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Ramsay and Blumenthal in London

Giannis Oct 15, 2013 10:40 AM

I booked to Gordon Ramsay in Royal Hospital road and Dinner by Heston B for many weeks later using their website reservation system by toptable. I have a confirmation of my booking sent via email to me. Do I have to sent them any email or call them any days in advance to confirm again my booking? Anyone has booked with toptable or has any experience? These restaurants required a credit card to secure the booking. Thank you in advance.

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  1. zuriga1 RE: Giannis Oct 15, 2013 11:27 AM

    I have used Toptable many times and have never had a problem. I do print out their email to me and bring it along to the restaurant... just in case they say my name isn't on their list.

    15 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1
      Giannis RE: zuriga1 Oct 15, 2013 12:04 PM

      Thank you for your response. I worried because I have put some comments there for the restaurant and for a week now I havent got any response from the restaurants. I wouldnt want my reservation to be canceled especially when there is a fee if the party is not honored.

      1. re: zuriga1
        h
        Harters RE: zuriga1 Oct 15, 2013 01:50 PM

        I'm a regular user of Toptable and have never had any problem with a booking. Like zuriga, I always take a hard copy of the confirmation - just in case.

        By the by, I've never used it for booking a place that required a credit card. Does TopTable have a secure link for the credit card details, separate to the normal booking system?

        1. re: Harters
          Giannis RE: Harters Oct 15, 2013 02:02 PM

          Yes it mentioned that uses a good protocol of security, for which I have limited knowledge. The confirmation comes with most digits of the credit card number covered by (*). It is also the only way of online booking to those restaurants with the other to be by phone. L'Arpege asked for the cc number to be sent via email. I dont know which is safer.

          1. re: Harters
            zuriga1 RE: Harters Oct 15, 2013 02:09 PM

            FWIW, I've never been asked for a credit card number either, John. Do you think the restaurant charges one if they are a no show? I hope that practice doesn't catch on. There's a hint of snobbery about it somehow.

            1. re: zuriga1
              Giannis RE: zuriga1 Oct 15, 2013 02:21 PM

              Each restaurant has its own policy. For example Gordon Ramsay at RHR charges 100 pounds per person for lunch and 150 pounds for dinner, for a no show or cancelation in less than 48 hours of the meal. Heston Blumenthal has 72 hours limit at Dinner and a week in The fat duck. Since now no restaurant asked me for credit card and I wouldnt give the number on an email. Ducasse does it right with no cc number asking.

              1. re: zuriga1
                h
                Harters RE: zuriga1 Oct 15, 2013 02:29 PM

                A number of restaurants I know ask for a credit card to secure the reservation. One of my favourite localish places does say it will charge a no-show fee. I have absolutely no problem with this - margins are already very tight without the loss coming from folk who havnt been sufficiently arsed to phone up and cancel.

                Thanks for the information, Giannis. I've never seen a credit card box on TopTable so presume it only pops up where the restaurant is requiring a card. Good to know that there's security in the system. Can't be too careful with card numbers these days.

                1. re: Harters
                  PhilD RE: Harters Oct 15, 2013 02:37 PM

                  For some reason I thought you put in a credit card when you first register?

                2. re: zuriga1
                  PhilD RE: zuriga1 Oct 15, 2013 02:35 PM

                  Why the angst? Do you not pay in advance for many other events like the theatre or a concert? If you decide to cancel do you get ant refund, can you return tickets, at least a restaurant with a credit card reservation system only charges for last minute cancelations.

                  Given their thin margins and the fact food needs to be bought and cooked in advance it strikes me as a sensible strategy. The alternative is to increase prices to cover the 10 or 20% of the tables that are no-shows which penalizes the ones that turn-up (you and I) rather than those who can't be bothered to cancel or worse deliberately overbook so they have a choice.

                  1. re: PhilD
                    zuriga1 RE: PhilD Oct 15, 2013 11:55 PM

                    I don't have any angst about this subject. If someone asked me for my credit card info, I'd gladly provide it. In NYC, it's not impossible to get money back for theatre or concert event tickets.

                    If it's 10-20% who do not show up for a meal, then I guess the high-end restaurants have a right to try and recoup their losses. People who do that overbooking thing and don't cancel the ones not chosen are very rude.

                    1. re: PhilD
                      h
                      Harters RE: PhilD Oct 16, 2013 02:36 AM

                      I was chatting with Marc Wilkinson, of Fraiche, a couple of years back after he'd introduced his £25 deposit (non-refunded if a no-show). It's a small restaurant - only 16 covers IIRC - and Marc said that no-shows had cost him several grand in the previous year. That sort of loss has a big impact on small margins - pretty much unsustainable, in my view.

                      1. re: Harters
                        Giannis RE: Harters Oct 16, 2013 07:45 AM

                        Yes a no show is very important espceially for small restaurants and high end restaurants, with maybe 30 staff working for the day. And the best ingredients that they have to find, increases more the budget.

                        I cannt get why Ramsay charges 100 pounds for a no show in lunch, despite that the lunch costs 55 pounds.Or at dinner by Heston 50 pounds for a lunch costing 38.

                        1. re: Giannis
                          h
                          Harters RE: Giannis Oct 16, 2013 08:29 AM

                          I suspect they both set their charges for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there will also be the lost revenue from drinks. And, secondly, it will be intended to have a deterrent effect.

                          Hope you enjoy your meals. Please report back - it's a goodly while since we had a report about Royal Hospital Road. Surprising when you consider it's one of our four 3* restaurants, you'd think it would be more popular (although I suppose there isnt much about the other three either).

                          1. re: Giannis
                            PhilD RE: Giannis Oct 16, 2013 12:54 PM

                            To the fair RHR has menus at £55, £95, £135 and £165, all which are without wine, water, service and other extras like extra courses. So I would say the average spend per guest is somewhat, maybe a lot, higher than £100 a head.

                            And whilst Dinner has a set lunch the ALC is going to be north of £50 a head for food, so again with wine, water, coffee, service (12.5%) etc the average spend per table is going to quite a bit more than £50 a head.

                            1. re: PhilD
                              Giannis RE: PhilD Oct 16, 2013 01:19 PM

                              The fat duck charges 175. I think this is the menu price of 195 minus VAT?

                              Do you have any recomentations about RHR? I think I will go a la carte to try the ravioli and turbot or the sea bass. Dinner will be a la carte too I think, as I want the triple fried fries..

                              Harters I thought about ADAD too, but I have tried already two of his restaurants, Le louis XV and Jules Verne so I wanted something different.

                              1. re: Giannis
                                PhilD RE: Giannis Oct 16, 2013 03:37 PM

                                No it charges £195 plus 12.5% service". In the UK all retail prices, by law, must be displayed inclusive of taxes like VAT. With VAT at 20% £195 is £162.59 without VAT.

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