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#1 Tue 06 Jan 09 7:00pm

Tara Yonder

Member
Member since Tue 06 Jan 09

Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Tried to get into Jamie's Italian in Kingston on Saturday night. Arrived at 5.50pm, expecting to walk straight in. Instead we had to queue in the cold for 20 mins, only to be told it would be a wait of an hour and a half for a table!! Since we had the kids with us, we decided to abandon Jamie's and eat at home.

It's very irritating that the restaurant does not take bookings for groups of less than 8. Most civilised eateries these days take bookings. Why doesn't Jamie's? Is it considered cool to stand outside in the freezing cold? I don't think so.

We won't be frequenting Jamie's again because as well as the ridiculous queuing for a table system, the service at the Kingston branch is really slack. Which is a pity because the food is excellent.

Does anyone else have a view on this?

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#2 Tue 06 Jan 09 7:08pm

TheBeast2

Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

What did you expect on a saturday evening from a restaurant owned by a TV personality chef?

But, yes, you are right, it would be better if the restaurant would take bookings.

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#3 Tue 06 Jan 09 11:42pm

Pete

Forum champ
From The Office
Member since Tue 18 May 04

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

The whole point of Jamie's Italian, Tara is that anyone can get in, any time, any day of the week, as long as they are prepared to turn up and wait.

When we opened Fifteen, we took bookings 3 months in advance for a 50 odd seat restaurant. We did about 150 covers a day, times 6 and a half days a week, times 13 weeks equals 12,675 seats available for that period.

In one single day on the first week of opening, the receptionists received over 2,000 calls - more than Heathrow airport!  - mainly looking for tables of four. You can imagine how quickly the restaurant was booked solid. We had hundreds of complaints about jammed phone lines, unavailability of tables, and papers saying that all the tables were being kept aside for celebrity VIPs (totally untrue) and that Fifteen didnt care about ordinary customers.

4 months later, we had no calls at all because people thought they had no chance of getting a table. Fifteen was half empty for weeks.

All of that has been avoided  with the no bookings policy at JI,  Locals were invited to eat first in Oxford, Bath, Kingston, not VIPs or journalists - we didn't even have a launch party!

The other big advantage of a no bookings policy is that the restaurant does double the number of covers than it would otherwise. This is what keeps prices low - average spend per head is just over 20 quid including drinks.

Thanks for your comments about the food, and the service, and I'm really sorry you were disappointed. Don't give up on us!

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#4 Wed 07 Jan 09 12:43am

TheBeast2

Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

There's a restaurant in Leeds like that. It's a tapas restaurant, and they take no bookings at all.

Used to be a bar there called 'Japanic'. It's called 'Viva Cuba'.

Creates a more relaxed atmosphere, and, I imagine for Fifteen, gives the impression that this is a restaurant owned by Jamie 'that friendly bloke who cooks wicked food', rather than Jamie 'that untouchable celebrity', which is more in keeping with JO's culinary ethos.




Does Fifteen have a bar or lounge type area for customers to relax and mingle (I am eating Mingles  smile) in while they wait?

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#5 Wed 07 Jan 09 11:17am

Captain C

Forum champ
Occupation Sales
From Essex
Member since Tue 05 Feb 08

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Fifteen London does have a bar area, very nice it is too thumbsup

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#6 Wed 07 Jan 09 11:26am

Pete

Forum champ
From The Office
Member since Tue 18 May 04

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Fifteen London did have a bar on the ground floor, but we ended up turning it into a slightly lower priced restaurant in the style of an Italian trattoria. Its a bit less formal than downstairs, half the price, and it gives the trainees experience in a different kind of kitchen - 3 chefs 100 covers rather than 8 chefs 80 covers in the main restaurant.

Fifteen does actually still have a booking system btw, apart from breakfasts - which are really big at weekends.. its just JI thats first come first served.

Come and see for yourselves!

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#7 Wed 07 Jan 09 12:20pm

TheBeast2

Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Yeah, where did I read that the OP went to Fifteen.

Sorry, meant to say JI in that last post.


oops

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#8 Wed 07 Jan 09 12:50pm

JennyR

Member
From Whitby, North Yorkshire
Member since Thu 29 Jul 04

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Tara why not get together with another family that fancies going and get your number up to 8 to book a table? That's what I would do rather than keep the kids standing.

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#9 Sun 01 Feb 09 8:11pm

megk

Member
Member since Sun 01 Feb 09

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

my family (we are quite a big family) went to jamies restaurant in bath. everyone thought it was terrible. i had lasagne which was so cheesy i could not taste anything else! quite a lot of my uncles and aunties had steak which they said was like minute steak and tasted like an lukewarm old leather boot, it didnt taste of anything. the starters were just three big platters with bits of meat and veg on- we didnt have one each so if you were vegetarian the only veg platter might be right on the other end of the table. finally the chocolate brownie that most of us had for dessert had almonds on top which it did not say in our menu and my cousin is allergic to them!

i am not over-exaggerating, i am only 15 so i wouldnt say i was very picky about food, i generally eat anything but jamies italian in bath was a real disapointment

puke  help

oh and not to be even more of a pain but we havent found anywhere on the website where we can complain!

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#10 Sun 01 Feb 09 8:42pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Jamies Italian - too successful for it's own good??

Pete , Jamie's Italian is I believe , opening in Cardiff in the Autumn......should be walking distance for me !  ( lucky me )
I can offer my services, for free ,as an official taster for the veggie dishes lol 
Ah well ... worth a try anyway ... if you don't ask.....

Do you think that you can let me know nearer the time the date of the restaurant opening so that I can pop along.

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