Party Of 2…

I have been bingeing on restaurants.

Unfortunately, not the food, but the listings.

Eating out is a form of cultural entertainment. It is not just about sustenance, but it can be as exciting as a fabulous play or a knockout art exhibit.

I am doing a deep dive into Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Bordeaux, the Dordogne region and northern Spain restaurants.

It is research for trips, posts, friends and entertaining others.

My pointer finger is exhausted and my hours on my iPhone are mounting as quickly as a bill from a Michelin Star establishment.

Why are securing reservations so challenging?

Some apps release spots at 9am ET three weeks before your desired date and time. Others are months in advance while various establishments are seven calendar days before your chosen date and at noon eastern time. To book in Europe you have to wake up at 2am in California or 5am in NY to secure a coveted spot at the table exactly one month in advance.

Many require credit card deposits. Some charge a fee per person if not cancelled outside of 24 hours before your anointed time. Others request full payment of the tasting menu amount and this is nonreturnable or can only be transferred to another night no more then 72 hours later.

In Europe I am scheduling more lunches because the menu is very similar to dinner and at half the price.

I am beginning to think restaurants are taking themselves too seriously, although I do understand the effect of the pandemic and the financial hardship of no shows.

Up front the restaurant should be welcoming and accommodating.

Reinstall phone contact as many restaurants no longer have phones.

I was actually shocked when a new, very popular LA restaurant personally texted me back.

In desperation, I responded to an original text advising me that my reservation was in one hour. We were stuck in traffic. I quickly responded to their response by saying, “Are you real?”

There is no substitute for human contact.

Stop the pretense.

Restauranteurs, relax and have a glass of wine and enjoy the patrons and patrons, reciprocate with respect and someone please invent a new, less challenging reservation system.

Mangia.

 

GIF/Vogue

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