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Old 02-26-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
baygo
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Default 4 Years Later - Here I Go Again

From another thread.

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Originally Posted by Shore Driver View Post
You make a good point here. Tavern 27/Ray started off doing just that on here. He is the benchmark for soliciting feedback on this forum and then going on to great success.
Thanks to all who took the time to provide feedback on my previously posted question. I'd call it a landslide opinion that an auction for tables in the Lakes Region is something for the distant future.

I recognize a consistency in the feedback, in that the interpretation is that the auction would be the only manner to obtain a reservation at Tavern 27. I take all blame for this misinterpretation. I had originally composed the question with a scenario and later opted to eliminate it in favor of brevity.

May I please share the scenario and rephrase my question? Those curious about my original post can find it quoted in post number 11 by The Phantom Gourmand

Actual Scenario: I've just donated use of our facility to the humane society for the weekend of July 13th. Leslie and I intend to kick it up a pretty big notch and deliver a culinary adventure that will dwarf all others from our repertoire. We're currently attempting to book a celebrity pianist. There is a limit of 27 couples.


What is the forum's opinion if I were to auction off the seats?

Last edited by baygo; 02-27-2014 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Rephrase my question.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:27 AM   #2
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Way to think out side the box. Do I understand correctly that we have to bid on our tables, sort of like ebay for a future dining experience?
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default Reservation web page

Looks like you could use a little help setting up the page. A little spell check and make the time current. Let me know if you want me to help or you can visit the LRCC office and find the local SCORE office. They may have a web designer willing to volunteer.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by birchhaven View Post
Way to think out side the box. Do I understand correctly that we have to bid on our tables, sort of like ebay for a future dining experience?
You've interpreted it well. One differance is that it's not bidding to pay morefor our food, it's bidding to eat more of our food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper;
Looks like you could use a little help setting up the page. A little spell check and make the time current. Let me know if you want me to help or you can visit the LRCC office and find the local SCORE office. They may have a web designer willing to volunteer.
The basic design is to keep it mobile platformf friendly. Please be more specific about the spelling error. We all know I can't spell.. I'l take you up on the offer to help set the time. Come on by I'll treat you to a drink.l
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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There is no way in the world I'd endorse a system like this. It's a neat idea, but I'm not going to "bid" on a table, make any minimum guarantees, or otherwise get drawn into a competition for how/where to spend my money eating out.

Going in feeling like I "have" to spend some amount of pre-set money is a major mental block for me. I will order what I order. Sometimes we're in the mood for dessert, or another round of drinks, other times we're not. Dining out to me is still something I do as a form of entertainment and indulgence. Hanging a commitment on that ruins the desire.

I understand where you are coming from, and the motivation for this, but I think it's a problem to be solved with typical supply and demand economics. If you have more demand than supply, you can manage that my increasing the supply (seating area), reducing the demand (generally, raising prices), or maintain high demand/low supply, which helps create more pent-up desire (hopefully).

I'm not sure what problem this bidding system solves. You're not increasing supply, and you're not reducing demand, you're just requiring your customers to compete with each other and make decisions that might lead them to buyers remorse and longer-term bad feelings about their decision to eat there.

Or... It might work even better than anticipated and cause a whole new wave of people fighting for tables, but I won't know, because I wouldn't be there to see it.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:40 PM   #6
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looks like a demand pricing model in disguise. it is rather creative though.
often times demand outstrips supply during the peak times especially during tourist season. Some restaurants raise prices and gouge the tourists while alienating local residents. Those restaurants generally have difficulty surviving the long offseason. The ones that do survive have a large local following. This model gives the opportunity for local clientele to eat there off peak without inflated pricing.

The real question is whether you can get the tourists into a bidding frenzy or not.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
There is no way in the world I'd endorse a system like this. It's a neat idea, but I'm not going to "bid" on a table, make any minimum guarantees, or otherwise get drawn into a competition for how/where to spend my money eating out.

