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Per Se Fire, Reopening, Rescheduling


ellenesk
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Got my call. Times were already getting somewhat limited (at least that can fit my schedule). They are currently taking reservations only until June 20th and only for re-bookings. Interestingly, Fri. May 21st is closed for a private party. In addition, while they are only having one seating per evening they are staggering the reservations. As such for a party of four I wasn't able to get a reservation later than 5:30PM. I guess I will be receiving the first pitch on re-opening day since I (had to) made it for May 20th. Not ideal, but....

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Got my call. Times were already getting somewhat limited (at least that can fit my schedule). They are currently taking reservations only until June 20th and only for re-bookings. Interestingly, Fri. May 21st is closed for a private party. In addition, while they are only having one seating per evening they are staggering the reservations. As such for a party of four I wasn't able to get a reservation later than 5:30PM. I guess I will be receiving the first pitch on re-opening day since I (had to) made it for May 20th. Not ideal, but....

This time of the year a 5:30 pm reservation is like a late lunch. Don't forget your shades.

How can it be that there's only one seating when you were offered 5:30? Can't be.

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On the 23rd I was offered 5:30, 6:30 or 9:30. That sounds like two seatings to me, and that is a Sunday.

Maybe by "one seating" they mean that they're not turning over any tables. So at 5:30 they're seating 4 tables, at 6:30 4 more tables will be seated, and so on.

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On the 23rd I was offered 5:30, 6:30 or 9:30.  That sounds like two seatings to me, and that is a Sunday.

Maybe by "one seating" they mean that they're not turning over any tables. So at 5:30 they're seating 4 tables, at 6:30 4 more tables will be seated, and so on.

Precisely!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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On the 23rd I was offered 5:30, 6:30 or 9:30.  That sounds like two seatings to me, and that is a Sunday.

Maybe by "one seating" they mean that they're not turning over any tables. So at 5:30 they're seating 4 tables, at 6:30 4 more tables will be seated, and so on.

I care less about the unfortunate fire and the closing than I do about the seatings. Has anyone here been offered a reservation at a reasonable dinner hour (i.e., between 7 and 8:30)? Robyn

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Has anyone here been offered a reservation at a reasonable dinner hour (i.e., between 7 and 8:30)?  Robyn

At Per Se? Not yet, but I'm sure it's possible.

At other restaurants? All the time. A recent dinner at Hearth was for dinner at 7 pm. An upcoming dinner at Blue Hill will be for 7:30 pm.

It's possible to eat "at a reasonable time" in any restaurant provided a certain amount of effort is expended on the part of the person making the reservation. That includes making calls to the restaurant to see if there are last-minute cancellations (always a possibility) with the opportunity to upgrade your reservation to that magical time slot.

Soba

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Has anyone here been offered a reservation at a reasonable dinner hour (i.e., between 7 and 8:30)?  Robyn

At Per Se? Not yet, but I'm sure it's possible.

At other restaurants? All the time. A recent dinner at Hearth was for dinner at 7 pm. An upcoming dinner at Blue Hill will be for 7:30 pm.

It's possible to eat "at a reasonable time" in any restaurant provided a certain amount of effort is expended on the part of the person making the reservation. That includes making calls to the restaurant to see if there are last-minute cancellations (always a possibility) with the opportunity to upgrade your reservation to that magical time slot.

Soba

Agreed that it's frequently possible at many places. But sometimes it isn't unless you're "known" to the restaurant for some reason (e.g., you're a celebrity) or you know someone. I guess what I'm hearing at this point is that this is a 2-seating restaurant for mere mortals - perhaps a 1-seating restaurant for others. I'd be curious to know if and when the situation changes. Robyn

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Agreed that it's frequently possible at many places.  But sometimes it isn't unless you're "known" to the restaurant for some reason (e.g., you're a celebrity) or you know someone.  I guess what I'm hearing at this point is that this is a 2-seating restaurant for mere mortals - perhaps a 1-seating restaurant for others.  I'd be curious to know if and when the situation changes.

i HAD an eight o'clock reservation on a thursday night.. i've yet to be called to reschedule.. interested to see how they handle it, as i'm not apt to sit at five thirty or ten o'clock..

