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Perhaps the private dining room is designed for the kind of event which can't take place in a public restaurant, hence the charge which presumably includes very tight security :blush:

 

Seriously, I was much impressed by the private room, but now that I realise that the food costs the same as the main restaurant (for a more limited menu) I do think the surcharge of £35 - £45 a person is steep. Certainly I wouldn't consider paying that myself.

 

But if they can get that money from punters elsewhere, I say good luck to them :P And it wouldn't put me off going to the main restaurant.

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Seriously, I was much impressed by the private room, but now that I realise that the food costs the same as the main restaurant (for a more limited menu) I do think the surcharge of £35 - £45 a person is steep.

 

 

 

But why should there be ANY surcharge, let alone such an outrageous one? I can see no reason for it whatsoever.

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But why should there be ANY surcharge, let alone such an outrageous one? I can see no reason for it whatsoever.

Because the private room is quiet, relaxed, very attractive and comfortable. It's a nicer place to eat than the main restaurant, unless you happen to want the buzz of a busy, compact restaurant around you. I have no problem paying a premium for that for a "special" event, and I think it would particularly suit one of our events.

 

Now having said all that, I repeat that £35-45 is in my view a commercially poor deal, especially in relation to the price of the meal. They're asking punters to pay double, and for me that's unjustifiable. If the charge for the room was £10 a head, I'd take it without hesitation, and somewhere between those two figures is a "good price".

 

What I most balked at was the non-refundable deposit of the full £500, to be paid about two months before the booking. That is (in my view) outrageous. If I cancel three weeks before, they either will get a new booking so they shouldn't penalise me, or if they don't then they would have been unlikely to get a booking anyway. I can cancel a hotel booking at 24 hours notice without penalty, and every high class restaurant I have ever paid a deposit to has told me that it was refundable if they get 24 or 48 hours notice of cancellation. Bruce's policy could be justified only if they were booking out that room oat about 90% occupancy, and if typical lead time for bookings was 3 months. That might be the case, but I doubt it at that price.

 

Still, who knows what goes in Wandsworth :blush:

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That the room is nice is neither here nor there. I know of no other restaurant which imposes a charge for eating in the "private" room.

It is either here or there, but I'm not sure which :blush:

 

I believe that most restaurants with private rooms do indeed charge extra ... or at least I've always assumed so. I will do some research ... :P

 

I have an interesting scenario. Chez Bruce is fully booked on Saturday evening but the private room is empty. Someone rings up and asks for a table for 16. Do they get the private room free, or does Bruce tuurn away over a grand's worth of business. Hmmm ....

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I have an interesting scenario. Chez Bruce is fully booked on Saturday evening but the private room is empty. Someone rings up and asks for a table for 16. Do they get the private room free, or does Bruce tuurn away over a grand's worth of business. Hmmm ....

 

Exactly. Or even £500 worth of business for a table of 8. The "private room" is just another room in the restaurant for people to eat in. To say to some people that they can eat in one room "for free" but to another group that they have to pay for the privilege of entering the room strikes me as ludicrous.

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No defence of Chez bruce here, but the private room is no longer a private room, they book tables up there just the same as downstairs. I guess it is only used for private events when specifically booked, possibly the reason for the extra charge, which is nonetheless a joke, as is the price of the menu offered.

 

Paul

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No defence of Chez bruce here, but the private room is no longer a private room, they book tables up there just the same as downstairs. I guess it is only used for private events when specifically booked, possibly the reason for the extra charge, which is nonetheless a joke, as is the price of the menu offered.

 

Paul

 

So I ring up and say "I want a table for 16 please" and they don't charge for the room. But I ring up and say "I want a table for 16 please and it is a private event" and they say "that'll be £500 please"? :blush:

 

I'm baffled.

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The only way it would make any sense would be if it was a minimum charge for having exclusive use of the private room.It's not, it's a room hire charge, non returnable, total bollocks.Sometime, retaurants don't see the wood for the trees, so thinking the best of people, maybe if someone pointed out the unfairness of their policy, it may change.

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I emailed CB to cancel the booking, and got the follwoing reply :

 

Hi,

 

I've cancelled your reservation on the 8th September. The largest table we can

do in the Main Dining Room is for 7 and we book one calendar month in advance

for the Main Dining Room only.

 

Kind regards,

 

Elmarie Miller

 

That seems to imply that they don't accept "regular" bookings in the "private room", doesn't it ? Or is that just because I originally tried for the private room and she now assumes I don't want it ? I'm confused :blush:

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The only eason I know they book tables upstairs is that Dawn and I were thinking of going for lunch a few weeks ago, and we were told that the only table they had available was in the upstairs room.

 

Perhaps they prefer to keep it for private functions (extra £500) but as they are now so busy, when the downstairs is full they use upstairs if it is not booked separately.

 

Paul

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Perhaps they prefer to keep it for private functions (extra £500) but as they are now so busy, when the downstairs is full they use upstairs if it is not booked separately.

 

 

But why would 10 people agree to pay another £50 each on top of the cost of the meal simply for the privilege of being allowed to eat in the upstairs room? Unless it's a corporate event and it's not coming out of their own pockets.

 

Since the email to Macrosan clearly doesn't give a toss that they might just have lost a booking for 16 people because of this policy one can only conclude that the restaurant is so popular and busy that they can afford to turn this kind of potental business away. Good for them, I suppose :blush:

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Well I've done some research as promised, and I'm very surprised by the results :P

 

Out of five London restaurants contacted, none of them charges for a private room ! So that makes it Tuckerman 1 - Macrosan 0 in the first period of extra time :blush:

 

I spoke to :

  • Alastair Little
  • Incognico
  • Vasco and Piero
  • Rules
  • l'Escargot

l'Escargot charges £100 for their 20-capacity room only if there are less than 10 diners. The only restricted menu was Rules, who insist on all of the party pre-selecting the same 3-course meal. At l'Escargot they offer a limited menu, all the others will offer the full main restaurant menu.

 

So Chez Bruce lose out on all counts against 5 central London "equivalent" restaurants, and they clearly have got this wrong in terms of the general marketplace.

 

I'm going to get some more details from some of the above, and then I'll propose one of them for our event :P ... on a new thread, of course !

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