Going in feeling like I "have" to spend some amount of pre-set money is a major mental block for me. I will order what I order. Sometimes we're in the mood for dessert, or another round of drinks, other times we're not. Dining out to me is still something I do as a form of entertainment and indulgence. Hanging a commitment on that ruins the desire.

I understand where you are coming from, and the motivation for this, but I think it's a problem to be solved with typical supply and demand economics. If you have more demand than supply, you can manage that my increasing the supply (seating area), reducing the demand (generally, raising prices), or maintain high demand/low supply, which helps create more pent-up desire (hopefully).

I'm not sure what problem this bidding system solves. You're not increasing supply, and you're not reducing demand, you're just requiring your customers to compete with each other and make decisions that might lead them to buyers remorse and longer-term bad feelings about their decision to eat there.

Or... It might work even better than anticipated and cause a whole new wave of people fighting for tables, but I won't know, because I wouldn't be there to see it.
I'm with brk here, first come first serve, including reservations. Part of owning and running a business is figuring out how to finance it and all but the most basic businesses need to be financed. Sounds like you have a good case for expansion. I would not bid on a seat at a restaurant, too many choices out there.....
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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Default Reservations

I don't mind on line reservation systems, or simply calling for a reservation, however, I did try out the link and I did not like it. I would find it annoying that I had to bid, wait for a text, then possibly get out bid, try a higher bid, wait again, etc.
Sorry, if I had to do ebay type of bidding to get a table for dinner, I would go elsewhere.
I don't think pitting potential customers against one another with this type of format is the way to go. Actually, it's kind of insulting to the person who wants to enjoy dinner out, and has a set budget in mind.
Just my opinion, and thanks for asking for feedback.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:09 PM   #9
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Default No Auction For Me!

Your problem is not how many people your turning away, your problem is that you can't figure out how to expand and keep the quality and charm of the place in tact and your scared to try. Instead, you want to try and make your customers bid for a seat to maximize profits from each table...?? Tacky at best!

Have faith in your business and yourself to do what is necessary to either expand and bring those extra people in or if your happy with your current profit margin, leave everything as is.

Don't turn Tavern 27 into an "auction house"...

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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Old 02-26-2014, 01:09 PM   #10
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Post Second time around

This is the second time that Tavern 27 has tried this type of thing. In the past, they pushed for a membership model wherein you got preferential treatment for joining. I recall that for $27,000 you could get a couple of jackets and it covered one meal per month.

Frankly, this is not New York or Boston. There are going to be a few days where demand outstrips supply in terms of restaurants. For the most part, being successful is based upon getting business year round. If you don't have the capacity for some of the peak days, you are not carrying excess capacity on the slower days.

My wife and I were able to get a reservation for Lyon's Den on Valentines Day (we just had to go a little early) and the food was great.

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Old 02-26-2014, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baygo View Post
From another thread.



Shore Diver, thank you so much for your kind words and acknowledgment. Tavern 27 would most likely not exist today if not for the valuable guidance provided to it from this forum. A little know fact is that Leslie and I had run out of money a few days prior to our opening. We did/could not do any traditional advertiseing at all. The wonderful members of this forum responded and here we sit four years later with a new predicament. During peak periods of 2013 Tavern 27 turned away more people than it served. this problem continues to snowball. Valentines Day weekend of 2014 there were approximately 7 tables turned away to every table sat. The amount of time I spent calling other restaurants to help people get a table cut into the time I spent serving my guests. This is a good problem to have but none the less a problem.

Tavern 27 is not the first restaurant to experience this type of problem. Many restaurants have come out of the shoot winning and have elected to attempt to solve the problem by expanding. In many of these cases that lead to a new problem. Quality of the overall experience went downhill and before to long the restaurant went out of business.

