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French Laundry-now on Opentable.com

stebro Aug 26, 2006 07:06 AM

I don't know if this has been posted before, but I just discovered that you can make reservations at the French Laundry (or at least try to make reservations at the French Laundry) online using Opentable.com. No more wearing out the redial button on the telephone.

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  1. c
    Cary RE: stebro Aug 26, 2006 07:22 AM

    It's been known for a while. It's all about hitting refresh at 11:59pm so you can get a shot at making the res.

    1. Morton the Mousse RE: stebro Aug 26, 2006 07:26 AM

      Opentable only actually gets two TFL ressies: one really late two top and one really early four top.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Morton the Mousse
        farmersdaughter RE: Morton the Mousse Aug 26, 2006 08:51 PM

        There's also a two top at lunch available. I think it's 11 or 11:30 a.m.

        Here's something that may help, but I don't know how current it is.


        1. re: farmersdaughter
          Robert Lauriston RE: farmersdaughter Aug 26, 2006 09:35 PM

          There's a detailed FAQ on Opentable itself:


          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            stebro RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 26, 2006 10:33 PM

            For a short time, I thought The French Laundry finally had adopted a customer friendly reservations system (Open Table) instead of making its customers go through hoops to get a table. Guess I was wrong. It's surprising to me that Chef Keller is so customer service oriented when it comes to diners at the restaurant and just the opposite in the procedure for making reservations.

            1. re: stebro
              Jefferson RE: stebro Aug 26, 2006 11:16 PM

              Back in 2000 before they stopped taking walk-in reservations, I went and stood in line. I was second behind a couple who were very inconsiderate: they made their reservation, then wanted to chat about the menu while 6 people waited behind them. Meanwhile, tables were filling and I lost my early dinner slot (party of 7, only one table). Lunch was great, but...

              Perhaps they ought to take calls a few days before, put them all in a virtual lottery ball cage, and draw for tables? I don't think it would be a difficult system to design, but is the luck of that sort of draw any fairer than "first call, first seated"?

      2. s
        stebro RE: stebro Aug 27, 2006 02:37 AM

        I feel funny commenting on how Mr. Keller should run his restaurant. However, they could put all tables on Opentable.com or set up their own similar online reservations system. They could retain the two month requirement. An online system would spare customers the aggravation of calling over and over just to get a busy signal. As I said before, there is a real paradox between the customer care demonstrated to guests dining at the restaurant and the attitude toward customers that is evidenced by their continued use of an outmoded and aggravating reservations system.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stebro
          Benny Choi RE: stebro Aug 27, 2006 03:37 PM

          My guess is that FL considers a live operator to offer more responsiveness and a higher service level than a cold automated web interface. The fact that we all have trouble getting into to the current reservation system would likely carry over to an automated system anyways given the gigantic demand they have versus their need to only take reservations no longer than two months before the date.

          Personally, I find the challenge of getting through to the operator, along with the long drive from the city, to be part of the mystique of actually dining at FL.

        2. kayu RE: stebro Nov 19, 2006 10:13 AM

          "This Restaurant Is Currently Unavailable."


          Anyone know why?

          2 Replies
          1. re: kayu
            Carrie 218 RE: kayu Nov 19, 2006 04:18 PM

            I believe (guessing) it has something to do with Keller's long-time girlfriend, Laura Cunningham, having left her post as General Manager. Prolly the new manager is putting in different rules and regulations to assert his position...

            1. re: kayu
              monday RE: kayu Nov 19, 2006 08:09 PM

              This is the message that you get when the restaurant computers are off-line. It is probably no more than a temporary technical problem.

            2. kayu RE: stebro Nov 19, 2006 08:22 PM

              OK, I'll keep trying. Thanks.

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