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Everything posted by san

  1. i think that we might be overstating the degree of guests' outrage at being asked to provide cc info to hold a reso. granted, my restaurant only takes info for parties of 5 or more, but i rarely encounter people getting that upset. many people are surprised and sometimes confused why they need to leave a cc #, but after explaining that we simply ask for the # to hold the reservation (and we wouldn't charge the card as long as if for some reason they had to cancel that they called us to let us know), almost everyone i speak with seems ok with it. it is worth mentioning that there are a select few who adamantly refuse, and are offended that i would imply that they would not show up without calling to cancel (in which case i always ignore the policy and make the reso without the card #). these people account for about 95% of our no-shows.
  2. I, for one, would love to read a report on the 'kitchen culture' of those restaurants.... perhaps in a new forum?
  3. cosmo's cucina was by far my favorite restaurant in kzoo. really nice room on the 2nd floor of a 100 year old building. http://www.cosmoscucina.com/ it appears to only be open for dinner and breakfast on the weekends, but still is worth a trip if you're there at night.
  4. i would also like to add that since i started at this restaurant we have NEVER charged a credit card due to a no-show. incidentally i read the following statement at the bottom of the menu of a special chef's dinner (included in the newsletter i received TODAY of one of the most expensive and acclaimed restaurants in the detroit area): "The last date for cancellation or reduction of reservations without charge is March 17th, and it is the obligation of anyone wishing to cancel or reduce a reservation to inform us by that date, not the following week and not when receiving a call to remind you of your reservation." thought that was pretty humorous in light of this thread
  5. the restaurant i work for confirms ALL reservations and politely requests credit card information for parties of 5 or more (and all parties on days such as valentine's day, new year's eve, restaurant week, etc.). if a guest objects we usually explain that we don't charge the card unless the guest doesn't show up without calling to let us know, but if it makes them uncomfortable we would just ask them to call if they couldn't make it. with this policy, we very rarely have "no-shows", and the ones that don't show with no call are about 95% ones that didn't give a cc # in the first place. it is important to note that this policy protects the guests who would like to dine with us and can't because we are fully committed (as well as protecting the restaurant against the revenue lost if the table isn't filled). On our busier shifts we keep a waiting list; in the case of the original post, an hour's notice would have helped the restaurant recoup the cost of losing the table and also helped a group of diners get a reso that wouldn't have that opportunity if the guest calls at the time of the reso. finally i think it should be noted that even though if you bought a ticket to a show and decided not to go at the last minute you would not get a refund, and even though you can't go into best buy and pick out a $2000 HDTV and walk out with the tv after leaving $1500 at the counter but many people leave 10% tips, don't tip on wine, taxes, etc, and even though people make resos at several restaurants knowing they will only fulfill one of them, this is the service industry and our job is to be HOSPITABLE, which means giving people the benefit of the doubt and assuming that they either had a good reason to do what they did or that they don't fully understand the impact that their actions had on the restaurant and/or other diners. either way they didn't intentionally try to do any harm and don't deserve any malice. the professional thing to do is to do the best you can to avoid these situations and be gracious and hospitable when they arise.
  6. I agree - the Pad Thai is what to order there. I also like the Tom Kha Gai soup. Especially for $1.15 a bowl! ← i usually judge thai restaurants by their fried rice, and i've found theirs to be my favorite another 'off the beaten path' place that has become very well known is slows barbcue in detroit by the old tiger stadium.... nice to have great comfort food in a place that pays attention to the atmosphere of the restaurant as well.
  7. strange as it sounds mr. kabob inside the gas station (can't remember the corner) in berkley is really good... i remember going there several times a few years ago. however, i consider the shish tawook sandwich from the pita cafe (locations at greenfield & 696 as well as in downtown birmingham) one of the greatest steals in the city... it's small (i usually eat 2 and once in awhile 3) and costs somewhere around $3. i moved to philadelphia from detroit about 6 months ago and that is the only reason i am still typing rather than driving there right now it sounds so good
  8. being from ferndale you probably already know about bangkok cafe on 9 mile... doesn't look like much but definitely my favorite thai food in the city. the redcoat tavern on woodward & 13 mile has fantastic burgers and onion rings but the service is usually average to poor. berkley breakfast house on coolidge n. of 11 mile is a really nice neighborhood breakfast restaurant.... giorgios restaurant on greenfield and lincoln is another great value. looks like a hole in the wall diner but serves hearty portions of pasta and a nice filet with zip sauce. speaking of filet with zip sauce mario's at 2nd & john r is another great value. that's all i can think of for now... nice thread!
  9. Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse will be serving a feast of 7 fishes... the menu is available at http://davios.com/SpecEvents.htm#PhillyXmas hope to see everyone there! Sandy Levine
  10. this sounds like a lot of fun. i'm not sure yet whether i can make it or not, but would love to meet everyone whose posts i've been reading so much.... i work at mccormick & schmick's seafood restaurant in troy, mi (about 30 min northeast of ann arbor)- if there is any interest i would be happy to speak with my g.m. about an egullet discount during the weekend of 8/5 (or any other time).
  11. does anyone know how service is set up at alinea? are there servers that have "sections" of a few tables with everyone running food when guests are ready for their next course? it seems to me that with a restaurant full of people enjoying 15-25 courses, many with wine pairings for most of those courses, providing service as flawless as what we received would be a daunting task.... i remember thinking that every FOH person that worked there had probably visited our table. it makes me wonder how many people alinea must employ both in FOH and BOH to execute such a difficult task so well. i was there a little over 4 hours and it seemed to fly by- there didn't seem to be any noticeable delay between any of the courses. i have very little experience with restaurants that feature exclusively multicourse tastings and the execution of this style is fascinating to me!
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