– On this episode– – [Alexa] I don’t know then. – Alexa, stop. On this episode, the legend,
Danny Meyer stops by. (upbeat theme music) Hey everybody, this is Gary Vaynerchuk and this is episode 280
of the #Askgaryvee Show and I’m very excited. You know, I’m going to go right into it. Somewhere when I started living somewhat of a public life, when
I wrote a book called, “The Thank You Economy”, I started getting random emails that made
reference to my guest right now. And maybe three years
later we met each other in a panel in Columbus Circle and within 18 seconds I’m like,
oh, my God, I’m going to know this guy for the rest of my life. Which is kind of like
how I think about life quite a bit with people. Like, is this somebody that I’m going to know forever? Is this somebody that I’m
going to kind of know? Is this somebody that I’m never going to talk to again? And it is only now, and
a lot of you following me watch this, only last
two months have I started using the word, kindness. You know, as I try to really dissect why good things are happening to me and what I see is happening in the world. Kindness as a business thing, cause I do look through the world through an entrepreneurial
lens, kindness is a word I finally use and if you
ask me to define this man with all the things he
does that are very special, I would say he’s kind. And that is the feeling
I felt on that panel that day, though I didn’t
use that terminology for a long time, it’s so exciting for me. You know, I’ve been doing this kind of Q&A show for a couple of years but only the last 100
days have I finally gotten to that word and it
feels very serendipitous that I get to deploy
it because it’s exactly what I felt. Danny, Danny Meyer, thank you so much for being on the show. – Gary Vee, this is a big day for me. – Why is that? Being on the show? – Yeah, being on your show. – Just randomly something
cool is going on. – I know, I’ve just
gotta say the same thing. When you and I, you and I
were on a very improbable panel together in Columbus Circle, it was two people who
I knew I wanted to meet but I knew a lot about the
one guy, Jacques Pepin. – Legend. – You wanna talk about
a weird salad dressing, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jacques
Pepin, and Danny Meyer. – It was amazing. – Right?
– And it worked by the way. – And it worked but we
had a great host that day. – Yes. – Rob Rosenthal.
– We sure did. – Yeah.
– He did a good job. – But anyway, and then
you and I got together at Gramercy Tavern and at 11 Madison Park and I think we’ve explored that while our professional
paths are quite different, it’s almost like the very same things that ring your bell ring my bell. – [Gary] I think that’s right. – And we may name them different things, and like you’re arriving at the use of the word, kindness,
but you didn’t just start being kind. – No, that was instilled, you know, very early on DNA wise and absolutely, what
do you want to call it, manipulated but I would think curated unbelievably well by my mom and it just became my being and it’s really funny because I do think we
have a ton of similarities and the people that know us
best, I think really know that. I do think I have a personally trait that outwardly speaks to an aggressiveness and a style that I think some have to get, you know one of the things I judge people based on how they react to me, you know, I just I remember just, wow, this guy really gets it. – You know what I always admired you? Think about how much
money you personally save by not having to buy caffeine. (laughing) – It is a good amount of money. It is at least, now in today’s day and age over coffee costs, it
probably is a solid amount. Yeah, I mean I’m very energetic, naturally but I will say gratitude
is a big driver for me. I’m very acutely aware
of how good I have it and I don’t mean today, I mean you know, my mom and dad both lost a parent before they were 15 and you know, I haven’t gone into this subject
matter with my team either. Between them telling me the war stories of growing up in Soviet
Russia, between them both losing a parent, and I will tell you I was very affected, probably
until I was 25 years old with the thought of losing my parents. And even, I would only argue until my kids got a little older, did
I feel a transition, but I always, I love my parents so much, much more than most people I know, that I’ve always been grateful for them. They’re very different, they
bought me different things, but and my circumstance,
even though we didn’t have a whole lot and we were poor,
then lower middle class, then middle class and middle
to upper middle class. Compared to the world I live in now, it was nothing, but I was oh so grateful compared to what my parents had. And so gratitude is, I believe
this besides my natural– – The first time we met,
what you spoke about the most, this was back
when the biggest thing people knew about Gary
Vee was, selling wine through videos. That was it. Not that that was a little thing. But what you shared with me, over and over again was that you wanted to help your dad break out. – Yeah. – And that somehow this is your calling in terms of how you were going to do it. – [Gary] Yeah. – And then I remember one other time you were the person that
convinced me to go on Twitter. Do you remember, you took out your phone and you said you need
@DHMeyer and you gotta figure out how to do this thing. And all you have to do, this, your advice and it rung true. We were sitting in
Gramercy Tavern one day– – [Gary] I remember like yesterday. – And you go, all you have to do is this. Don’t be afraid of it. Just read, curate your own magazine people you really wanna read. Just read, read, read. And if you feel like you
have to say something, just say thank you. – [Gary] It was– – That’s what you told
me a million years ago. – It was super interesting to me. There’s been a couple people that I knew I was giving a piece of
advice that was so in them and the only thing
stopping them was the way they perceived something. There was nothing more obvious to me that you were going to
be tremendous at it. Because it was your natural demeanor. Twitter at it’s best is
a listening platform. You are great at what you do because you macro listen
to your employees, to the market, to the consumer. You’re a listener. – There’s a reason we all have two ears and one mouth. – I love that cliche. – On the other hand there’s a problem, we all have 10 digits. (laughing) (laughing) – Danny, listen. I think we are often
running out of admiration, please, for the 18 people,
actually, you know what? With a lot of 22 year old entrepreneurs all over the world, this is an audience that I think some, I would love for them, you know, in your quickest, you know, first issue of the
comic book origin story, give me a minute or two
of like, who you are. – Who I am and what I do are completely different things. – [Gary] Give me both. – In one respect. I’m known as a restaurateur but I think who I am is a citizen. And dad and a husband and a, you know, I really go about my
life with one philosophy. I go about my life with
something I learned in my Summer camp from the
time I was 10 years old til I was a counselor at the age of 17 and that’s leave your campsite
neater than you found it. It’s kind of simple. I wish I could make it more complicated. We’re all, we all are fortunate enough to at least have been born into a family, whatever the circumstances may have been and we all have an
