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155. HumBugg: MiniBar Reservations February 4, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Food and Drink, HumBugg, Service.

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)



1. mark - February 4, 2007

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


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

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