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Dine Out Vancouver - The Topic (2002-2007)


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Someone else asked this earlier and I'm curious to also see popular opinion: how do the restaurants view single diners during DineOut?

I have 12 seats at the bar and a bartender to amuse you with stories of his / her love life or lack of it.

As far as taking a table during DOV, I would think that someone coming in early ( 5:00 - 5:30 ) would not be frowned upon. A single diner at 7:00 on Saturday might be a little tough.

Opentable.com will allow you to see which restaurants have availablility for a single diner without having to call and see.

Just request 1 seat and see what comes up.

I just tested it and quite a bit comes up so you should have lots of choices.

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Just request 1 seat and see what comes up.

I just tested it and quite a bit comes up so you should have lots of choices.

Thanks Chef! Early weekday is preferable for me anyway. I have no issues eating at the bar and I've even eaten at HSG on my own a couple of times.

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At Capones, we have taken the opportunity this year to address some of the major challenges that occurred last year under previous management.

1. 90 minute seating times simply didn't work. There were instances of guests receiving their food and having to leave shortly afterwards. We are now allotting 120 minutes, with a 15 minute grace period to ensure that we can get set up in time for the next reservation, as well to allow for the inevitable fact that some guests will arrive slightly late.

2. Portion sizes this year will be full sized. Last year their was a perception that the portions were inadequate, even for the $35 price tag.

3. We will only be reserving the tables in our 'main room', that has a view of the stage and performers. On Fridays and Saturdays, we will also have a performer in 'The Vault', our private dining room, and booking reservations in there. This will leave our 'Sunroom', which does not have a view of our stage, for walk-ins and potential hotel concierge referrals.

My opinion on Dine Out Vancouver is that although it is not a loyalty building program, we will do approximately 3,000 covers during the 2 weeks, which means that this number of people will be leaving us and discussing their experiences, good or bad. I would rather have 3,000 positive experiences than 2,000 great and 1,500 poor ones with the extra few bucks in revenues, to say nothing of the sanity of my management and staff.

Having taken these measures, I feel that we will have a great year with DOV.

Enjoy, everyone!

Ian McTavish

General Manager / Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club

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My opinion on Dine Out Vancouver is that although it is not a loyalty building program, we will do approximately 3,000 covers during the 2 weeks, which means that this number of people will be leaving us and discussing their experiences, good or bad.  I would rather have 3,000 positive experiences than 2,000 great and 1,500 poor ones with the extra few bucks in revenues, to say nothing of the sanity of my management and staff.

Having taken these measures, I feel that we will have a great year with DOV.

Enjoy, everyone!

That's a wonderful attitude to have and an very valid point. Although it may be a bit of a boxing day mentality the truth is that many diners will be eating at all of the participating restaurant and when these people talk about said place to their friends, a simple "oh yeah I ate at Capones for Dineout and it was really good! Plus the live music was a real plus." I'm sure that will generate more interest. Certainly if it were not for Dineout 2006 I would have never discovered Parkside which is one of my more favoured haunts now.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Attention eGulleteers,

I have two reservations, one for the Fish House and the other for the Sequoia Grill, both in Stanley Park.

8:30 PM, Saturday Jan 27th, 10 people.

If you are interested, PM me this weekend and I'll transfer either one of the reso to your name with the restaurant.

I was trying to organize a 30th b-day party that night for a close friend (I wanted to give her a choice and give the other reso to someone else) but the plans went sideways. Ugh.

PM me and I will gladly call the restaurants with the new name. Both places are great and given the catastophes in our crown jewel of a park, I'd like to ensure that these places have people there that night.

Cheers

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PM me and I will gladly call the restaurants with the new name. Both places are great and given the catastophes in our crown jewel of a park, I'd like to ensure that these places have people there that night.

Despite your best intentions, I have a feeling the restaurant would prefer to fill the spaces themselves as quickly as possible rather than wait for you to come to their rescue. I'm positive they would appreciate the sentiment and the intent, but aren't they the best folks to "ensure that these places have people there that night"?

But I could be dead wrong. If you don't think cancelling your reservations is the best route in the short term, at least call them to ask what they think you should do to resolve this.

At the very least, I'm sure they'd get a kick out of it. :biggrin:

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I agree! I am sure the restaurants would prefer if you gave up your large table on the busiest night in prime time (during Dineout yet!) and let them refill it. In fact my guess is they will fill it with tables of two and four within seconds of you releasing it.

Not so sure it was a cool thing hogging tables during Dineout for a what-if...and I am quite sure that double dipping (holding 2 large tables during prime time on a prime night) (during Dineout yet!) was a cool thing. That’s what gives Dineout customers a bad name.