opportunity to leave things a little bit better than we found them. – It’s funny you say that. Literally I had a really interesting interview last week and they asked me what I wanted my tombstone
to say and I said that “I gave more than I took.” And it feels very similar to that. – It’s the exact same thing. So what I do is that I’m
in the restaurant business and my first restaurant
is Union Square Cafe. Which I opened when I was 27 years old. And then not for 10 years
after that did I open a second restaurant
which was Gramercy Tavern and then they kinda started flowing. I kind of looked at restaurants almost the way an author would
look at a new novel. And while it took me 10
years to write a second one, Gramercy Tavern, four
years later there were two right off the bat. 11 Madison Park and Tabla. And then there was The
Modern and Blue Smoke and then a little one called Shake Shack. We didn’t open a second
Shake Shack for five years. And then restaurants like
Maialino and North End Grill and Untitled and I already
talked about Blue Smoke. We have a company, our
biggest company is one that consumers may not have
heard about, but it’s our biggest company, it’s
called Union Square Events. And Union Square Events does
huge events and parties. We also do the food in ball parks which, we haven’t started serving yet where your beloved Jets play. – That’s why I don’t eat during the game. – We’re in ball parks and
arena’s, all over the place. We serve the food in
business class on Delta, Transcontinental as well as to Europe. And really having a lot of fun there. – Danny, let me get
selfish, which I like to do once in awhile. You have such a nice guy persona. Like let’s just establish. Everybody knows it. Like everybody here that’s in the room that are fans, the people that know you that are watching. Obviously for everybody listening, I’m selfish because my number one agenda in the short term with
entrepreneurs that follow me is to teach patience. And you’ve deployed it. I think that’s something
you and I really share quite a bit. And we talked about it once, I feel like two times ago we talked
about it for a few minutes in passing. We really are similar. I mean, I ran a liquor store for the first 13 years of my career. You know, like, and I’ve
been running the intermedia, obviously I’ve been pretty singling out a content and playing that game but, I always thought it was super interesting that a company of the
size, my perceived belief of the size of Shake
Shack, what it represents, what it invoked in the QSR and kind of, fast casual, whatever you want to call it, you know, technicality wise, but it opened up people’s eyes, like wait a minute. Is Burger King McDonald’s
or Kentucky Fried Chicken, clearly there’s going to
be an evolution that was, you know, cause just
the scale of the quality that you guys deliver on. I want to ask you an interesting question, because I think you’re
extremely pro employee which I’m very passionate about. I think you have this incredible image, I don’t know this cause I
don’t consume a lot of stuff, maybe The New Yorker did
a profile or maybe this has been addressed, I’ve always secretly and we’ve never had
this dinner, we’ve never really hung out for a weekend. The part that I’m curious about is, how competitive do you think you are? – Enormously. – So to me that’s my sense, right? Like when I look at you, I’m like, I love this guy, right, he’s the best dude and he’s doing all the right things, but he’s like a sweet assassin. – Let’s talk about, wow, sweet assassin, that’s– – That’s kind of how, like, if you ask me to do word association. – I want to confront
that one for a second. – [Gary] Okay, please. – I think about competitive spirit a lot because I need to surround
myself just as you do and I can feel it the minute
I come into your office. You gotta surround yourself with people who wanna be champions. – [Gary] Yes. – Otherwise, why go to work? What’s the point. Especially going to work for yourself. So I’ve kind of come down to understanding competitive spirit in this way. There are four kinds of competitors. And I think that’s a
really, really important thing to try to figure out where you are on the spectrum. The first one, and by the
way, there’s not a right or wrong here. – [Gary] Yeah, these are just your four. – The first one is A competitive. You don’t really care
if you win or you lose. I have an uncle who I adore who just is happy to go to work
every day and collect his paycheck and he’s
a great dad and husband and uncle but he doesn’t really wanna go– – [Gary] Is that not competitive at all? – He’s A competitive– – [Gary] Like Asexual,
just not competitive. – Yeah, that’s what I meant. – [Gary] Okay. – And so that’s way number one. – So that’s not even in the
competitive bracket, right? – It is because I think you need to have noncompetitive to understand competitive. So now you’ve got three
kinds of competitors. – Go ahead. – And I think it’s
really important to look in the mirror and know who you are along these ways. – Self awareness. – Self awareness. So the first one is the guy who competes primarily with the motivation of beating someone else. And that really gets them excited. Who did I beat to win? Number three, cause A
competitor is number one, number three is the
person who is primarily motivated to compete
because they hate to lose. Just like, there’s
nothing worse than that. And then the fourth one is like the great high jumper in the Olympics who competes to outdo their own personal best. They don’t care who they beat. They don’t care about
losing, what they care about is how can I do a little bit better tomorrow than I did yesterday? And again, there’s not
a wrong one amongst– – Do you believe people
blend a little bit probably? – I do, but I think that– – I think, when I hear
that I blend a little bit, like the third one’s
super interesting to me. – Well think about, you
may or may not blend as much as you think you do. – Maybe, maybe. – Think about yourself as a sports fam. – Yes. – And– – It’s all about the client for me. – Okay. – So for me, as a sports fan, and I agree with you. That’s where I go with this. – You haven’t had much
experience with the Jets. – No. – A climb– – Or the Knicks. Well I’ve not had a ton of experience with the climb of those two. It’s the journey. I find it interesting that I dropped the Yankees and the Rangers. Literally, the moment they, like 24 hours after they won a championship. Mission accomplished. Energy deployed to the
ones that are missing. I’ve now been a, basically for 20 years, I’ve been a Knicks and
Jets, AJ’s 11 years younger than me, he’s only a Knicks and Jets fan because, basically ever
since he’s been old enough, I’ve been pushing him on those two because the Yankees and
Rangers won in ’94 and ’96. SO that’s me as a fan. Then I think of myself,
when I play my bad pickup basketball or bad tennis. I’m unbelievably competitive and want to hurt feelings. Like I love looking at
Phil and Trout and knowing they’d never beat me in
tennis and it feels great and I’d like to call it out and we should probably find Nate. He’s never beaten me either. – You remember that great photograph, classic photograph of Muhammad Ali lording over Sonny Liston– – Of course. – Who he’s just knocked out.