Here's where you come in. I do not want to take a chance by changing our quaint and comfortable restaurant but I do have to address this problem. I've created a reservation system that is a bit outside the box. I've put a a link to the beta version in the Tavern 27 website. Would you please go experience/test my work and come back to post your feedback. You can access the beta program via the link below.

http://www.baygo.com/cgi-bin/virtufl...tml&XBN=AC4F4D

Thank you in advance for the kind or harsh findings you are about to share
Ray
Complicated and very annoying and even a bit presumptuous. This would keep me from going there.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
This is the second time that Tavern 27 has tried this type of thing. In the past, they pushed for a membership model wherein you got preferential treatment for joining. I recall that for $27,000 you could get a couple of jackets and it covered one meal per month.

Frankly, this is not New York or Boston. There are going to be a few days where demand outstrips supply in terms of restaurants. For the most part, being successful is based upon getting business year round. If you don't have the capacity for some of the peak days, you are not carrying excess capacity on the slower days.

My wife and I were able to get a reservation for Lyon's Den on Valentines Day (we just had to go a little early) and the food was great.

Jetskier
Personally, I like the idea of memberships in general, and if they want to have some $27,000 tier, that's fine too. It's a one-time, fixed/known amount. Sure, you'll offend some people, and you'll attract others. And this is partly responsible for the overall image of your business and the clientele you attract.

This bid thing would be a pain in the ass though. I don't want to spend half the day wondering if my reservation is really locked-in, or if someone is going to come along at the last minute and bid it out from under me. And, for the most part, I'd wager that I could easily out-bid most people. Other than take-out pizzas, it's rare that my wife and I have left Tavern27 spending less than $100. For me, the concept itself is horribly flawed and not in-line with the general vibe of the lakes region. When making reservations becomes a chore, and you don't know until some later point that your spot is guaranteed, you will tend to gravitate to the more traditional places that require less mental exertion and stress.

In New York, or San Francisco or Honolulu, this idea might go over very well. These are locations where the pool of premium diners typically outstrips the supply of top-end places. In this area though, every restaurant has too much competition to attempt to color THAT far outside of the lines (IMO).

I agree with what I think Dan was saying in his post. It's not Tavern27's job or responsibility to find "homes" for those lost puppies that show up without a reservation. It's a nice gesture, but if it's taking that much time, probably not worth it. If you want to be that nice, print some little 3x5" cards with the numbers of the top 5 closest recommendations, along with driving directions from Tavern27. People would love the **** out of that.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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We have eaten at the 27 and liked it. If you implement this bidding for a table nonsense we wouldn't be bothered with it. I would think most people would just go to one of the many other establishments in the region.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
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Post A big dose of hubris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
Personally, I like the idea of memberships in general, and if they want to have some $27,000 tier, that's fine too. It's a one-time, fixed/known amount. Sure, you'll offend some people, and you'll attract others. And this is partly responsible for the overall image of your business and the clientele you attract.

This bid thing would be a pain in the ass though. I don't want to spend half the day wondering if my reservation is really locked-in, or if someone is going to come along at the last minute and bid it out from under me. And, for the most part, I'd wager that I could easily out-bid most people. Other than take-out pizzas, it's rare that my wife and I have left Tavern27 spending less than $100. For me, the concept itself is horribly flawed and not in-line with the general vibe of the lakes region. When making reservations becomes a chore, and you don't know until some later point that your spot is guaranteed, you will tend to gravitate to the more traditional places that require less mental exertion and stress.

In New York, or San Francisco or Honolulu, this idea might go over very well. These are locations where the pool of premium diners typically outstrips the supply of top-end places. In this area though, every restaurant has too much competition to attempt to color THAT far outside of the lines (IMO).

