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155. HumBugg: MiniBar Reservations February 4, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Food and Drink, HumBugg, Service.
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Cafe Atlantico’s Minibar was just voted the 5th best restaurant in Washington, DC, by Washingtonian Magazine (review here). With only 12 seats available a night, each bar-front seating of 6 has a chef preparing 30 different morsels in front the patrons.

You can only make reservations exactly one month in advance, starting at 9 AM that morning. This morning, I called the Minibar at 8:56 AM to try to reserve seats to celebrate my wife’s birthday next month, and a kind lady answered and told me to call back at 9:00. At 8:59, I called back, only to get a busy signal. Over 50 calls with busy signals (literally, from my phone alone, not counting the calls from my wife’s cell phone) and 13 minutes later, I finally got the same lady, who stated that, sorry, they were all booked up.

Bright Idea: As a restaurant, come up with a dining experience where reservations are booked instantly.

HumBugg: Making me speed dial my phone like I am trying to be the 9th caller to a radio station giving away tickets to see ‘N Sync, Elvis, and the Pope open for the premiere screening of Star Wars Episode 7.

Almost makes me want to pay the $40 fee to Primetabletables.com, a service which provides reservations to “the most sought after and exclusive restaurants in the US.” (via Springwise.com)

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Comments»

1. mark - February 4, 2007

i do all my all my reserving through opentable.com (fostering my reluctance to deal with any human interaction):

http://opentable.com/rest_profile.aspx?rid=3212&ab=2

not sure how sucessful it would have been in Cafe Atlantico’s case though.


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