– Of course. – I think he loved the fact that he beat Sonny Liston. – You know– – Is that you? – Listen, I like winning but here, I don’t know, it’s
funny, I know a lot about Muhammad Ali cause one of my best friends in the world was his god
son so I know certain things about him. I would say yes but let me tell you why? I would love nothing
more than to beat Trout this summer, which I’m
sure we’re gonna play. Six nothing and make it
uncomfortably noncompetitive and like razz him on the
court and like talk about like, why would he let me, 10 years older, and I’m always working and he doesn’t work as hard as me and yet
I’m still beating him six, I would love that. But then literally the
second that match ends and we’re drinking water and we’re walking back to the house, I wanna know like, is his relationships going well, how’s his sis? Like, I’m a very extreme
version of very competitive on the court but then the guy you want to have a beer with right after. Like, I really, really, when I compete, am quite like a totally different person. – I hear that and I can relate to that. I’d say that I’m in,
there’s almost none of me that’s A competitive, there’s… No, there’s completely none in me. – I don’t have that either. I don’t understand that life at all. – There’s almost none of me that competes because I love crushing the other person. There’s a big part of
me that hates to lose. – I don’t, you know, it’s funny. The two, three, and
four, or what have you, like, they all like,
I love razzing because in a weird way, I love motivating. SO like a lot of my
content, a lot of what I do, I love motivating. Like I’d love to be a head
coach in a lot of ways. You know, I’m just going
to own the team and do it that way, but, you know like, so I like trying to figure
out which triggers… Everyone’s motivated differently. Like secretly I want
Trout to finally beat me in tennis. There’s a little part of me. I don’t let it happen,
but there’s a little part of me. I think this is going to be the Summer. This is going to be it for you, Trouty. Danny, what um, before
we segue a little bit, actually talk to me a
little bit about this. I want to show this. This is ridiculous. Like, Jordan, please make
sure you’re not watching. So this is obnoxious. This looks super good. Trout and Phil literally live there. I hear all my employees mention this place every day. Where is it? Like I’m the worst. I don’t know anything. – Well what is the it
we’re even talking about? I can’t see this. – [Gary] You can’t see your organization? Where’s the place? Where’s Daily, where’s it located? – Daily Provisions. – [Gary] Yes. – Fascinating story. First of all, I hope that, I don’t think that I’ve ever said this before but I hope Daily Provisions will one
day be the kind of place that a lot more people have access to then the one that we have which is conveniently tucked right next
door to Union Square Cafe. That bite you took should’ve
just changed your life. – It’s really fucking yum yum. – That’s called a Cruller, Gary. So here’s the deal with Daily Provisions. – It tastes like butter just directly went into my body in
the best way possible. – Actually, actually almost
no butter whatsoever. – Really? – Lots of eggs. – Yeah, okay, fine. – Think about that. – I think about the same way. – Eggs and air. That’s what you just ate. Eggs and air.
– I love eggs. – With a dusting of cinnamon on top. – Especially eggs that taste like this. – But anyway, Daily
Provisions, in the same way that Shake Shack was an accident, it was born out of being a hot dog cart to take care of a park. And all of a sudden, five years later, it became Shake Shack. – [Gary] That’s what’s
going to happen here. – We’ll see what happens. This was an accident. Daily Provisions was an accident. We were designing the
new Union Square Cafe because we lost our
lease on the original one after 30 years. – Yep. – And the space we found
which used to be called City Crab came with a
little barbecue dive bar called Dukes.
