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Per Se reservation


Simon_S
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Say you're going to be in NY for a couple of days (arranged last minute), and say you really want to eat at Per Se, and say that you can't get a reservation for 2 on Opentable, but say there's a reservation for 3 available...

For various reasons we're not going for it, but for a while I was seriously considering booking the 3-top and paying whatever penalty is imposed. In one way I feel kinda dirty, but on the other hand I can't help but think that all's fair in love, war and Keller reservations.

What do you think?

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you don't think a NY egulleter will jump at the chance to make up the third :smile:

That crossed my mind, but then I remembered that I'm extremely anti-social and I hate everyone. :biggrin::biggrin:

Seriously, the main reason I didn't take it is that 11:30 is just too early for this European to contemplate lunch. I know that's the way it is if you want to go, but I'm just not quite ready for it. I'd sooner go at 5:30 on some future visit.

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Simon, the strategy you've outlined would be dishonest. It would be a willful misrepresentation of your intent. Perhaps paying the penalty would compensate the restaurant financially for the no-show, however it wouldn't allow the person who could have occupied that intentionally-left-empty seat to dine at Per Se.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Simon, the strategy you've outlined would be dishonest. It would be a willful misrepresentation of your intent. Perhaps paying the penalty would compensate the restaurant financially for the no-show, however it wouldn't allow the person who could have occupied that intentionally-left-empty seat to dine at Per Se.

FG, I agree totally, and I'm just not really a "break the rules" kind of guy. Besides, the penalty certainly wouldn't compensate the restaurant if the $100 I heard is correct. In any case, I wouldn't be happy about it, and I'd be extremely embarrassed at the meet-n-greet stage of the proceedings.

Thank you for answering the question. I was and still am genuinely interested in the opinion of others.

To all those who suggested calling on the day in question, we may indeed do that. Thank you!

Si

ETA: Given my stance on the Prime Time Tables issue, I'd feel especially bad doing it. This, after all, is far worse.

Edited by Simon_S (log)
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A suggestion..I would call Per Se itself, not Open Table...I have eaten there 3 times since they have opened and always gotten our reservation that way...they can put you on a waiting list also, I believe...good luck...and in my humble opinion, the meal is certainly worth all the trouble..the best meal we have ever had and superb service...enjoy... :smile::smile:

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Simon, the strategy you've outlined would be dishonest. It would be a willful misrepresentation of your intent. Perhaps paying the penalty would compensate the restaurant financially for the no-show, however it wouldn't allow the person who could have occupied that intentionally-left-empty seat to dine at Per Se.

While I wouldn't employ this strategy myself, there's one thing I feel obligated to point out: Most (all?) parties of 2 at Per Se are, in fact, seated at a four-top with two chairs removed. I myself sat at such a table last year, and on an earlier visit noticed several others like it. So when they book a party of two, they "sacrifice" two covers by design. This is in contrast to other restaurants, which book parties of two at tables that can only seat two.

Per Se probably has a daily limit on the number of seats they're willing to "lose" this way. When they say that a table for 3 is available, but none are available for 2, they must have hit that limit.

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It's not evident to me how that's relevant. Perhaps you can clarify?

Let me first re-emphasize that I wouldn't cheat in this manner myself, or condone it in others. I was just making an observation.

At most restaurants, the bulk of the tables are two-tops or four-tops. If you make a booking for 3, they have to give you a four-top, and "lose" a seat. If you make a booking for 3, and only two show up, then they're "losing" two seats. Had they known it was a 2-person reservation to begin with, they wouldn't have reserved the same table.

At Per Se, I observed that many bookings for 2 were seated at four-tops anyway. I think they might have a couple of real two-tops in the whole dining room. So in most cases, whether you book 2 or 3 people, they were probably going to use the same table.

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