean that that was gonna be the outcome of my own business.