Paul Winalski wrote:I don't know the statistics on just how many patrons making reservations are discourteous enough to blow off the reservations, but I would guess that the number is high enough to be irritating both to the establishments and to other potential patrons.
MikeH wrote:I have to say I am in agreement with Mark, Dale, and Paul. No problems with this concept whatsoever....and if the result is lower dinner costs, that is a major plus!
BTW, Jenise, if you viewed Tony & Tina's Wedding as dinner , uh, you got it wrong. That evening was one of the funniest times I have spent in a "theatre" in the last ten years.
Dale Williams wrote:Yep, I'm with Paul and Mark. I'd be for a system that basically rewards those who treat commitments as commitments. $ 40 pp? Cool!
If I plan to spend the night at theater or opera, I buy tickets, and if I get a headache or decide to make an early night, then it's on me to find someone to use my tickets. Those of us who are not flighty shouldn't have to subsidize those who want to "keep their options open"
Mark Lipton wrote:Jenise,
I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of NEXT for close to a year now, ever since I first heard of it. I haven't read the article you mention, but I think that the idea of tickets is a brilliant one and a major attraction for me. The incentive for this idea was the amount of manpower Alinea has to spend on booking and reservations and the cost to the restaurant of a no-show. So, his idea is to sell tickets on the Web that guarantee you a table at a specific time and caveat emptor; OTOH, the tickets will sell (last I heard) for $40 per head, service compris. So, the only thing you'll pay for beyond the ticket price is the wine. Me like. Me like a lot. Coupled with the central conceit of the restaurant, I find NEXT to be far more attractive to me than Alinea ever was. As for the charge of arrogance: I don't see it that way; instead, I see this as Achatz's way of avoiding the French Laundry conundrum and at the same time passing the savings onto the consumer.
Bob Henrick wrote:Mark, how would you feel under this scenario? You have "tickets" to NEXT for you, and your wife, and because it is your sister's birthday you also are treating she and her husband to dinner tonight. On the way home from work, you have a serious "fender bender" and are seriously banged up. Nothing life or limb threatening, but you are sore as hell, and definitely do NOT want to try to go out to dinner, or for that matter, anywhere else. As I read Jenise's description, it is too bad for you, you are out the $180 - $300 with nothing to show for it other than good intentions. I am basing this on the assumption that as reported, if you fail to show up, there will be no refund of ticket price. Count me as a no in this vote.
Jenise wrote:Dale Williams wrote:Hey, I'm not flighty. I've kept 99% of the reservations I ever made for anything, and would be very conscientious about calling at the earliest possible moment to cancel something I couldn't attend. It's just that sometimes things DO go wrong at the last minute--and of course Mark provided a lot of background not apparent in the article. Had no idea the price would be that advantageous, for instance, the article doesn't mention that aspect and given Alinea's reputation and the comments attributed to Nick, it did not seem that extreme value was among their intentions. $40 all-in is not a "three star price". Nor had I thought of what they propose within the context of the cost of maintaining a reservation system, a la French Laundry. Mark makes good points.
Mark Lipton wrote:Jenise,
Since much of the discussion has now devolved to pricing, I decided to do some fact checking for my previous statements. Here I believe is the source of my information, and now we can see that the pricing is $45-$75 for five- or six-course meals, pricing depending on peak or off-peak dining. I stand by my opinion that this is a consumer-friendly system, but you all can read for yourselves and see if you agree. In the lead-in Achatz is quoted as saying that Alinea requires 4 full-time reservationists. How much does that detract from the bottom line?
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Dinner at Alinea is not just food on a plate. It is a spectacle. Tickets seem appropriate. Perhaps they'll use OpenTable as the front end?
As to the occasional conflict between appointments and Life... c'est la vie.
Mark Lipton wrote: In the lead-in Achatz is quoted as saying that Alinea requires 4 full-time reservationists. Mark Lipton
Jenise wrote:I got to thinking about this statement while I motored around Seattle yesterday: how is this possible. Four FULL time reservationists? What do they do, sit with you?
Daniel Rogov wrote:I'm with Dale on this. I have no problem with the concept of tickets for a restaurant that I truly want to visit but do believe that those ickets should have a "re-arrangement option" within a certain time period. I would suggest that a limit of 3 - 5 days be placed on those re-arrangements.