Edited by juuceman (log)
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Does anyone know if the re-scheduling caller will leave a message? Given that we were going to be in the city the date of our original reservation, I gave my cell number and at my cancellation call, gave my home number too. I recall reading that they weren't leaving messages for the cancellation calls.

Just worried that if I'm here at work and not in my office near my cell, I won't get to reschedule. :sad:

But a more intriguing question -- if they are re-opening mid-May and will only accept reservations through mid-June for the rescheduled reservations, does that mean only certain people with reservations from the feb-april time will get rescheduled? Or does that mean that mid-feb to mid-march reservations will go in the may-june timeframe, mid-march to mid-april reservations in june-july????

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March 3rd, rescheduled yesterday for May 28th 9PM. I was told the same about the May 20th reopen date. Was also told the Per Se would not be open for the first few Mondays and Tuesdays (assume at least 24/25, possibly 31/1).

Not sure about how they are rescheduling and what the priorities would be. Did ask about trading a per se for a FL, and was told that many have asked the same question. They currently are not able to accomodate the request, but will take your name down, and send it to FL when they restart taking reservation April 15th.

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If they're opening May 20th but only taking reservations through June 21st, that presents a problem. How do you fit two months worth of reservations into one month and with two less days per week (since the restaurant will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays, at least for the first couple of weeks)?

They must be hoping a lot a people won't be able to commit to a date between May 20 - June 21.

BTW, the web site still hasn't changed nor have the messages on either phone line.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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just fyi, a note from laura cunningham, who runs hte front-of-the-house for both per se and french laundry and as much of a lunatic perfectionist in her way as thomas is:

"we had over 2000 calls to make to reschedule people with very

hectic and busy schedules..it takes approximately 3 calls to the same person

to reschedule...."

seems to me, that's a pretty heroic attempt to do the right thing. it may be that there were things they could have done better, but i can't even think of another restaurant that would have done that much.

Edited by russ parsons (log)
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If Gramercy Tavern shut down for two months Danny Meyer would have his people on the phone with the customers as often as necessary to make them feel remembered and wanted. It would be one of his top priorities. I'd bet all the money I have on that, if I had any. More importantly, he would communicate with the press, he would have his people answering phones, and he would have informative messages on the phone at times when nobody could answer.

Someone should check my math, but assuming 10 minutes per completed call (two attempts plus one connection and conversation), I think we're looking at 105 hours of employee time for the whole Per Se reservations project. Per Se has 100 employees getting paid to stand by for reopening. Even if only 5 of them were used to make reservations-related phone calls, the job could be done in 2-3 days.

By the way I still haven't received my call. :laugh:

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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By the way I still haven't received my call. :laugh:

I'm waiting by the phone as well. :laugh:

And I agree, Mr. Meyer would have handled the situation with much more finesse, guile and business acumen.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Waiting by the phone so anxiously that I check my cell when I walk back to my desk in case they called while I was in someone else's office, in a meeting, at lunch..... :rolleyes:

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guile - "treacherous cunning, skillful deceit"

Ah yes, good ole' American business "know how."

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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By the way I still haven't received my call. :laugh:

Maybe someone at Per Se has been reading along on this thread and somehow you went to the end of the list. :wink:

Bill Russell

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Waiting by the phone so anxiously that I check my cell when I walk back to my desk in case they called while I was in someone else's office, in a meeting, at lunch..... :rolleyes:

That assumes they either leave a message or show up on caller ID. If they're calling from "number unavailable" and they aren't leaving voicemails, who knows how many people will just ignore the calls.

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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That assumes they either leave a message or show up on caller ID. If they're calling from "number unavailable" and they aren't leaving voicemails, who knows how many people will just ignore the calls.

I'm trying not to think about that.....

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