And you people wonder why restaurants overbook! It’s so when this type of attrition happens they aren’t left with their best table open on a Saturday night! Naughty, naughty you! (and by that I mean something that’s a lot ruder)

FB

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Side note: Have seen some comments questioning price points for DOV menus in restaurants. Please note that the price point that each restaurant may participate in is dictated by Tourism Vancouver. If your average entree is over a certain price point they will not let you have a DOV menu in a lower price, even if you are just on the edge. There are a lot of restrictions and rules that Tourism Vancouver dictate to the restaurants with lots of threats of dumping them from ever participating again or cancelling their membership if they don't comply!

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...

And you people wonder why restaurants overbook! It’s so when this type of attrition happens they aren’t left with their best table open on a Saturday night!  Naughty, naughty you! (and by that I mean something that’s a lot ruder)

FB

Yeesh. :angry:

All I wanted to do was book a nice dinner for me and some friends that night and it went to sh*t. Excuuuuse me for being bloody prudent. :hmmm:

I think what I meant to say in my original post was if anyone here wanted to get a group in at either restaurant, I've got your ticket. (2 places damnit, not just one!) For those on limited budgets (like myself), DOV is a great event to share with friends. Unfortunately, since it's so popular, it's nearly impossible to get a table for ten at any place where EVERYONE in the group would enjoy the food! (Non-foodies can be damn picky!)

Two years ago (maybe 3?, pre-Open Table), during DOV, an EGulleteer couldn't go to Chambar at the last minute and I was lucky enough to get their reservation and have a great time with my girlfriend.

I thought I'd give someone out there in a similar position a chance at a good time.

Guess I was wrong. So much for trying to do a nice thing.

Whatever. :angry:

Edited by mzungu (log)
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...

And you people wonder why restaurants overbook! It’s so when this type of attrition happens they aren’t left with their best table open on a Saturday night!  Naughty, naughty you! (and by that I mean something that’s a lot ruder)

FB

Yeesh. :angry:

All I wanted to do was book a nice dinner for me and some friends that night and it went to sh*t. Excuuuuse me for being bloody prudent. :hmmm:

I think what I meant to say in my original post was if anyone here wanted to get a group in at either restaurant, I've got your ticket. (2 places damnit, not just one!) For those on limited budgets (like myself), DOV is a great event to share with friends. Unfortunately, since it's so popular, it's nearly impossible to get a table for ten at any place where EVERYONE in the group would enjoy the food! (Non-foodies can be damn picky!)

Two years ago (maybe 3?, pre-Open Table), during DOV, an EGulleteer couldn't go to Chambar at the last minute and I was lucky enough to get there reservation and have a great time with my girlfriend.

I thought I'd give someone out there in a similar position a chance at a good time.

Guess I was wrong. So much for trying to do a nice thing.

Whatever. :angry:

Prudent ?

You made reservations for tables of ten at the same time at two different restaurants. You were not talking about a spare reso for two. One of them was going to get left in the lurch, with a last minute cancellation / no show. With the 17 day lead up to Dine Out, they could have filled that table with a party of ten who could make up their mind and actually wanted to be there. With a last minute cancellation, they possibly would see that table sit empty as neither are on the beaten path and do not see lots of walk by traffic.

You were just hedging your bets and perpetuating a stereo type. You have no reason to get your back up. You have done what all the industry people have asked people not to do and then get pissy when called on it.

Chef Fowke @ Rare has the same girl holding his largest table for eight seatings in prime time. You know that he is going to get the shaft on seven of those. In a forty seat restaurant, a table of eight is a significant part of the evening.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Surely there is some way to deal with people who do this - not only from the restaurant's perspective but also in consideration of what does for others who want to try Rare and won't be able to because Ms. Piggy has snapped up 8 reservations. Shame on her.

I can only hope that her mother taught her better manners than that. But most certainly Chef Fowke and his staff don't deserve to be taken advantage of in this manner. (Are public floggings still alllowed?)

Cheers,

Karole

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...

You were just hedging your bets and perpetuating a stereo type. You have no reason to get your back up. You have done what all the industry people have asked people not to do and then get pissy when called on it.

OK, fair enough, point taken. Next year, more planning is order. I promise to organize dinner parties 2 months in advance for places that are practically guaranteed asses in the seats.

... DOV's success is my loss, I guess.

Now, if we can get back on topic, anyone enjoyed their DOV dinner tonight?

<edited to add this>

PS FannyBay caught me in a bad mood. Yeah, granted, doubling dipping wasn't cool (and I've heard it before in this forum) but I wanted to give the second one to another group. Why subject the Fish House or Sequoia Grill to another antagonation after all the stuff that's happened in the park lately? It's not like I'm cancelling an hour before it's supposed to happen.