– Go ahead, (mumbles). – And so Dukes was right next door. – They’re not mine. – And we went, how in
the world are we going to put this little space to good use? Tiny, the space is about
twice as big as your office. The one we’re sitting in right now. And so we came up with this idea and we said, let’s give a
gift to the neighborhood. That was our mantra. What does this neighborhood want more of that it doesn’t have? That was pretty easy. And amazing bakery. We don’t have one in the neighborhood. Amazing coffee. Great sandwiches, breakfast, lunch, and a damn good rotisserie
chicken for dinner. That’s all it is. And since the place is so small. The next mantra after, let’s give a gift to the neighborhood was, if you are going to get a place on the
menu at Daily Provisions, we have to believe that
you are a category killer. If you’re not, you don’t
get to be on the menu. So when you taste the Schnecken in here. – Schnecken? – Schnecken is German for snail. – Go ahead, who wants a Schnecken? – Yeah, that just made the menu this week. Turn it over. You’ll see why it’s called a Schnecken. – [Trout] Oh wow. – That’s a snail right there. That just made the menu this week and– – Because it finally
became a category killer. It became the best Schnecken in the game. – It did, it did, it did. – [Gary] That’s how you think about it. – That’s the only thing. So if it’s there, whether
it’s a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in the morning. – That’s an awfully tough category. – Go have one. Anyone here, you’ve been there 20 times. You ever had the bacon,
egg, cheese sandwich. – [Phil] Excellent. – Yeah. – But there’s some real
fucking bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches
out there in the world. – Okay, we’re going to compete. We’ll go in that bracket any day. – There’s been a lot of upsets in March Madness. (laughing) I don’t know what your bracket looks like but mine is a disaster. I had a wino pooping as a gif. Did you see that? – [Danny] Gary, I thought that was crazy. – I mean like my bracket is– – That wino never ran out of poop either. – Never, he kept going. Let’s get to the first question actually. While we keep talking about thIS. So this was an accident, now it’s real. – It’s my favorite kind of accident. Because it’s the kind of– – What’s this? – That’s called a Kouign-amann. And real many Kouign-amann. – Okay, I like Kouign-amann’s. – You’ve got to break it down the center. Don’t, none of this lets get off the edges and all that stuff. – Yeah, well I’m an edge eater. – Okay, have the edge then, enjoy it. What do you guys think of the Schnecken is what I want to know? – [Trout] Out of control. – It’s, what did you say? – [Trout] Out of control. – Out of control, I love that. – Let’s do it. Who’s first? – [Phil] Reed Armstrong in DC. – Reed in DC. How many Shake Shacks are there now? (phone trilling) – 168, got an opening tomorrow in Denver. – First one in that market? – Actually Wednesday in Denver. – You’ve got some in
Denver already, right? – That would be number one. – [Gary] Who is it? – [Employee] Reed. – Reed? Hey Reed, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. You’re on with Danny Meyer and I. How are you? – [Reed] Doing well,
how are you guys doing? – Good, how’s DC? – Oh, you know, it’s not New York, but we’re holding our own. Danny, it’s going to be a lot better when you open up shop here. – Well, I can’t wait til
that happens someday. – You have nothing in DC? – We have seven Shake
Shacks in the DC area and they’re great. DC’s been an amazingly warm market for us. But we don’t have any
full-service restaurants there. Hopefully one day we’ll
have Union Square Cafe in Washington DC. – Love it. What’s your question about then? – [Reed] It’s actually
incredible to see you guys together. Danny, I actually had
the pleasure of cooking for you at Roses and Gary,
you’ll appreciate that. You completely changed my game and this is my last week at my current
job before I switch gears in industry and jump
into the restaurant biz. So, Danny, my question for
you is, widely considered one of the most successful
and influential restaurateurs in the world. I really enjoyed your
New York Times interview in January on the future of restaurants. So building off of some of those themes, how do you take care of your
staff and your customers and on top of that because of the power and emotion of food, what responsibility do you feel restaurants should have when taking care of a larger community? – That’s a big, big question. And probably the best
answer I can give you is, we have so much responsibility. You nailed something Reed
when you talked about the emotional connection to food. It took me a number of years, when I was a young restaurateur to understand why when we let someone
down, it could actually motivate them to write
a three-page complaint letter and, because I would go like, how overcooked could the salmon be? Or how over salted could the pasta be? And I finally realized,
and you nailed this, that food and love and
the provision of food and love are so inextricably linked as MFK Fisher wrote that, it’s not about did we overcook your salmon? It’s, did we diss you? And that’s how a lot of people feel and that’s why they also
love the restaurants they love so much cause they get the love maybe they didn’t get somewhere else in their lives. So too do communities feel that way when you open a restaurant. So too do employees feel that way. Restaurants, as you know, are places that when you work there, you
feel a sense of family, adjunct to your own family and sometimes restaurant families are deemed to replace what you didn’t
get from your own family. And so why are employees
so happy when they’re happy and so unhappy when they’re unhappy? It all comes down to the very topic, we’re not a widget factory. I’m not saying widget factories can’t be emotional, too, but restaurants are about food and love. Just don’t make any mistake about it. – That makes a lot of sense to me. I mean, I also think about the percentage of time two groups of people use, which is, in major, I mean let’s go by New
York and this is why New York has this
relationship with restaurants. You know, what percentage of time, obviously there’s technology changes with some of the delivery services. So you’ve seen some slight change in this, but an enormous amount of time spent in restaurants. There are plenty of New Yorkers, if they’re not traveling, who spend most, three-fourths of their
nights in a restaurant. – Sure, sure because if you think about the average square
footage that a New Yorker takes up in terms of where they spend their sleeping and waking
hours, it’s smaller than many, many other communities. And therefore restaurants provide kind of an adjunct living room to– – It’s why I think the