I agree with what I think Dan was saying in his post. It's not Tavern27's job or responsibility to find "homes" for those lost puppies that show up without a reservation. It's a nice gesture, but if it's taking that much time, probably not worth it. If you want to be that nice, print some little 3x5" cards with the numbers of the top 5 closest recommendations, along with driving directions from Tavern27. People would love the **** out of that.
Generally, I agree with you. The overtone of the message based upon either the membership model or bidding is that the food and experience is so good that you will pay a premium or fight to get it. I have not found that to be true and actually prefer the more value-oriented restaurants in the area these days. If we saw Cactus Jack propose this concept, we would simply laugh. The bidding and/or membership model is an urban exclusivity haute concept...this is New Hampshire...way outside the lines.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 02-26-2014, 02:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AmantiDelLago View Post
We have eaten at the 27 and liked it. If you implement this bidding for a table nonsense we wouldn't be bothered with it. I would think most people would just go to one of the many other establishments in the region.
I agree. We love Tavern 27 but sometimes we don't decide to go out to dinner until that day. We like the idea of calling for a reservation and knowing we have it rather than having to bid and keep checking to see if we have the table or not. I think if this system goes into effect, we won't be back.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:25 PM   #16
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Default New System

In full disclosure, I generally don't like changes or new things, so I tired to keep an open mind when viewing the new "bidding" system. One flaw is being locked into a two-hour period. When my wife and I go out to eat, we generally enjoy a few cocktails, and then we think about eating. A typical meal for us usually takes about two hours, and if we are with friends, longer than two hours. The other flaw is that while our bills generally exceed $100, I would be uncomfortable with the pressure of having to spend a certain amount.

My recommendation, play it straight, first come, first served. No special treatment for "members." As stated in prior posts, there are a lot of options, and I think this type of system would aggravate me to a point where I explore those options.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:42 PM   #17
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I don't want to tell tavern 27 their biz, they know it better than anyone. But it would seem that possible software solution already exist, that empower the consumer. They have systems that tie the POS to the Seat Chart, that can be tied to a reservation system, that is available online and/or through an app. So the consumer can check availability and make reservations (they even have to-go solutions built in) all with there cell phone/computer. The systems also arrange the consumers in the seating chart far more efficient than any human can do. Possible increasing your total number of tickets per night rather than just trying to increase your average ticket.
Just my 2cents
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #18
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Wait a minute, it's not April 1st yet. There's too much snow on the ground still. Are you seriously asking me to bid on the chance to have tea with the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter? I would be not participate in this auction. I think this is classified as a harsh comment.
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:03 PM   #19
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I can't believe this is a serious discussion...
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:31 PM   #20
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The other problem with this is the accounting! I have to imagine it would be a nightmare to deal with all the "legally binding contracts" you'd be setting up every time someone bids!
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #21
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I like the part where it tells me I am entering into a contract.

I have never entered into a 'Legally Binding Contract' when making a reservation before....how would that be enforced? Do I end up in court because I promised to spend $100 but only spent $90
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:59 PM   #22
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No, thank you. My reaction is to say "I couldn't be bothered." I'm guessing my husband would say, "Are you kidding me?!?" Is the "cash" thing for real?!? Holy smokes!! So many insults to a customer...!

I echo ChaseLady's sentiment. "I can't believe this is a serious discussion."

How much time have you spent on this? Has anyone that you told about this thought it was a good idea? Is this an early April Fool's joke?

So sorry, but I'm guessing if you wanted opinions, you are okay with honest ones.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #23
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Ray,

We will call as usual and try to get a reservation, if not we will go elsewhere as we always have!

You should not worry if we cannot get in or called too late- we know when it will be busy!
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #24
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I can't believe this is a serious discussion either. I would not ever be bothered to go to a place with this policy. It is laughable in NH.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:26 PM   #25
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Baygo, if you implement this method of bidding on a table for a reservation, after reading all the posts, I doubt you will have to worry about turning people away on any night.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:29 PM   #26
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Put this guy at the door of your restaurant and see if that works:

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:39 PM   #27
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Have you considered going with a simple online reservation system like open table? I don't think the bidding component of the model you've tested today will work...but, with open table you can set it up so that a credit card is required to hold a reservation (common practice at many restaurants). At least that lets you know that people are serious about keeping their reservation. Keep a few tables available for walk-ins and go to a primarily reservation-only system on busy nights. Open table is cool too b/c it prompts patrons to leave reviews, but only people who've actually made and kept their reservation can review your establishment. Consider building a deck/outdoor patio area for dining this summer, maybe time to build yourself some sweet new digs out in the back 40 and expand upstairs to more dining space? I think you could keep the charm and the quality if you do things thoughfully and slowly.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:05 PM   #28
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Put this guy at the door of your restaurant and see if that works:

Very clever Rusty. If this restaurant hires the "auctioneer" for table management it should also sure it has an open bar available to its patrons!

