it should all be first timers tbh… I don’t understand how the same people keep getting to do the meals all the time
Fwiw when I went there was only one group of regulars and then 4 people who got their reservations the regular way via Tock
Why do you believe that it’s “the same people…all the time”? Because they are the ones posting? Not everyone out there who enjoys food is an FTCer. Statistically, probably most people have never heard of FTC. So maybe it’s just sample bias that gives you the envious perception you have.
Regulars bring first timers too
it definitely is, but still not a fun thing to read constantly
What have you tried when getting a reservation? From what I hear it’s hard but possible if you’re flexible. I’ve gotten some pretty hard to get Tock reservations before that sell out instantly and you really have to be there before the reservation time, know what dates work for you, refresh constantly leading up the reservation release, select an available date/time immediately, etc.
A friend managed to snag a solo seat a few months ago. When he went, everyone else was a regular. A substantial number of seats are withheld for regulars; a majority wouldn’t surprise me. It sounds like the chef offered to put him in the rotation during his meal there. I’m not sure if that’s just the default after you go once, or if you need to be especially personable.
tl;dr: what you’re observing is by design. I think it’s basically fine but I do wish they’d charge more money for the open-market seats.
That’s super disappointing to hear. Obviously it’s his restaurant but comes off elitist when it’s impossible to get a ticket AND he has constant regulars. Similar to seeing a sold out Broadway show repeatedly while others have never even gotten the chance…
it’s impossible, I’ve tried multiple times. Have you been able to get in?
Yes on multiple different occasions with luck and persistence. I am not a regular either.
wrong. there are first timers/tockers every single night
Best New Chef, Michelin awards…while these accolades make life easier for restaurants, they make reservations more competitive.
Thus is the reality of life. I’m just glad Chef Go has been able to be successful. I wish him continued prosperity even though reservations are harder to get.
Its not elitist, theres only 7 seats and why should he not reward those who have been consistent regulars? Most business advice says regular customers will generate a steady stream of revenue that one shouldn’t ignore. New customers are a risk, they might not like it or understand the food and in a way is a wasted seat vs those who already can appreciate it. It’s how its done in Japan. I think you’re putting way too much hype into this meal.
Honestly just save up some money and go to Japan and book some much easier to get into kaiseki restaurant and it’ll probably be just as good if not better for half the price.
I tried for 8 straight months with phone and laptop, app and browser and never even whiffed a res. I gave up after that and no longer have an interest in going. If I was invited I’d definitely take someone up on the offer, but I’m not wasting my time to get a res anymore.
It’s extremely elitist. Based on your logic, why have any new people? Just have a rotation of regulars in the 7 seats and all 49 or whoever of the regulars can dine and live like kings monthly. “A wasted seat”? That again sounds elitist, going to a restaurant should not be like serving only royalty it should be for EVERYONE who wants to try the supposed best restaurant in LA.
For a meal that has been described as “once in a lifetime” it is unfortunate some people are hogging up the “once in a lifetime” multiple times a year to those of us who want to experience it in our lifetimes too. I personally even if I could afford it would not do that given how rare it is to get a seat at the table.
It is a risk tho. A single seven person seating a night really lays bare the economics of a restaurant.
Tock is only one aspect of the networking. Always opening it up to new guests means risking periods where bev sales are way down, which like it or not is an essential metric
Having a network of regulars that are committed, drop money on bottles and introduce others with the means/interest to do so is part of the game.
Does that mean he also misses out on potential great guests because they have no connections and can’t always get in through Tock? Yeah
You do realize that Chef @JLee is one of the few business owners who willingly participates on this board?
As a business owner, his perspective is common sense as he’s acutely aware of the risks and challenges of being in this field. You don’t like his opinion, fine…but elitism is not the intent nor should it be interpreted that way.
At the end of the day a restaurant is a business. Even though many of them are passion based enterprises they need to make money and support the staff and owners. The best way to do that is to operate on tock get presale/prebooked seats to ensure consistent cash flow and get regulars that pay and bring in more customers that will be regulars.
Hayato is not a park or a beach it’s like any in demand business you unfortunately need to have the means or the access to partake.
It doesn’t have to be the intent, but it absolutely comes across like that. We have people here defending it anyway only making it worse
Plenty of people have the “means” to partake in the restaurant, just not the connections or “regular status”.
Very similar to a high end club, where all of us agree would be “elitism”.
the chef can do whatever he wants, it is his business, but to say his structure is not the height of “elitism” is absurd.