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Should Your Restaurant Take Reservations?

The Serious Eats Team 23 comments

We've seen many choose not to accept reservations, a move that frustrates many diners. But for restaurateurs, there's often good reasons to go book-less: crowds. "It helps them create a particular kind of scene," says Sam Sifton of The New York Times. No-shows can also mean a serious dent in revenue. Over at the Amex OPEN Forum, Maggie addresses the topic. More

Where to Take the Parents in New York

New York Carey Jones 15 comments

Ah, the parent visit. If your parents are anything like mine, their favorite part about coming to New York—besides seeing their darling children, of course—is the restaurants. But what my parents want from a restaurant is a little different... More

Reservations and Deposits: Necessary, or Harmful to Restaurants?

The Serious Eats Team 25 comments

Long lines, no reservations? [Photo: Robyn Lee] This week in the San Francisco Chronicle, critic Michael Bauer prints an email from a San Francisco restaurant owner frustrated by no-shows: Our New Year's eve dinner was quite successful—we did 250 [covers]. The problem was the 40 no-shows. We don't take credit card numbers because we don't want to offend or scare anyone away... Our only solutions to this behavior are to take credit cards or overbook by 10-20% assuming people will no-show, come late, or change party size... Is it better for us to become like airlines or hotels (who both overbook and charge you anyway), continue to be at the whim of ill-mannered, would-be diners, and practice old school... More

Should Restaurants Charge No-Show Fees?

Carey Jones 36 comments

As times get tougher, for restaurants and everyone else, more establishments have started to impose steep fees for missed reservations. More

Fergus Henderson at Momofuku Wait Time

New York Erin Zimmer 4 comments

Zach Brooks is at Momofuku Noodle Bar right now, waiting to be fed by famous London chef Fergus Henderson. At 5 p.m., 50 people were in line. At 5:38 p.m., a table for four. Wait time, one hour.... More

Ko Is Not for Ko-sher People

New York Erin Zimmer 6 comments

It's hard to say no to a friend throwing a Ko reservation at you on GChat, even if it's a couple hours before the arrival time. Such was the case last Friday when my friend, and his nimble typing... More

Momofuku Ko, Now With Online Lunch Reservations

New York Erin Zimmer Post a comment

Have you already hired an intern to help you nab a lunch rezzie (resy?) from Ko? Over the holiday weekend, the restaurant added the online listings, and big shock, they're already booked for the week. Lunchtime service will take place... More

Frank Bruni Goes Ko-razy

Adam Kuban 3 comments

New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni is frustrated at the reservation process at Momofuku Ko, the impossible-to-get-into pork-injected haute-cuisine spin-off of David Chang's Momofuku empire in New York. The place has 12 seats and employs a web-based reservation system that requires you to log in at 10 a.m. for seats a week out. It's egalitarian in theory, and I admire Chang and company for subjecting everyone—VIPs and schlubs alike—to the same miserable experience of signing on and viewing a series of little red Xs indicating you're hosed. Supposedly, the place does not play favorites. Still, as level as the playing field is, there've been complaints about logging on, seeing a green checkmark, clicking on it, but then being told... More

It's Saturday Night: Where Can We Eat?

New York Ed Levine 1 comment

It's Saturday night at 6:43. You're meeting friends for dinner, but you don't have a reservation. Just for fun I called around to some good restaurants I thought you might have a chance to get into. The following worthwhile restaurants... More

A New Kind of Foodfight: OpenTable Sued

Ed Levine Post a comment

Savory New York reports that OpenTable, the online reservations system used by 7,000 restaurants across the country, is being sued for patent infringement by a Texas-based company. This comes at an inopportune time for OpenTable, which is rumored to be eyeing a public offering.... More

Got a Reservation? America's Toughest Tables to Score

Adam Kuban 1 comment

Among the toughest tables to book in the U.S., according to ForbesTraveler.com, are: Rao's: Unless you've already got a table reserved there, don't bother. The address and phone number follow, but it's not like you'll be using them anytime soon. 455 East 114th Street, East Harlem, New York 10029; 212-722-6709 Minibar: Six seats here, where Forbes Traveler says, "It’s not uncommon for the staff ... to find people banging on the door at 8:30 a.m., trying to beat the 9 a.m. opening of the phone reservation line for its 30-day-in-advance seats." 405 8th Street NW, Washington DC 20004; 202-393-0812 Alinea: "Books up to two months in advance for a weekend spot." 1723 North Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60614; 312-867-0110 Downcast... More

All the Food That's Fit to Eat

Ed Levine 6 comments

The New York Times food section today was particularly toothsome and yummy, and it got me thinking ... More

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