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angry at Bouchon de liège


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I've wanted to make a reservation at BdL for saturday (party of 6) for 8:00; I called on wednesday afternoon.

So I called and ask if there was any room for 6... The waiter who answered the phone told me to hold on, he'd check if there was anything available. That's where it's getting interesting. he did a poor job of covering the phone and I heard him ask his boss for availability. The "boss" then said that he didn't "want a group of 6 on a saturday (ça ne m'intéresse pas d'avoir un groupe de six un samedi), and that the resto would be full anyway (le resto va être plein anyway). If they want to come, they have to be out by 8:00 (S'ils veulent venir, ils doivent être parti pour 20:00)". The waiter then proceeds to tell me that they were full, but they could receive us at 6:00 but we would have to leave by 8:00... I then ask him if he was full or that he didn't want a group of 6 (if six is now considered a group, we have a problem...)... He repeated that he was full...

Am I being too easily frustrated, or am I right to be pissed? Is it a common policy to refuse group (6, 8, 10 persons) on big nights? It's their restaurant and they can do what they want and received who they choose, but come on, a group of 6???!? I hate to be lied to; I'd prefer if they would have told me straight up. It's a damn shame because the food is awesome, the value is unbelievable, but it did piss me off so much that I'm considering not going back...

Salomon

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Guess what!

I attempted to make a reservation for my little "problem event" and they refused as well. It wasn't for a big night either (Tuesday) and I got to hear the same thing in the background: "ça ne m'interesse pas".

So… it appears that Le Bouchon de Liège is out for any group larger than 4 people.

:hmmm:

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Maybe its too late to do this, but what about asking to speak to the "boss" and let him/her know that you overheard the conversation and are now considering never returning?

I would not act like it never happened. It did. And it stinks. :angry:

edited to correct early morning spelling.

Edited by petite tête de chou (log)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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You're right, Salomon, that what sticks in the gaw isn't the refusal to accept a group but the dishonest explanation. And not only does it turn one off, it sows the seeds of doubt. Say in the future you get a reservation for two, turn up at the appointed hour and are told they have no record of your call. Are you going to believe it's an honest mistake or wonder whether they deliberately overbooked or gave your table to a friend of the chef's who showed up at the last minute? If you can't trust their answer on the phone, how do you know that the chewy veal on the menu isn't really pork in disguise? Honesty is the best policy — it's been proven time and time again — and yet people in positions of power, be they maître d's or politicians, just don't get it.

Only you can determine whether forgoing the fantastic QPR that Le Bouchon provides is worth the satisfaction of giving them the finger and walking away, never to return. Maybe the fact that you've brought their transgression to the world's attention will assuage your anger? Group therapy is good for you!

Edited by carswell (log)
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Am I being too easily frustrated, or am I right to be pissed?...but it did piss me off so much that I'm considering not going back...

Salomon, you are a better person than me. If a restaurant only values my business when it is not busy, I could never bring myself to give them my money. Call it stubborn pride, but I think I have ended relationships for less than that :wink:

Anthony - aka "unreserved"

"Never eat at a place called 'Moms', but if the only other place in town has a sign that says 'Eats', go back to Moms."

W. C. Fields

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Only you can determine whether forgoing the fantastic QPR that Le Bouchon provides is worth the satisfaction of giving them the finger and walking away, never to return. Maybe the fact that you've brought their transgression to the world's attention will assuage your anger? Group therapy is good for you!

Carswell, I don't think group therapy would help but it would be interesting:

-"Hi my name is Salomon and I'm a foodie..."

-"Hi Salomon!" :biggrin:

It is a pisser that you heard the conversation, but the Bouchon people are nice so try not to hold it against them. I say, pretend it didn't happen

I don't know them personally, but if you say so... But will you forget the bad service at your latest visit at APDC (I think I red that in one of your previous post...) and pretend it never happened :wink: ?

Salomon, you are a better person than me. If a restaurant only values my business when it is not busy, I could never bring myself to give them my money. Call it stubborn pride, but I think I have ended relationships for less than that

That's what my mom is always saying...

The whole thing is similar to the soup nazi episode of Seinfeld... Bah, time will heal my BdL sour feelings... A bientôt,

salomon

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The staff at APdC is also nice. But they kept me waiting an hour between courses, mis-timed the wine service (I like a bit of food with my $80 Chateauneuf du Pape) and didn't take the time to expain the condiments.

That didn't happen at the Bouchon. The head waiter and co-owner there is a real pro (though he might want to work on his phone skills). :rolleyes:

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So I went back to BdL for lunch...

It was OK, not more than that (food wise).

I think the people working there give me bad vibes... I still had the impression that I was not welcome there. I may not look like much (being in my 20's with the 5-day beard, scruffy hair, jeans and sneakers) compare to the people in suits seating next to me, but still... I wasn't offered nearly the same experience as they were.

But I hate the feeling that I'm distrurbing the place; I thought this was long gone since the day of the dot.com kids... They should realize that many kids like me knows what they're doing when they go to such places and that my money is as good as anyone. Maybe I'm too sensitive but , I ain't going back. Sans rancune,

Salomon

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also know how you feel. I's a shame that they lost a customer due to a lack of sense, but I guess they're not too worried.

I always hate these situations. Especially when you go back. Every little negative thing looks like it was done on purpose (the timing of the servings, the food) and it gnaws at you.

No worries, its their loss.

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  • 2 years later...

... so I went back last week to bdl since its close to my place (in fact, it's the only thing close to my place, but that's another topic to be started). I have to say that my experience was very good. Foodwise, it was probably the best experience I had there, one of the best restaurant experience in a while (upto par with Margaux, more enjoyable - and cheaper- than Laporte). I won't go through all the details, but it was great (getting better as the meal was going). The service was very good. It felt like there was some serenity in the place that wasn't there before... Or maybe it was me, I dunno! I'll go back for sure!

Sal

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If a restaurant doesn t want to accept groups of more than six that is there right. think about it, that waiter and the owner work their every day, so they know what they need to do to give the customer the best experience, so if they feel groups of six interfere with service so be it, they have a right to protect the interests of themselves and the other 30 people dining there. Don t forget by not accepting groups of six or more, they are not receiving any of the restaurant dollars of anyone who dines in groups of six, so if they are losing out on that i must be for a good reson.

Secondly it is unfortunate that they had lie to you, but if they had told you straight out that they don t accept groups of six, you probably would have argued with them and asked to make an acception and then they would have had to argue or have a discussion about their policy with you (opening a bigger can of worms) so it was easier fot hem just to tell yout hey were full. IMHO

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