Pay before you eat -- a new trend? :)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by viguera, Feb 25, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised to see this go widely adopted, especially at smaller high-end venues.

    Much in the same way as Next in Chicago or Brooklyn Fare, Atera in NYC is now having customers prepay for their meal. Keep in mind that this is not an average restaurant though... it only has 12 seats for its 20+ course tasting menu (which costs $160 plus tax and gratuity).

    The reasoning seems to be that because of the limited space any last minute cancellations really affect the bottom line.

    http://thebaddeal.com/post/43992385826/this-high-end-nyc-restaurant-makes-you-pay-for-your
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The link leads to a blank page.

    Do they charge at the time of booking, like a cancellation fee, or make people pay upon arrival, before the meal but too late to fill the table with others? AmEx Fine Dining charges if a reservation is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice, IIRC $60 per person.
     
  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    The link is still loading for me, but maybe I have a cached copy or something.

    My understanding is that they require prepayment when your reservation is confirmed, 48 hours prior to dinner. The total prepayment is $165 plus taxes and 18% gratuity ($209.35 total prepayment per person). After you arrive you have an option to add $105 or $170 beverage pairings.

    I suppose you can cancel up to 48 hours prior without any penalty, but my understanding is that nobody does :)
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    Still the blank page using Safari on an iPad 2....although the URL at the top of the page looks OK.
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  6. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Many buffets are pay before you eat. This would be a strange concept at a sit-down establishment.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Welcome to Sizzler's.
     
  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    :eek:
     
  9. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Foodies are a strange breed.

    Next in Chicago operates on a "ticket" system, where you actually buy a ticket like you would a concert for admission to the restaurant. Prices are $65-110 (when you can buy them, plus $50-100 for wine pairings, plus tax) and they resell like hotcakes online. If you can't make it, that's too bad... much in the same way as you don't have any value of a concert ticket that you didn't attend.

    Like I said, it's one of those trends...

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-19/no-tables-no-choices-for-atera-s-700-menu-ryan-sutton.html
     
  10. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    The burger drive-thru is sounding better and better:

    1) Speak order into clowns mouth
    2) Drive to window, pickup and pay for food.

    It don't get easier than that. ;)
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    In-N-Out 3x3 burger and animal style french fries.
     
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  12. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    Yeah I love food more than the next guy, and plan all my travel largely around food and such, but I have limits. I detest stuff like this...and other idiocies like "no reservations" at super busy places just to be cool or kitschy, etc. Just serve great food and don't do any gimmicky crap.
     
  13. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Well at many asian places you pay first, get vouchers to pay with when you get your food. Of course these are very cheap places and the main difference is YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK IMMEDIATELY FOR UNUSED VOUCHERS.
     

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