All kidding aside, I will never consider your restaurant if I have to bid for a table. If demand is too strong raise prices. On the other hand, turning lots of people away creates cache as folks tend to desire something they can't get. Have you considered handing out coupons to turn aways that offer incentives to come back on slower evenings of the week?
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:24 PM   #29
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I also would not bid on a table, If I called for a reservation and there were none available I would understand and next time try to reserve a table earlier. But if I bid on a table and on my way to the restaurant got a text saying I was outbid I would never return.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:36 PM   #30
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sounds like as Yogi said" it is so crowded no one goes anymore"
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:09 PM   #31
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Ive eaten at the 27. Had a great meal. I think if they introduce the bidding process, they would be doing themself and the customers a great disservice. Just a what if scenario.... I book for a friday in the future for a special occassion (anniversary, birthday etc) and then get told last minute that its cancelled, after all the plans I made for that special night.... I would not be a happy camper. I thought their pricing was spot on.. I would gladly pay a little bit more.. go a dollar across the board .and look into expansion... trying to remember the layout. I know the expansion idea is going to be costly, but look to the future...
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:37 AM   #32
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Ive eaten at the 27. Had a great meal. I think if they introduce the bidding process, they would be doing themself and the customers a great disservice. Just a what if scenario.... I book for a friday in the future for a special occassion (anniversary, birthday etc) and then get told last minute that its cancelled, after all the plans I made for that special night.... I would not be a happy camper. I thought their pricing was spot on.. I would gladly pay a little bit more.. go a dollar across the board .and look into expansion... trying to remember the layout. I know the expansion idea is going to be costly, but look to the future...
And don't forget there is nothing wrong with running a successful business at capacity. Perhaps you should try to increase your business incrementally, Think Fenway Park.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:51 AM   #33
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A typical Friday night in summer means my family arriving at the house around 5pm after a week of work and anticipation of the weekend activities. We usually make a reservation for dinner that afternoon after getting a head count. We are a party of about 20, 30 if most of the kids come. Since our favorite place is gone we will be looking for a place to spend our Friday night's eating and drinking like it's our last.
There is no way we would make a reservation unless it was guaranteed.

Not sure what we are going to do this year...someone's getting stuck with us!
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:04 AM   #34
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I have to agree, when I make a reservation I'm looking to get something off my to do list. I don't want to have to revisit it. As PBB said, what happens if it's a special occasion - say Valentine's Day and you get outbid 24 hours before your reservation time? You may have difficulty finding another place on such short notice. Even if 27 was my first choice - I'd probably book my second choice just to know it was done. Also, I don't check my texts as often when I'm at the lake - or what if you don't have a smart phone?

Just for clarification - is the minimum guest check per guest or per table?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:55 AM   #35
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I do not want to take a chance by changing our quaint and comfortable restaurant but I do have to address this problem.
Ray, you're being too creative for your own good. Developing an online bidding scheme is going to immediately detract from your "quaint and comfortable" ambiance. You may please a few "high bidder's", on a few peak days, but you will assuredly irritate people who didn't even get a chance to try a meal. Irritating people BEFORE they get to your business is not a good thing.

When I go to your restaurant, I like the eclectic menu. It's good food. I like to be told about the food, as your servers do so well. From day one, I've always thought your business might be a challenge, given the limited space, but I can tell you I'm impressed with the menu.