relationship with restaurants in New York is a little bit different than even other major cities, because of that. – Yep. – Reed, thanks for calling, man. – [Reed] Thank you guys, take care. – And good luck with your, so what are you doing? Give me a little 411. So you’re starting next week doing what? – [Reed] Yeah, so I’m joining Cava Grill. I’m going to be heading
up a lot of their R&D. So I’ve always had a
passion in food service and restaurants and made the
jump and left my desk job and going to be working
on menu development. – I just gotta jump in and say I’m a huge admirer of that company
and I congratulate you for joining them. – That’s awesome, man, good luck. Let’s move on. So, Danny. You know, and I know you’re
going to go humble here so I’m going to try to create a framework for you not to by saying it. How does it feel to be so atop of a craft like you are right now, right? I mean, look, if you were an athlete, you would be an easy first
ballot hall of famer, right? Like, the first call makes a reference, I have a funny feeling
one or two others will, you know, you really really are, for a lot of people that understand this industry, you know, somebody who has inspired them
to do their own thing, you changed a lot of people’s behaviors within their own restaurants, and the admiration you
have from the industry is extremely high. That comes with its own
circumstances, you know, I’m sure there’s people that push back, you know, you push forward-thinking ideas, I’m sure some of them have been accepted differently than others. But, you know, as you just
hit your 60th birthday, have you started, I know
you’re thinking ahead. I have the luxury of
spending a lot of time with the winners of 60,
70, 80 year old craft, and there’s very little
looking back at times, but there’s some, I mean,
I think it’s a human thing, some people in their 30s are doing it. How do you think about
the fact that you’ve been able to achieve
this kind of stamp legacy in an industry that is
so culturally relevant. It must be humbling and feels good. Where are you at with
that part of your life? – Well, I thank you
for what you just said. I’ll take it, and it certainly feels good, but I will tell you
without any false modesty that, for whatever
reason, my wiring is that if you give me a compliment,
or you give a compliment to my team or my colleagues, what we do is, we dig in and we try even harder. – Sure. – And, you know, I was
talking earlier about competitive spirit. If we get a bad review,
and we’ve had many, because I think we ask to be held to a higher standard. We get more complaint letters probably than most other restaurant companies. – 100%, you’ve created permission. – [Danny] We have created, we invite it. – I totally understand that. – And you know what, if you go out, well, think about your sports teams. If you won last year, the only answer is to win even more games this year. – Ungrateful fans. – If you don’t do that, you’re
gonna let your fans down. – Ungrateful Boston fans, that’s what that sounds like to me. – You know, we don’t
consider anyone ungrateful, as a matter of fact, I kind of welcome being held to a higher standard. – [Gary] I totally understand. – But, this is the deal,
I know how I’m wired, which is that, the minute
you start believing in your own success, you might as well just hang it up. So I don’t believe– – But, Don’t you feel like you can hold those contradictory feelings in? – I can, I can walk into my office and see 28 James Beards
hanging on the wall of our office and say,
somehow that happened. So, someone said you guys were doing a good job, but when we go to work everyday, all of us– – That, I understand. – We honor the work we did yesterday, but we dig in and we ask ourselves, how can we do it even better today. And that’s what I love. You’re talking about the journey, I always want to be on
that upward journey, and we’re never gonna
reach it, and that’s okay. – Do you think you’ll work until you die? – Well, it’s funny, I was just having a conversation this morning
with my wife about that. (laughing) Having come off of a weekend of birthday celebrations and I cannot imagine ever not working because
it’s brain and heart food. You’re just learning,
learning, learning, competing. That’s what I love to do. Now, what I do love more than anything at this stage of my career, is surrounding myself with champions
and giving them the ball. And increasingly, I’m transitioning from being a guy who
had to be the producer, the director, the lead
actor, the screen writer, I just want to be the producer. – Danny? – [Male Voice] I’m sorry, Greg. – Greg, Greg? – [Greg] Hey, yeah. – Hey, it’s Gary
Vaynerchuck and Danny Meyer, how are you? – [Greg] Good, good, how are you? – Amazing. What’s your question? – [Greg] All right, so,
first of all, big fan. (laughing) All right, so, my wife and I started a food kind of Instagram
page about five, six years ago, called Devour Power. – Devour Power. – [Greg] Devour Power, yeah. – Yeah, I’m aware of it. Phil Toronto from Toronto
Tar Tar is very excited. (laughing) Oh, Dee Simone is excited, you
got some fans here, brother. (laughing) – [Greg] What’s up, guys. All right, so, yeah, I mean, it’s grown to over 500,000 followers now. About two years ago we started a marketing and media company. – Understood. – I met Gary V when he only
had a million followers. (laughing) – Go ahead. – You’re getting there. – [Greg] So, my question
is, in today’s market, having a strong social media presence with engaging content is definitely a leading factor in being
successful as a restaurant. With that being said, having a traditional PR like getting in Eater and Grub Street, etcetera is important as well. Where do you think the
future of restaurant marketing is heading,
and in the coming years, will restaurants steer
more of their marketing budget towards social media as opposed to the high priced PR agencies that don’t really focus on social media? – So, I’m gonna jump in first because I’m curious to see where Danny takes it, where, this framework. So, it was funny. As you were talking, having a social media presence, a successful one, as a leading indicator, I don’t
necessarily believe that. I think, when I look at, as of today, and it could change over time, but when I look today, at a lot
of the top restaurants, Danny’s firm’s investment arm is a very large investor in Resy, he’s an icon in technology and restaurants as being an early supporter and
board member of Open Table. With Resy starting a
couple years ago, with Ben, I’ve looked heavier at
the restaurant marketing world than I would have naturally. I do not believe that a lot of the top restaurants in this
country have a very strong social media presence. I think if you’re going from zero and trying to establish something starting today, it’s a really nice thing to have, to have an Instagram presence that matters and some other things. But I think it’s very interesting. And this is a huge
parallel to the wine world. I think the greatest thing that has ever happened to the wine world is that Robert Parker and wine spectatored two individuals with Marvin Shanken and two entities, Wine
