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Winterlicious and OpenTable.com

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ER2 Jan 10, 2008 06:39 PM

As I was getting nowhere trying to make a winterlicious lunch reservation at C5 by phone, I have taken a different route and successfully reserved a table using OpenTable.com. OpenTable's advice is that if you want the Winterlicious menu, you should let the maitre d' know this before you sit down. Has anybody else tried this? I can't see a restaurant making too much fuss but are they legally bound to serve the Winterlicious menu if requested? Does the service become noticeably frosty if you do what I have just done?

  1. e
    embee Jan 15, 2008 05:06 PM

    We had reserved at C5 via Open Table a few weeks ago for a date during the Winterlicious period. Someone from C5 called today. I expected to be told that our reservation was void because of Winterlicious. Turned out I was wrong. They said that they would be serving only the Winterlicious menu and would that be okay with us, or did we want to rebook when the regular menu would be available. Nice gesture, and no crap about deposits or penalties. Then, again, they are still new in town.

    1. m
      Mila Jan 15, 2008 08:47 AM

      Got this message from Celestin when trying to book on Open Table. I think this is a little over the top.

      Winterlicious Cancellation policy:

      Should your plans change, please be kind enough to notify us at least 48 hours in advance.
      With less than 48 hours notice, we regret we must apply a $35-per-person cancellation fee.
      With no notice, we regret we must apply a $50-per-person cancellation fee.
      By confirming your reservation you agree to these terms.

      Please accept our thanks for your co-operation.
      This reservation is subject to the restaurant's cancellation and/or deposit policy. Please contact the restaurant with any questions regarding late cancellations or cancellation fees.

      Note: cancellations may be made online before 5:00 pm on January 30, 2008 but may be subject to cancellation fees, depending on the restaurant's policy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Mila
        t
        Tay Jan 15, 2008 08:53 AM

        Mila
        "Should your plans change, please be kind enough to notify us at least 48 hours in advance.
        With less than 48 hours notice, we regret we must apply a $35-per-person cancellation fee.
        With no notice, we regret we must apply a $50-per-person cancellation fee.
        By confirming your reservation you agree to these terms"

        That's nothing.
        Masa in NYC charges a $200 cancellation fee! I was shocked when I found that out.

        1. re: Tay
          m
          Mila Jan 15, 2008 10:13 AM

          Yikes! Yes, I guess I'd better suck it up.

          I did try a few other restuarants for Winterlicous dates at Open Table and no one else seemed to have this policy.

          1. re: Mila
            nummanumma Jan 16, 2008 05:43 AM

            i don't think this is over the top at all, especially when you consider how many people make several winterlicious reservations for one night, to ensure that they have a selection of places to go- honestly- you'd be surprised!

      2. l
        Louieguini Jan 10, 2008 07:44 PM

        I don't think that OpenTable is advising you to "go around" the systems in place. The quote on their website when you look at the winterlicious section says "Please request the Restaurant Week menu when you are seated." This is in no way offering advice of how to get a table at C5. What restaurants do (to not anger their regulars that go year round) is offer a certain percentage of their seats to Licious and to hold some for their regulars. Imagine if you went to C5 twice a week and then all of a sudden couldn't even get in?! If you book under the guise of licious and then ask to switch menus, you are not being fair to the restaurant. If I were your server (who might get 1/2 of their section allocated as licious) and a few of my tables that were regular menu changed to licious, I might be a little upset as it would DIRECTLY affect my income. To be fair to C5 I would cancel that reservation. And I don't think that anyone is legally bound to do anything, they could ask you to leave if they wanted to.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Louieguini
          d
          detritus Jan 11, 2008 03:17 AM

          If they don't want people booking Winterlicious meals through OpenTable, they shouldn't link to the reservations site from the Winterlicious site.

          -Josh

          1. re: detritus
            a
            arcticS Jan 11, 2008 03:38 AM

            Or they should specifically state on the Open table site that reservations for Winterlicious can't be made through Open Table.

            I have reservations with Rosewater for tonight. I hope we don't run into any issues.

            1. re: arcticS
              l
              Late Blooming Onion Jan 11, 2008 05:18 AM

              I can guaranty you no issues this evening, considering Winterlicious doesn't start for two weeks.

              1. re: Late Blooming Onion
                a
                arcticS Jan 11, 2008 05:44 AM

                I really should pay attention to dates more often!

                Thanks!

            2. re: detritus
              c
              Cat123 Jan 11, 2008 05:59 AM

              Just fyi as a regular Opentable user I got an email from them yesterday specifically on Winterlicious and offering reservations for Winterlicious through Opentable. All the Opentable restaurants that are participating in Winterlicious were specifically listed and reservations were available through the links that followed (although when you followed the link some, like Canoe, specifically said they weren't accepting them online). So, I don't think that there is any need to worry about whether it is ok to make Winterlicous reservations thru Opentable.

            3. re: Louieguini
              OnDaGo Jan 11, 2008 09:24 AM

              According to the guidelines the city of Toronto makes each restaurant agree to is that any one who askes must be given a served a winterlicious menu. If the restaurant does not do this they will not be asked to participate the next year. So you can make a regular reservation and decide on a winterlicious menu when you sit down and you will not have a problem.

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