Hospitality QuotientHospitality Quotient

Hospitality at Work

We’re passionate about creating outstanding workplaces where employees feel valued and appreciated. When you create a great place to work, you become a place that does great work.

Susan Reilly Salgado
Managing Partner, HQ

Our Story


Catherine Gibbons Photography

In the mid-1990s, when Susan Salgado was pursuing her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at NYU’s Stern School of Business, she and her husband, Jason, were regulars at Union Square Cafe. Susan felt there was something very special and different about the way it felt to be a guest there, and she had a hunch that her experience stemmed from the unique leadership of Danny Meyer. Susan believed that Danny was doing something special in his restaurants that resulted in remarkable teams with extraordinary abilities to create memorable guest experiences and build a loyal clientele. In organizational behavior terms, Danny was creating a remarkable culture that led to outstanding organizational performance.

In 1998, Susan had a chance meeting with Danny, and expressed her interest in the culture of his organization. She persuaded him to let her do her Ph.D. dissertation research on his company’s practices.


Union Square Cafe opens its doors, laying the foundation for our family of businesses


Susan Reilly Salgado begins working with Danny as part of her dissertation research into how USHG consistently creates exceptional guest experiences


Susan becomes USHG’s first-ever Director of Culture & Learning, and distills all that was intuitive at USHG into explicit practices that can be replicated across businesses


“Setting the Table”—a New York Times Bestseller—is published, and becomes an indispensable guide for creating positive work environments and fostering customer loyalty


Hospitality Quotient launches under the USHG umbrella

Susan’s research was both qualitative and quantitative, and through her work she was able to articulate the key elements of Danny’s management practices that resulted in the strong culture — and therefore in his remarkable success.

After completing her dissertation, Susan joined Union Square Hospitality Group as the first-ever Director of Culture & Learning. From 2003-2007, Susan worked with USHG’s leadership to help build necessary infrastructure to support our culture of hospitality, to ensure that the culture would not erode as the organization continued to grow. In doing so, she turned all that was intuitive to Danny into explicit practices that could be replicated and socialized across the USHG business, thereby ensuring that as USHG evolved and expanded, it would always remain true to its soul.

Over time, Susan’s interest grew in how the work she had done at USHG could apply to organizations outside of the restaurant industry. Simultaneously, the incredible response to Danny’s best-selling business book, Setting the Table, further validated the concept that USHG’s best practices could apply across industries. In 2008, Susan began taking on consulting opportunities outside of the organization, and in 2010, Hospitality Quotient officially launched as a separate business under the USHG umbrella. Since then, HQ has grown significantly, helping more than 150 clients in 21 industries to improve company cultures and customer experiences.

Today, our purpose is to make the world a better place, one workplace at a time.