Table D’Hôte

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Table D’Hôte is an immersive dining experience, that tries
to take the classic “dinner and a show” experience even further. The idea that
is presented to guests is simple, really good food, and some sort of
entertainment that plays out in the setting of the restaurant itself. Each
month, a different scenario will be playing, with things like a power outage,
candles and a scary plot for October, or a police investigation looking for a
murderer in the restaurant. The entertainment is secondary though, and mostly
serves the purpose of getting people in the door. Before coming to Table
D’Hôte, guests will have filled out a questionnaire designed to separate traits
belonging to their objective selves from their subjective selves, their ‘I’
from their “me.” We will then assign seating in such a way that we put together
objectively different people (i.e. different backgrounds, ethnicities,
interests) that share subjective self characteristics. Each table will also
have at least one planted actor who’s job it is to facilitate conversation in
an escalating way (much like the 36 questions to fall in love, but not so
aggressive), while also being part of the entertainment itself by having a
really interesting story. The goal is that by the end of the night, through
shared experience, careful placement, and direction by staff, seemingly
different people will see themselves in each other and come closer.

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In order to supplement these goals:

·     
There will be a Prix-Fixe menu, with some family
style dishes being served

·     
The dress code will be very specific, a black
t-shirt and blue jeans

·     
Guests are not to ruin the experience for
others, for example, by asking the actor who they really are, we will reserve
the right to blacklist customers for this type of thing.

·     
In order to keep excitement, there will be a
variety of different actors, and there won’t always be the same number at a
guests table, so they can never assume anyone is/isn’t another guest

·     
Guests can make reservations with parties of up
to six, but only two will be allowed to sign up to sit together

·     
The atmosphere will be comfortable, dimly lit
with dark furniture in order to facilitate some loss of self identity

 

This is an expensive design proposition and it is important
to not exclude completely any part of the socio-economic spectrum. To that end,
the experience will not be cheap, but we will have a certain portion of the
reservations be completely free of charge, sort of like a financial aid system.
We will also attempt to operate as a non-profit, choosing to serve the
community over making a bunch of money, so the pricing will be set to just
cover costs, salaries, and improvements to the experience.

Reference: Pinel, E.C., A.E. Long, M.J. Landau, K. Alexander and T. Pyszczynski (2006). Seeing I to I: A pathway to interpersonal connectedness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 243–257.

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