Advicate and Wine Spectator, that I have enormous respect for and though did a lot of
good for the wine business in the 80s and 90s in
America when it was needed. I think the best thing that has happened to the wine world over the last decade is things that Wine Library TV started, which was technology would create a more wide point of view where
one or two people couldn’t make and break a winery. I would tell you that what you’re doing, what a lot of great startups are doing in the marketplace, what
social media’s doing in the marketplace, I think
has been a great thing. Does a New York Times review still matter? Of course it does. Does it matter the way
it did 13 years ago? I do not believe it does, given all the different variables that
I see in the marketplace, and I would tell you, and
this is a very personal thing for me, I think
people are very confused around the fact that if I was, I think that what scares
me, when you frame it that way, is that I’m always
scared that marketing, AKA sizzle, AKA marketing, if you’re in the restaurant business and I did your marketing for you, I would do it better than anybody. I really genuinely believe that. If I was hired to do the
marketing for your restaurant tomorrow and it’s what I did full-time, it would be the most successfully marketed restaurant in America. If your service and your food sucked shit, all that woudl happen is I would speed up the process of people knowing we suck and we would lose. And so, you know, for me, a restaurant business, or me as a person, the reason I think I’ve run a successful company is not because I’m a
personality or I’m good at marketing, it’s what happens next, after you get people into the funnel. And so, look, to answer
your question directly, I think a traditional PR company is basically out of business in 2018, they just don’t realize it yet. You cannot be in the business of hitting up editors and networks to get your guest on or awareness in a world where we can all go direct to consumer at scale. So, to answer directly, traditional PR companies that charge $5,000, $3,000, $10,000 a month to a
human, or to a restaurant and think getting articles on websites or getting an appearance
on a morning talk show, that game is over. And over the next decade,
they will be transformed into a very different service. But I also think you
need to be very careful. If I see a restaurant
have 1.3 million followers on Instagram and good engagement even, I don’t default into thinking they have a good restaurant business, I think they have a better potential for a great restaurant business, but
it’s gonna really matter how that steak is delivering
on that social media sizzle. – What he said. – You agree? – I couldn’t agree more. In fact, we’ve made that
same shift in our company. We use to have, as recently
as probably five years ago, 80% of our internal span, and we have an internal team that is second to none, but 80% of it was on public relations. Today, 80% of it’s on
social media and marketing. Not just social media. How do we tell our story as opposed to asking other people to tell it for us? – I mean, I very personally, one selfish objective I have here is to somehow get you to start a podcast,
like a meaningful one. You would have a top
100 pod, your podcast, and you would only have to do it once– – It’s funny you should
say that, I have a meeting right after this because my own team is begging for the same thing. But my answer, here’s my answer. For 10 years, before I
wrote Setting the Table, I was told, you gotta write a book, you gotta write a book. And I said, we already have cookbooks. No, we don’t want a
recipe that leads to food, we want a recipe for how
you guys do business. What do people need to hear in a podcast that doesn’t already exist, Gary? – I’ll explain, so we’re gonna go re-enact our Twitter moment, you
and I, in a podcast form. I think much like you’ve
created the framework for passing the ball and being the, you don’t have to do all the things, a podcast around your points of view/ your organization’s points of view to the industry is remarkably impactful not only to the industry but to industries outside of your industry. I think the thing that’s
super interesting to me, when I wrote the Thank
You Economy was like, somebody who owns a construction company would be like, the two
formative books in my life. And, you know, it’s funny with books, people read them all out of order, it doesn’t matter when they’re printed. And sometimes when I get asked, they’re like, another one, I’m like, I don’t know, Danny’s book. When they want to double
down on that thesis, my belief is that podcasts are enormously important culturally. People, you have to understand, you have to create things in a way that people want to consume them. There are millions of
people that you could be impacting professionally
and personally, who only consume
information in podcast form. – So we’re gonna pick
up Setting the Table. – What I love, what I
love is that it doesn’t have to require a lot of your time. What you’ve done extremely well, and it’s exactly the
telltale sign of a true leader and somebody
who’s a true citizen is, you’ve not made this just about yourself. You’re even incapable,
over the last 10 years, everything is we, it’s
so ingrained into you, the we, the team, the this, that the fact that you could have a daily podcast that could be hosted by
a different team member every day of the week. And I think you think of the world the way I do, which is, I don’t mean the head of business
relations or the head of PR, I mean somebody’s back office, somebody who’s front one of the restaurants, somebody who’s been at Shake
Shack for two week in DC. I think if you really thoughtfully thought of a framework, you could
create a very impactful piece of media that
would disproportionately help people and help
whatever objectives you had, whether that’s business or culturally or whatever it may be. – Thank you, sir. – [Gary] You’re welcome. Brother, thanks for the call. Anything else you want to, while we’re pontificating here and being idealogical. – I didn’t know I was being invited for a therapy session, but this is really helpful, thanks. – What are you looking
to do, the way you asked the question, are you
trying to build more ammo to be able to get clients in that world, and you want to be a service provider for restaurants and
convince them properly, in my opinion, that them spending $6,000 a month with you
is a hell of a lot better than $6,000 a month
they’re spending elsewhere. – [Greg] I mean, yeah, absolutely. The goal is to grow Devour Power as big as it could possibly be as an influencer, me and my wife, and then also have the media marketing company as well helping out restaurants because that’s what we love to do. – I love it, man. Well, good luck, thanks for calling in. – [Greg] Thank you very much. And, Danny, I’m going
