Shake Shack founder to speak on campus April 7

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Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer, chief executive officer of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), which founded Shake Shack and other popular eateries, will visit Yale on Tuesday, April 7 as the 2015 Gordon Grand Fellow.

While on campus, Meyer will meet with students and present two talks: at 11:30 am in Rm. 2400 of Edward P. Evans Hall, 165 Whitney Ave., and at 4:30 pm in Rm. 101 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St. While both are free and open to the public, pre-registration is required for the 11:30 a.m. lecture, and the event is currently full; to sign up for the wait list, visit

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Meyer grew up in a family that relished great food, cooking, get-togethers, travel, and hospitality. In 1985, at age 27, Meyer launched Union Square Cafe, known for its imaginative food and wine, hospitality, comfortable surroundings, and value. Over the years, he has opened Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, Maialino, Untitled, and North End Grill.

In the summer of 2004, USHG launched Shake Shack, a modern-day roadside burger stand. Since then, new Shake Shack locations have opened across the East Coast and internationally. The New Haven Shake Shack opened in September of 2012.

USHG has also started a full-service catering and venue hospitality business, Union Square Events (formerly Hudson Yards), and Hospitality Quotient, a learning and consulting business.

Meyer’s first business book, Setting the Table, a New York Times bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business. and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger, Meyer has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest.  He is equally active in civic affairs, serving on the executive committees of NYC & Co, Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

He lives in New York City with his wife, Audrey, and their four children. His daughter Hallie is a senior in Silliman College. 

The Gordon Grand Fellowship at Yale promotes dialogue between business leaders and students at Yale. The fellowship was established in 1973 to honor Gordon Grand, a graduate of Yale College and president and CEO of the Olin Corporation.

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