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May 18, 2007



I found his statements in connection with Topics 1 and 4 above to be both flip and disingenuous.

Yes, reservations are hard to get because there is such great demand to get in, but why doesn't he institute seatings instead of having an open-ended reservation policy? If he set two seatings for every table -- say 6:00 and 9:30 -- he could be sure to get as many people in each night as possible. Instead, he allows diners to book a table for anytime they like, such as for 7:30 p.m. This ensures that nobody else can have that table the same night (since a party that starts at 5:30 cannot finish by 7:30, and nobody is going to sit down for dinner at 10:30 when the 7:30 table finishes). It's a policy designed to keep the tables in especially short supply, and one that he conveniently glossed over in favor of saying that he "could make the food worse" to improve the situation.

On his point about imposing mandatory service charges and taking the decision away from the diner, I would love to know exactly how to reach him to lodge complaints. The service on my last three visits (coincidentally during the same period in which the mandatory service charge was instituted) has been subpar, but at no point have I been made aware of how to go about reaching Mr. Keller to discuss my concerns. Somehow, I seriously doubt that he's willing to talk to every diner who has a service issue, and that his answer was just a dodge of the question posed.

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