PPS. Again, to the restauranteurs lurking here, sorry, lesson learned here. Next time, more planning & only one booking. Let's move on.

Edited by mzungu (log)
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We will fill the spots I am sure. Every reservation recieves either an email confirmation the day of and a phone call from us. It allows us plenty of time to fill those cancelled reso's. Open Table also helps us with no shows making it easier to know who to be wary of when it comes to City Dine and DOV 2008. It is just one shadow on a great event and we at Rare will be diligent on managing it so that it doesnt have an impact on our service.

BTW "Miss Piggy" was called on the weekend for confirmation and she is looking to show Rare off to many of her friends on two nights as well she booked two reso's for her friends who did not have internet. A nice piece of humble pie was served to me that evening.

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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BTW "Miss Piggy" was called on the weekend for confirmation and she is looking to show Rare off to many of her friends on two nights as well she booked two reso's for her friends who did not have internet. A nice piece of humble pie was served to me that evening.

She must be the exception to this issue.

I had someone call yesterday to book two spots because they could not decide.

I decided for them. I was nice about it though!

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I wish I had known about the dine out event when I booked my flight to Vancouver for next Monday night.... :sad: We are flying out of Vancouver early Tuesday morning to Mexico and are staying at the Fairmont in the airport on Monday night. We don't get into Vancouver until around 7:30 pm so I was thinking of booking something out in Richmond but there are only a few restaurants that are participating. We may check out the Boathouse but since we've got to be up around 4:00 am the next morning, I am thinking that we will want to call it an early night. Will probably end up getting a drink and quick bite at the lounge in the hotel instead.

A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous
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Side note: Have seen some comments questioning price points for DOV menus in restaurants. Please note that the price point that each restaurant may participate in is dictated by Tourism Vancouver. If your average entree is over a certain price point they will not let you have a DOV menu in a lower price, even if you are just on the edge. There are a lot of restrictions and rules that Tourism Vancouver dictate to the restaurants with lots of threats of dumping them from ever participating again or cancelling their membership if they don't comply!

I had NO idea about this fact. Is this really true? If it is it helps explain some of the more odd price points for some places.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I wish I had known about the dine out event when I booked my flight to Vancouver for next Monday night.... :sad: We are flying out of Vancouver early Tuesday morning to Mexico and are staying at the Fairmont in the airport on Monday night. We don't get into Vancouver until around 7:30 pm so I was thinking of booking something out in Richmond but there are only a few restaurants that are participating. We may check out the Boathouse but since we've got to be up around 4:00 am the next morning, I am thinking that we will want to call it an early night. Will probably end up getting a drink and quick bite at the lounge in the hotel instead.

There are some killer Chinese places in Richmond. Why not try one of them? Canucklehead can advise :smile:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Side note: Have seen some comments questioning price points for DOV menus in restaurants. Please note that the price point that each restaurant may participate in is dictated by Tourism Vancouver. If your average entree is over a certain price point they will not let you have a DOV menu in a lower price, even if you are just on the edge. There are a lot of restrictions and rules that Tourism Vancouver dictate to the restaurants with lots of threats of dumping them from ever participating again or cancelling their membership if they don't comply!

I had NO idea about this fact. Is this really true? If it is it helps explain some of the more odd price points for some places.

Price points are based on your average menu entree price. Not a perfect science but a good general rule of thumb. There are some guidelines sent out to members beforehand so we can plan accordingly.

I know this to be true because in true Neil Wyles fashion, I promtly put my foot in my mouth and then used a hammer to jam the other one in there. I had misread a communication about price point and went off on a rant about it, wrote it down and sent it!

My next email to my TVan rep was called " I am an ASS".

At least we had a good laugh about it.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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The Fairmont restaurant at the airport is GLOBE@YVR and is definitely an excellent choice both for a meal as well as a drink. The bar is one of our favorite places for a drink.

I had heard that the restaurant was very good but since we've got such an early morning the next day, we'll very likely stick to the bar for a drink and quick bite to eat.

A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous
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I wish I had known about the dine out event when I booked my flight to Vancouver for next Monday night.... :sad: We are flying out of Vancouver early Tuesday morning to Mexico and are staying at the Fairmont in the airport on Monday night. We don't get into Vancouver until around 7:30 pm so I was thinking of booking something out in Richmond but there are only a few restaurants that are participating. We may check out the Boathouse but since we've got to be up around 4:00 am the next morning, I am thinking that we will want to call it an early night. Will probably end up getting a drink and quick bite at the lounge in the hotel instead.

There are some killer Chinese places in Richmond. Why not try one of them? Canucklehead can advise :smile:

I've followed the Chinese food thread religiously and would love to try one of them but alas my significant other is not overly fond of that type of cuisine. Will have to save those for one of my solo trips to the area.

A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous
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