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How I Roll: Restaurateur and author Danny Meyer

March 08, 2020
5 min read
How I Roll: Restaurateur and author Danny Meyer
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Welcome to How I Roll, TPG’s airport routine series, covering everything from how jet-setters prep for a trip to what they wear on the plane.

We sat down with Danny Meyer, whose restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), comprises some of New York’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants. His groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table, is a New York Times Bestseller. Meyer, who has been on TIME's 100 “Most Influential People” list, lives in New York City with his wife and four children.

If you’ve ever found yourself indulging in Shake Shack for breakfast at JFK or LAX, or considered the food choices on board your Delta flight to be exceptional, you have Meyer to thank. His USHG partnered with the airline in 2016 to revamp the onboard menus on select routes.

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You can catch him on an episode of Talking Points, chatting all things travel, tipping and more.

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The itinerary

DM: I go to the West Coast a few times a year, often to get inspiration. It’s always business and pleasure wrapped into one!

Predeparture prep

TPG: What does you pre-travel to-do list entail?

DM: I like to get one last workout in and organize my to-do list so that I can make calls while waiting in the Delta Sky Club lounge.

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TPG: Do you have any must-do activities around the house before leaving?

DM: Take my dogs, Louie and Wally, out for one last spin around the neighborhood. I owe that to them and to everyone else in the family!

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Packing strategy

TPG: Do you pack ahead of time, or wait until the last second?

DM: I generally pack the night before a trip, but I’ll have already put together a mental list into what kind of clothing I’ll need for the purpose of my travel.

TPG: Are you an over or under packer?

DM: Strategic light packer.

TPG: What kind of suitcase do you carry?

DM: Usually just a shoulder bag if I can swing it.

TPG: What are your carry-on essentials?

DM: iPad, phone, Powerbeats, Warby Parker reading glasses, and several phone chargers. And a prayer that the in-flight Wi-Fi is working!

TPG: Do you carry-on or check your luggage?

DM: Carry-on, whenever humanly possible.

TPG: What’s your go-to travel outfit?

DM: Allbirds, jeans, a fleece vest. I like pockets and layers.

Before boarding

TPG: Do you get to the airport early or with just enough time to spare?

DM: If it’s just me, then I go really early. I love having time to make phone calls, write emails and read. I also love checking out food options to keep up with good ideas. And I don’t enjoy the stress of running late. If I am traveling with family, we don’t go quite as early since they don’t enjoy airports as much as I do.

TPG: How do you kill any extra time at the airport?

DM: I’ll head to the lounge to catch up on work, or if I’m lucky enough to be at an airport with a Shake Shack, I’ll always go say hi to the team there.

TPG: What preflight snacks, if any, do you stock up on?

DM: If I am headed to the airport from home, then I’ll usually stop into Daily Provisions for my favorite cappuccino. If I don’t have time, then it’s usually a light bite in the lounge. I mostly fly Delta, and rarely leave their flights feeling hungry.

In-flight routine

TPG: What’s your preferred seat on a plane — window or aisle?

DM: Aisle.

TPG: What’s your go-to in-flight beverage?

DM: Water with no ice.

TPG: Would you rather work or relax during the flight?

DM: Long flights are an opportunity to quietly get work down without interruptions, which in itself is more relaxing than my average day. Sadly, I’m one of the worst plane sleepers. I covet the time alone to read and to write. I also multitask by catching up on podcasts.

TPG: What’s your IFE guilty pleasure?

DM: Playing Lexulous – an online word game. I usually have three games going at once.

Everything else

TPG: Overall, do you enjoy traveling?

DM: YES! The joy and discovery I get from travel, especially understanding and learning about other people and cultures through how they eat fulfills me.

TPG: How often are you on the road?

DM: On average, I’m on the road about a week of each month.

TPG: Any travel pearls of wisdom or hacks?

DM: Clear and Global Entry -- anything to speed your way through security.

Read more: How I Roll: Samantha Brown, Emmy-winning TV Host

Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
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Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
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  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
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  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
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Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees