The Fat Duck Melbourne: Controversy over ballot booking

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2014
There has been uproar as foodies criticise Heston Blumenthal’s ballot process for securing a table at the Melbourne branch of The Fat Duck restaurant which opens in February. heston_blumenthal_1x1Demand for a table at the restaurant was so high that potential diners were asked to enter an online ballot system last month. Successful applicants were then 'indiscriminately selected' by an independent third party. On Monday, November 10, potential guests of The Fat Duck Melbourne around the globe started to receive notifications regarding their ballot entry. Crown Melbourne Limited engaged the services of Salmat an independent, third party, Australian based ballot provider to manage the intricate Fat Duck reservation process. Just over 48 hours after the first release of notifications, some ballot entrants stated they did not receive any confirmation regarding the results of their entry. Peter Crinis, COO of Food and Beverage for Crown Resorts, said: “With over 544 incorrect or invalid email addresses not everyone could be reached. It is important to note that although this has impacted us contacting the entrants after the ballot process – it did not impact any entrant’s chance of being selected.” The-Fat-Duck-exterior“Whilst we can understand the disappointment of the entrants who have not received an email response,” Peter added, “Salmat can confirm that everyone who requested to be put on the waiting list via their ballot entry has been added.” Salmat has completed the ballot process and has provided an update to assure all entrants the process was fair and equal. Salmat have said there were 89,179 ballot entries in total, an average of 267, 537 seats requested. Of these, there were 2,944 disqualified entries as these were duplicate bids. A combined 544 unsuccessful and successful entries were unable to be contacted. This is due to bounce backs for various reasons including incorrect spelling, spam, and firewalls. The Fat Duck Melbourne is due to open in February. For more information, click here.  By Tom Evans

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2014

The Fat Duck Melbourne: Controversy over ballot booking