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Eleven Madison Park


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I've been a couple of times before and although perfectly ok I found it pretty ho hum; neither as exciting as a top tier restaurant (the Danny Meyer effect) nor as satisfying as a decent bistro. But a

I look forward to the next iteration, when he transforms it into the first NFT restaurant, with menus of Non-Food Tokens for 500 Ethereum. You sit at a table and look at pictures of food and wine bott

Then Goldilocks cried out, "Someone's been playing with my FOOD!"

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It is strange that they are admitting to it. Take for example assigning a waiter who comes from the same area as the diner. If it comes up organically, the diner can feel that it's a neat coincidence, and might enjoy their experience more, if they are provincial enough to enjoy that sort of thing. But if they know the restaurant does such a thing, then situation is both awkward and creepy.

 

I'm amazed how many people find that creepy. Most customers like it when their service providers take an interest in them. Of course, this assumes that they're tactful about the information they choose to disclose. Sneakeater gave a number of pathologically dumb examples—information they could discover in theory but are highly unlikely to use. ("Congratulations, ma'am, on your double mastectomy.")

 

EMP has been doing this stuff for at least four years. Eater posted a story in 2010 about a guy who went to Burger King, and tweeted that his dinner there was an "amuse bouche" for dinner at EMP the following day. The restaurant saw the tweet and served his table a couple of haute "mini burgers," saying, "We hope these are better than the one you had at the airport."

 

A lot of Eater commenters found it "creepy," but the diner himself said he was "delighted", which is all that matters.

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But that's the thing. It's creepy that they know about the double mastectomy -- even if they're tactful enough not to mention it.

 

I think I have to invoke the Heisenberg principle here. You can't find it creepy unless you know they know.

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I don't know that it's creepy or not, but it's much more than a slight quantitative change in existing behavior when a business informs its decisions in more complex ways that "regular/local/tourist". It becomes reeeeally creepy when combined with face recognition and a microphone auto-transcribing your tableside conversation. (you are, after all, in a public place, so why would you think what you're saying is private? :D )

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Face recognition technology is well on the way to making life all kinds of awkward.

 

I was pondering how many reservations they take each night at EMP, and just how much time the maitre d' spends on each one (one or two minutes at most?). The article may be an example of exaggerating what they do. (They should outsource it.)

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Face recognition technology is well on the way to making life all kinds of awkward.

 

I was pondering how many reservations they take each night at EMP, and just how much time the maitre d' spends on each one (one or two minutes at most?). The article may be an example of exaggerating what they do. (They should outsource it.)

 

I suspect a lot of their guests are just random people who have no notable Internet profile at all. With a bit of digging you can develop the biography of just about anyone, but it's hard to imagine that that's what they are doing.

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Not unless he's spending half an hour on every booking, in which case he should definitely get an intern to do it.

 

I suspect that's what they're doing now. He's got better things to do than Google 50 people every day.

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Maybe this isn't shocking to me because managers at much less swanky restaurants have seen my name in the book and thought, I'll google to see if that's who I think it might be. Same for Oakie, I'm sure. And if they're doing it to us, they're surely doing it to other customers whose names catch their interest.

 

I can't think this is such a big deal.

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I seem to recall reading in the '90s that Robuchon had tiny cameras set up round the dining room. I may have hallucinated this, however.

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