A remote farm-to-table restaurant in Freedom, Maine is ditching the harried digital system of accepting reservations and instead turning to a more intimate form of booking – handwritten postcards.
The Lost Kitchen hosts a series of highly in-demand dinners between May and December each year, Food & Wine reports. Last year, chef Erin French received an overwhelming 10,000 calls for reservations at the 40-seat restaurant.
This year, the acclaimed restaurant decided “let’s not do that again” and got rid of the telephone and online reservation systems that had caused the restaurant – and its customers – so much stress in the past.
After many months of deliberation, the group decided a postcard reservation system was truest to their simple vibe as “Mainers.”
“We prefer human contact over computers and pen & paper over keyboards. Given the chance, we want to give you our full and undivided personal attention. Keeping it small and intimate is part of what makes TLK so magical and something we don’t want to stray from,” French wrote on the restaurant’s website.
The restaurant released the new rules for the reservation policy on its website, which requires interested parties to send a 3x5 notecard with their name, mailing address, email address and phone number in a postmarked envelope to the restaurant between April 1- April 10. The restaurant said it will accept cards sent March 31 to account for Easter.
“Beginning on April 11th, cards will be selected at random until reservations are complete,” the 2018 Reservation Process says.
“Realizing we will never be able to serve everyone who wishes to dine here, to get here will take a bit of energy, a bit of patience, persistence and hope. Come to think of it, every really good thing that has ever happened to me in my life has involved all four of these things,” French wrote.
The old-school approach seems to be a hit on social media. On the restaurant’s Facebook page, fans have been leaving comments calling the move, “lovely” and “a great idea.”
French even left a list of other recommended Maine restaurants with more technological means of reserving a spot.