to Martina’s tonight, so I’m pretty pumped about it. – That’s awesome, and which is the name of your reservation
just so we can snag it? (laughing) – He wants your last name, bro. – Oh, Remmey, R-E-M-M-E-Y. – You got it, thanks, brother. That’s just how I ask, like, give me your fucking last name,
that’s how I do it, Danny. (laughing) All right, let’s get to the next one. Danny, podcast. Like, look how excited your
team is, they want it bad. Team, you want the podcast, right? – They’re thumbs up
over there, I like that. How often do you have to do that? – So, I do it really weird. This is very rare for me
to take time to do it. I’ve gone very extreme,
I’ve like filmed myself at all times and we strip audio from it, (phone trilling) and then that becomes the podcast. But there’s a lot of things going on, like John and Nate. I’m thinking about doing some wine stuff– – [Justin] Hey, this is Justin. – Justin, how are you? This is Gary Vee and you’re
here with Danny Meyer. – [Justin] Yes, what’s up, guys? – What is up? – [Justin] First of all,
you guys are killing me with the pastries,
everything looks so good, and Kouign-amanns are
my absolute favorite, so I’m very jealous of you both right now. – But you are a Patriots fan? – [Justin] No, no, no, pastries. – Oh, pastries. I thought he segued, I was
waiting for the, got it. – That’s the best joke of
the week that just happened. – That’s just where my head’s at. We’ll send you some. Danny’s really good at this stuff. We’re gonna get your information and send you cases of the stuff. – Guys, guys, guys,
hold onto your question. You promise? – Yes, yeah, he won’t forget. – You gotta hear this story, because you just came in with
the pastry and Patriots. I will never forget, one
day I get a very very angry call, this is a long time ago, when everybody got their
restaurant recommendations from the Red Zagat Survey. – [Gary] Yes, I remember. – And this guy calls me
on the phone, he says, I am so angry, I can’t even tell you. I said, what happened? He said, I travelled two hours
to get to Gramercy Tavern. Because, in the back of the book, in the back of the Zagat
survey, there’s a category that says game in
season, and you’re in it, and I got there and there was no TV. I wanted to watch the Bears. – That’s amazing. You’re like, you didn’t
want some pheasant? It wasn’t that, huh? I love it. The bears and jets play
this year in Chicago, early prediction, 19 Jets, 13 Bears. Just document it, without
free agency completed and pre-season, I’m feeling confident. – All right, back to the question. – I’m sorry, go ahead. – [Justin] Totally. So, this is actually a great piggy back off of the previous
question about social media. I’ve worked in a lot of places that do experience focused dining, tasting menus, Mishua restaurants. What is the best way to leverage either social media or voice or the internet for that file of restaurant,
like the restaurant that’s already killing
it with their steak, but they could really
take it to the next level with some marketing
sizzle, and more important, who should be doing the posting? I know a lot of restaurants don’t have, like, quote, unquote
social media managers. – I’ll jump in here. So, you are of the mindset
that you worked in, or currently work in
organizations that are delivering on the quality, and I
understand the framework of the restaurant, but haven’t accelerated its growth because it’s either not getting the proper
respect in the marketplace, PR, or natural word of
mouth, and you’re looking for an angle in marketing
to bring a little bit more awareness because you believe once you can bring those people in, the acceleration will happen as long as people can taste that steak. Is that correct? – [Justin] Yeah, exactly. And, you know, like
making sure the Tuesday reservations are just as booked as the Friday and Saturday reservations. – What town are you in? Because that’s a variable. – [Justin] So, I’m in Seattle right now, but my previous job was
in Europe in Norway, and I actually created
this Snapchat account for that restaurant, and it was like a super big push on social media, but it was hard to convince those people, because it’s like, well,
who does the posting, how do you word that? I think maybe it might help. – What’s really fascinating
is, I don’t think people know this, but Norway is
Snapchat’s most interesting market globally. It is their deepest
penetration of any market. Is that why you did Snapchat, because it was just very obvious to you? Like, the 35 to 50 year old crowd on Snapchat in Norway
is actually very high. Is that what you saw as well? – [Justin] Well, kind of. This is back when you were
very bullish on Snapchat. – So you were like, Gary
says do it, so I’ll do it. – Do you remember the time you collared me on Snapchat down in South by Southwest. – That was the best. So, look, I mean, listen. You know, I think what
you’re talking about is an institution that looks down on modern communication. Your issue was, it’s this new thing, and what really happened in your scenario that you’re painting is that, there’s a level of
disrespect of the quality of that attention, because
I promise you, if the owners of any establishment thought of it the way I thought of it, they wouldn’t get hung up on who’s posting. If you actually think it’s
gonna impact your business, if that’s what your objective is, then all of a sudden, you’re gonna allocate the resources. Let me tell you one
thing about restaurants and any other business, follow the money. I love when people talk
to me, like business owners or entrepreneurs and they talk about things, but then when you look at their actions based on their financial allocation, they’re talking
a very different game. So you can be bullish all you want about social media, but
if you’re allocating 8% of your budget to it, then you don’t really think it’s that serious. You want to not look
stupid in society when it’s finally been accepted,
but you don’t believe that it’s driving your business. I mean, to answer your question directly. It’s all storytelling. If you want to tell people
about your oxtail soup, you’ve got to tell them
about your oxtail soup. 40 years ago, that was whatever book or one or two critics in the neighborhood, then it was the Times, then it Michelin, then it was Zagat, then it was Google, you know, now it’s social,
tomorrow it will be Alexa. Hey, Alexa, what’s the best oxtail soup? Stick with me here. – [Alexa] Sorry, I don’t know that. – Good. Alexa, what’s the best
spaghetti in New York City? – [Alexa] Hmm, I don’t know,
but I’m always learning. – So, what’s interesting is,
you see those two examples. What excites me is, I’m gonna make a video in 24 months that I’m gonna
ask those same two questions, and it’s gonna answer,
and it’s gonna answer it really interestingly and really well or subjective or we’ll see. But the fact that we’re here now. Hey, Alexa, what’s the best
restaurant in New York City? – [Alexa] Here are a few
