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Sep 12, 2012 12:17 AM

Ticket sales for Le Dîner à San Francisco - October 19, 2012

The event sold out earlier, but as of the moment, tickets are available again via Eventbrite.

Reports from 2011 Le Diner (en blanc

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  1. Thanks for the tip, Melanie! I'd been checking up on this periodically, apparently in the wrong place, to no avail.

    Edit: Zoikes, $25 for a picnic in which you supply the food? I'm sure they need it for the permits etc., but that's pretty crazy ...

    4 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      If they have 3,200 people like they did in New York last month, that would be $80,000 gross. Or is it $25 for two? Either way that's a lot of money for an event where the organizers provide nothing on site but garbage cans.

      I think the principals and employees of DEB International are probably making a good living.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        It's $25 per person and they wound up providing tables last year. IIRC, they weren't originally going to supply those.

        My group from last year all agreed that it was fun to do once for $10, but that the $25 entrance fee, transportation, and prep time for a 7PM weeknight dinner are good reasons not to go. On the upside, that's a few thousand fewer diners to compete with in the rest of town ...

      2. re: hyperbowler

        i'm confused. why would anyone pay $25 to bring their own picnic to a public park? the exclusivity?

        1. re: Dustin_E

          Beats me for $25 ... but for $10, we got an opportunity to eat dinner at a table in a great location, have music and a DJ, chat with people at other tables, and trade our wine and home cooked foods with other friendly people. The white aspect is kind of a MacGuffin for getting people to interact with one another or have an ice breaker, but it certainly made for pretty pictures before the sun went down.

      3. What if it rains on October 19? white umbrella?
        on the website:
        "The presence of each guest is necessary and mandatory, regardless of the weather. Guests must provide for a white raincoat, transparent poncho or umbrella, the Dinner will be held at the designated time and date whatever the weather conditions."

        1. I was completely enthralled by this idea last year when I heard it hit US soil for the first time. Then I saw SF (and several other cities) had an unofficial movement. I think it's officially recognized by the real LDEB this year, but it has lost its charm on me. It's supposed to be this amazing French exclusive secret. Now that it's spread to 5 continents w/ 12 cities in US, it's just another flash mob to me. Not silly, just not as special?

          And correct me if I am wrong, but did the original Paris movement charge or provide tables/chairs? I thought people just stormed a landmark and set up shop. Just seems less magical when it's more commercialized.

          But the first time I saw photos of LDEB in the Louvre Courtyard, it was like a movie come to life! Nothing can beat a backdrop like the Louvre or Notre Dame!

          Have fun! Hope weather cooperates. Any guesses as to where in SF this year?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Keesey

            DEB evolved from a dinner party in somebody's yard in Paris, much as Burning Man evolved from a small private bonfire party on Ocean Beach.

            Per the FAQ on their Web site, they're not providing tables.


            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Huh, I didn't until now realize why finding info on this event was so maddening. Diner en Blanc (your link, i.e. the original Paris thing) and Le Diner a San Francisco (the OP's link) are not officially linked to the best of my knowledge. Le Diner a San Francisco is run by a group called Hand Made Events.


              They had tables last year and will again this year:

              In addition to tables, I would guess that some of the entrance fee is going toward trash (there was a ton last year), permits, and portable toilets.

              1. re: hyperbowler

                DEB International has some sort of relationship with local organizations that do the day-to-day operations.

                Lots of other events that charge much less than $25 a head get permits, collect trash, and provide toilets.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I was told that Le Diner a San Francisco on Oct 19 is not part of DEB, that's why it has a separate website and fb page.

                  Events can charge less when there are commercial sponsors who underwrite the cost. So far, I've not seen a hint of sponsorship for Le Diner.

            2. re: Keesey

              When I went to it in Paris in the late 90's there certainly was no charge not the least because it was unpermitted so who would the money go to? While the theme seems to be the same and I've heard the son of some of the founders is marketing it, it doesn't seem to have same spirit of spontaneity or joviality. Probably not possible with such a large crowd.

            3. Looked sorta cool on Top Chef Masters, but they provided the food...

              1 Reply
              1. re: kc72

                It seemed like a mixed bag to me, the flash-mob picnic is kind of cool, but everyone dressed in white, the bad music, and especially the mime ... too Frenchy for my taste.