Technology is not going to make your restaurant successful. It's the people, and the food, that make you successful. Your customers don't want to order off Ipads, they don't want a drive through, and they don't want to participate in an "Ebay for T24".

Obviously, you have a space problem during peak periods. If the peak periods occur often enough, maybe you can expand the building. I have no idea if the capital cost of an expansion would be offset by the increased revenues. You'd have to way the risk/reward based upon your own knowledge of your finances.

That said, I'd bet any amount of money that a "bidding system" will have a cash flow negative impact on your current annual revenues. You WILL alienate current and future customers, and that has the potential to be catastrophic in the long run.

My 2 cents. I hope to hear you've abandoned the idea, and I hope to join you again for the great food. (I'll come when you're slow, as has happened every other time I've visited .... so I won't need my computer!)
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:57 AM   #36
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Thanks to all who took the time to provide feedback on my previously posted question. I'd call it a landslide opinion that an auction for tables in the Lakes Region is something for the distant future.

I recognize a consistency in the feedback, in that the interpretation is that the auction would be the only manner to obtain a reservation at Tavern 27. I take all blame for this misinterpretation. I had originally composed the question with a scenario and later opted to eliminate it in favor of brevity.

May I please share the scenario and rephrase my question? Those curious about my original post can find it quoted in post number 11 by The Phantom Gourmand

Actual Scenario: I've just donated use of our facility to the humane society for the weekend of July 13th. Leslie and I intend to kick it up a pretty big notch and deliver a culinary adventure that will dwarf all others from our repertoire. We're currently attempting to book a celebrity pianist. There is a limit of 27 couples.


What is the forum's opinion if I were to auction off the seats for this event?
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:08 PM   #37
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What is the forum's opinion if I were to auction off the seats for this event?
Just set a price. The whole auction idea is a complete non-starter in my opinion. Not sometimes, not for special events, not for busy weekends, not for peak season. Just figure out your price, advertise it and take reservations.

I don't like the idea of battling for a table, and I don't like not knowing for sure if my reservation is booked until 24 hours in advance. This would be a double pain in the ass if I'm coordinating with another couple or something.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:08 PM   #38
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Default Donate?

I assume you mean Humane Society and not the Human Society. Check Broadhopper's #3 post. What do you mean by "donated" the use of the facility? Are proceeds going to be donated to the Society? If this is the case, with a special event with a celebrity pianist, then I would say an auction would be perfectly acceptable. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:26 PM   #39
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I assume you mean Humane Society and not the Human Society. Check Broadhopper's #3 post. What do you mean by "donated" the use of the facility? Are proceeds going to be donated to the Society? If this is the case, with a special event with a celebrity pianist, then I would say an auction would be perfectly acceptable. Good luck.
Thanks for catching another of my spelling errors.

Donate means I am not charging a facility/greens fee to the humane society for this event on a Saturday smack dab in the middle of peak season.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:44 PM   #40
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Just set a price, this whole auction stuff as you have seen turns most everyone off. Are proceeds going to be donated to the Society?
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:45 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by PaugusBayFireFighter View Post
A typical Friday night in summer means my family arriving at the house around 5pm after a week of work and anticipation of the weekend activities. We usually make a reservation for dinner that afternoon after getting a head count. We are a party of about 20, 30 if most of the kids come. Since our favorite place is gone we will be looking for a place to spend our Friday night's eating and drinking like it's our last.
There is no way we would make a reservation unless it was guaranteed.

Not sure what we are going to do this year...someone's getting stuck with us!
We are Hoping for a place with kareokee (sp?) Maybe with a 80s hair band tilt to the selections? Just a thought

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Wave 'cuz I'll be wavin' back
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:51 PM   #42
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Just set a price, this whole auction stuff as you have seen turns most everyone off. Are proceeds going to be donated to the Society?
That would be a question for the Society. I would assume they will keep the money they raise. I would also assume they will inure some expenses.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:17 PM   #43
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I have to give you kudos for thinking outside the box on this one. Just make sure the darn thing doesn't close up on you and you can't get in again. How about just "auctioning" gift certificates, or, donating them to the Humane Society and let them do it as they please? Now that's something I would be very happy to bid on and even over bid on for a good cause.