top rated restaurants in New York City. – [Gary] Right? So this is going off of Yelp, right? – [Alexa] Jun Shokudo. – And super arbitrary. What’s gonna happen now– – Hey, Alexa, you need
to eat out more often. (laughing) – So, what I would say is, whatever is the technology of the time, what’s exciting for me is, you know, I look through things
through other people’s eyes. I can see from the corner of my eye, Danny now taking his fourth look at Alexa. He is a competitive ninja,
that sweet assassin for me. So, he now, already,
understands, he’s smart, he understands consumer, he understands human behavior, which is why he’s been so remarkable at his craft, which is why technology, thought not
where he spends all his time, though maybe even he
may sit on the sidelines on something like a podcast or Twitter, when described properly at a higher level, he will always understand it, which is why I’m always enjoying getting to interact with him about it, because
I know he will understand. I know that he just
understood, when he looked at that, he knows exactly what Google meant to Open Table, he understands. What I just did with Alexa
really fucking matters. It really does. And now what happens is,
who has the leverage, right? In this scenario, Amazon has the leverage. It’s not that Danny’s firm wants to spend all this marketing money
to be a paid endorsement, he wants to win on his own merit. He’s got the benefit of a long, extremely well executed branding play that has happened, but he’s never gonna rest on they laurel. For 99% of the restauranteurs, they don’t want to be at the mercy of Alexa. That’s just a Zagat 20 years later. That’s just the New York
Times 20 years later, 30 years later. – [Alexa] I don’t know that. – Alexa, stop. So, my friend, here’s what I would say. I think the way to not be at the mercy of a third party is to be a tremendous communicator at scale that is current to the end consumer. For you to do what you want to do well, you need to have a podcast and a blog post and an Instagram account and Facebook and a Twitter and a YouTube vlog, and all of the above. Can you, can you afford? These are questions everybody has to ask. But if you ask me, there’s
nothing more important than having the ability to communicate with the end consumer because it keeps you from being vulnerable
from the technology revolution that is absolutely happening. And there’s only two executions, produce the greatest fucking product, AKA, the man who is sitting across from me and his organization, or be the best communicator in the current moment. – Or both. – Listen, that’s when you get, you know, that’s what I’m trying to be up to. That, to me, is how you end up, and by the way, this is history. Back to Muhammad Ali, if you think Muhammad Ali’s picture
of punching all five Beatles was not manipulated by two different groups that understood how media played at the
time, Muhammad Ali’s ability to navigate
through the media landscape of the 60s and 70s is more impressive than what he did in the boxing ring. The way he played Howard
Cosell, the way he played with radio and television,
the way he took photos when he had to, from the beginning, the way he said he was the greatest after he won one fight,
the way he predicted, everything he did, we don’t remember the 31 fights where his
prediction was way off, we just remember the six
or seven that he nailed. So, these are very important times because the communication landscape is changing the most since it has from the transition of
radio to television, and the opportunity for all of us including restaurants
has never been greater. – I want to just add one
thing to what you just said, which is that when you showed me Snapchat, it just didn’t register. My kids use it, you use it, and I said, you better listen, I said that to myself. I said, I can’t speak in that accent. And then I got a great gift from somebody, which is this, that even if you accept the power of social media and telling your own stories, and using it to listen and to have dialogues with people, which is great, not all of us are going to speak as beautifully in every single language
that there is out there. And I’ve come to the
conclusion that I’m really comfortable with Twitter and Instagram. And that may be enough for me. As long as I surround
myself with others who are– – As long as you don’t get caught, the only thing I would say, Danny, you’re exactly right, as
long as you don’t get caught only speaking Yiddish. (laughing) – Oi. – That’s the point, right? What I’ve seen is people
get very comfortable in their language to not recognize that that language is becoming obsolete and/or has diminished. – Which of the two of my native social languages are about to be obsolete. – I think both are fine, but to me, Instagram is just like, cost of entry in today’s moment,
especially in your Industry. twitter is incredibly
great for you and me, because we really love to counter punch. Like, I love complaints. I love when people leave
negative one star reviews on my book or employees
send me emails that I suck, like, I want to fix. – Yeah, if their complaint was there, you’re not better off by not knowing it. – [Gary] I want to fix, I want to fix. Let’s sneak in one more
call and then get Danny on his way before I gain 4,000 pounds. (mumbles) – Right, do I have something before that? – [Male Voice] A call. – With? – [Male Voice] No, you’re leaving now. – Cool, cool. Let me wrap it up, you’re right. I can’t mess it up. Danny, I love you. – [Danny] I love you too, Gary V. – Thank you so much for being on the show. – And you guys, you have
an awesome team here. – [Gary] I’m aware, thank you. – It’s great to work with all you guys. – Well, Phil works for you as well, because he’s literally
in Maialino’s everyday. Danny, you get to ask
the question of the day. You know, over the next couple years, this will be viewed hundreds
of thousands of times, they will answer in this section. This is a good opportunity
for you maybe to get a little brainstorm or focus group or just randomly wanna ask a question, you get to ask the question of the day. – My question of the day is, in a business that has historically been a four wall bricks and mortar business, at a time when every human being in the world is walking around with their own personal remote control to life, also known as their
smartphone, where they want what they want where they want it now, I believe that we are still uniquely able in the restaurant industry to create a social atmosphere, but the question that’s in my mind more than anything is that, how can we combine what people want, which is quick, less
expensive where I want it with the hug that we’re used
to giving in our own places. – They’re gonna answer it. That camera, that good one right there. Cool, that’s a great question. I love you, pal. Continued success, happy birthday. – Thank you all. – You keep asking questions,
we’ll keep answering them. (upbeat music)