Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack (SHAK) and Union Square Hospitality Group, which boasts NYC landmarks like Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern.
But perhaps less well known is Meyer’s penchant for investing. He is an investor in Olo, a back-of-house system that serves over 40 million customers for takeout and delivery on branded restaurant apps and sites. He is on the company’s board.
And, earlier this year, Union Square Hospitality Group invested an undisclosed amount in Resy, a reservation app that teamed up with Airbnb.
“I’m always interested in businesses that primarily have a hospitality culture. They realize that they exist for the purpose of creating a great workplace, to create a great customer experience,” Meyer told Yahoo Finance at the Skift Global Forum.
Though Meyer is passionate about elevated cuisine, he acknowledges that it isn’t a scalable endeavor.
“Restaurants are my bread and butter, especially fine dining, which I’m proud of. But you’re not going to have a thousand Gramercy Taverns. You shouldn’t. But I love to have businesses that can make life better and scale,” he said.
“And, it’s also an acknowledgement that I don’t have all the best ideas in the world. So, if I can identify them and other people and we can invest, I think that’s a good thing,” he added.
Meyer, who’s been in the industry for over 30 years, said that he’s seeing an “unprecedented interest in food” and that he’s excited about the new players in the space.
“It’s the best time ever to be a consumer for sure. It’s also meant that more and more players have been attracted to the industry. There’s more supply than ever which also is good for the consumer because it means that the best will survive. So it’s a hard time but it’s a really motivating time.”
Melody Hahm is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.
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