I just made dinner reservations at Buckley's in Merrimack for tomorrow night at 7. They confirmed my reservation via email. I expect to show up at 7 and I expect they will have a table and staff ready for me.
In this complicated world, when I go out to eat (and that doesn't happen enough) I just like to keep it as simple, relaxing and as stress free as possible.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:35 PM   #44
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Leslie and I intend to kick it up a pretty big notch and deliver a culinary adventure that will dwarf all others from our repertoire. We're currently attempting to book a celebrity pianist. There is a limit of 27 couples.


What is the forum's opinion if I were to auction off the seats?
I think it might work, if presented in the right context. Maybe something along these lines:

"T27 will be be hosting a special event on [____] to benefit [____]. The event will include up to [___] selections from our menu, per person, and there will be complimentary [___]. Entertainment provided by [___]. [____%] of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to [___] Attendance is limited, so we will be hosting an online auction for those that wish to attend. Bidding and event details can be viewed at [www.___.com]

Now, you've created a special event (don't overdo it!), where you're inviting like minded folks to enjoy a night out as a group, and bid towards a cause for which they believe. Auctions are very common at charity events, and I don't think the "losers", in a charity scenario, are all that upset.

My only word of caution .... if it sounds like it benefits the business, more than it benefits the charity, people will sniff it out, and it won't go so well.

Be sure to make sure that the charity itself is 100% on board with your plans. If not, it will backfire, loudly.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:44 PM   #45
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Donate means I am not charging a facility/greens fee to the humane society for this event on a Saturday smack dab in the middle of peak season.
I wouldn't donate THAT night. THAT NIGHT is (presumably) a good night for your business. Donate it on a Tuesday night during mud season, when your staff is standing around costing you money, and you were wishing somebody would come through the door.

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Old 02-27-2014, 01:48 PM   #46
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I think it has been become pretty clear, this is just an attempt at some free advertising on the forum for controversial clicks, and it is now being shifted to something else entirely. All cool with me kudos to Tavern 27, and I hope the charity and t27 make some money at the event, but now I am sure the webmaster would like a small donation for the ad hahah
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:05 PM   #47
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"All kidding aside, I will never consider your restaurant if I have to bid for a table. If demand is too strong raise prices."
This is the most sensible response yet !
Thinking outside the box is one thing but at least keep the box in view !!
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #48
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Still not sure what exactly will be donated if people are paying for their meals. Consider Damon Baehrel, in Earlton, NY. A 12 table small restaurant that has a 5-year waiting list. Average check per table before wine and tip is $225. It's a husband and wife team that grosses around $750,000 per year and they don't auction tables. Are you as good as they are? Then raise the prices.

Check out the article on them.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-1...r-waiting-list
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:08 PM   #49
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I
Now, you've created a special event (don't overdo it!), where you're inviting like minded folks to enjoy a night out as a group, and bid towards a cause for which they believe. Auctions are very common at charity events, and I don't think the "losers", in a charity scenario, are all that upset.

My only word of caution .... if it sounds like it benefits the business, more than it benefits the charity, people will sniff it out, and it won't go so well.

Be sure to make sure that the charity itself is 100% on board with your plans. If not, it will backfire, loudly.
Here's the exciting part of the “baygo” side this project. This system has been designed for use by any Lakes Region. Non Profit Organizations. Once released, this system will provide the ability for Lakes Region Non-Profits to arrange a fund raising host location at any local small venue in the Lakes Region. baygo.com will never charge a fee to a Non Profit or a venue for use of this system.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:17 PM   #50
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Is it just me or has this part of the forum stopped talking about the experience of going out to eat and turned into a forum about how people run the restaurant . I like getting input on the dining experience from others so I am better informed when I come up and spend the summer . as they say "just saying"
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #51
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Still not sure what exactly will be donated if people are paying for their meals. Consider Damon Baehrel, in Earlton, NY. A 12 table small restaurant that has a 5-year waiting list. Average check per table before wine and tip is $225. It's a husband and wife team that grosses around $750,000 per year and they don't auction tables. Are you as good as they are? Then raise the prices.

Check out the article on them.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-1...r-waiting-list
Way ahead of you on this one Pineneedles. There is an interview with Dameon on Youtube.com He's said to be the toughest reservation in the country. in his interview he speaks of a 77 year old with a reservation that is five years out. The 77 year old is not sure he'll still be alive. Dameon would like to retire soon. I wonder how much people would bid to move the date up.


I would never state an opinion on my food against any other. The Internet creates plenty of public opinion/reviews for use to us to try and determine that. I'd love to learn who features the food in the Lakes Region that people will pay the most to enjoy.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:35 PM   #52
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Once released, this system will provide the ability for Lakes Region Non-Profits to arrange a fund raising host location at any local small venue in the Lakes Region.
Non-profits don't need help find venues, they need help getting people to the events, and subsequently making donations. Give up on the website, unless it is simply making it more convenient to make a reservation at your business.

You're wasting your time, and you're starting to sound desperate. This thread is not good for your business.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:40 PM   #53
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Is it just me or has this part of the forum stopped talking about the experience of going out to eat and turned into a forum about how people run the restaurant . I like getting input on the dining experience from others so I am better informed when I come up and spend the summer . as they say "just saying"
I originated this thread under generall discussion it must have been moved.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:02 PM   #54
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Dude, give up on the bidding. Don't worry about the Humane Society. They are an excellent organization. I have been to Humane Society fund raisers and they run very well. People over bid for items because it is a good cause....and then donate the items back to the Society.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:38 PM   #55
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Default Charitable causes...

When my wife and I partake in a charitable cause, we look at the basic cost; ie, a golf tournament that is $150 per person, $600 per foursome. We know when we get to the tournament and sign in / register, there will be one of more tables of raffles and other money making deals. We participate in those we want, and walk away from those that are less interesting to us.

We have been to the Humane Society dinners in the past at the Woodshed, and usually went as a table of four. We made the reservations for a table of four, at $XX per person. We then bought the raffle things etc. .

We make our plans around these events and plan our finances accordingly. We pay early to go, and plan to have X amount of money with us to buy the extra stuff.

Baygo, if you are going to do an auction for seating, I would suggest that the seating auction is concluded at least a couple of weeks before the event, so that people can plan accordingly. That would be the only way that I would participate. If it were to go up to the day before, or two days before, well, I think we would just pass on it. Like other's have said, we want to make our plans, not have to hang around and see if we made the cut or not.

Thanks for stepping up to the plate, but I suggest setting a good price per person, and then work the raffles (door prizes and 50/50).

Good luck, however you work it out.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:38 PM   #56
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Default we are new to area...my thoughts

OK we are new to area, I've traveled across country from Alaska to NH, and NH to FL several times in my life, and never have heard of auctioning off tables. I can see where you would want to have confirmed income, however, I think that there are so many other ways to market your business. (the gist I have gotten from the post is that you are looking for ways to bring your business back?)

Auctioning a table off for a one night meal / special occasion for a cause is a great idea...or first night of the season opening? But, for a regular occurrence, um can't say it would be a good idea.

If you are a chamber member, (if this local chamber does Business after hours type events) host a business after hours. Offer coupon savings or punch cards (spend a certain amount, get a free item, or dollar amount off next visit) Happy Hours Specials, etc...but auctioning off tables, just seems crazy.

Have themed nights and special events. Its small town living, if it is good enough event, word will get around that is for sure.

Ok there is my two cents :-)
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:21 PM   #57
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Would the fee paid to reserve a table at the Humane Society event be tax deductible?

If so, it might make sense; otherwise, not so much.
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