Last Minute Eatin' at Michelin Restaurants

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When Daniel lost it's third Michelin star, the NYC restaurant world was up in arms. One of only ten restaurants in the country with an esteemed three star rating, the Michelin overlords had apparently decided that the USA would suffer through 2015 with only nine three star establishments.

For the unacquainted, the heralded guide was first published by Andrew Michelin himself way back in the year 1900. Designed to help motorists find their way around the French countryside and to the best in fine linen dining, the guide has maintained itself today as the gold standard in upmarket restaurant reviews.

Yet today is 2015, and we have all sorts of new gadgets that weren’t around during Andrew Michelin’s time: iPhones, iPads, Yelp, Opentable, and, of course, Last Minute Eatin'.

Now that the twitter account has finished it’s first full calendar year after its 2013 launch, we can finally start digging into 2014 dining trends of some

What we're measuring

At the core of Last Minute Eatin' is statistics on same day restaurant availabilities. Since restaurants sometimes close on Sunday or Monday (or occasionally Tuesday nights), we'll only be measuring Wednesday through Saturday night tables. And only prime-time tables for two between 7pm and 10pm. For a full rundown of how this all works, read up on the life of a last minute NYC restaurant reservation.

So, given an average 30 day span in 2014, how many prime-time, same-day tables were available?

Numbers range from fewer than one slot per month, for example, one starred Carbone averaged 0.17, or about two same day tables for the entire year. Two starred Korean outpost Jungsik is at the other end of the spectrum with almost 13 same day openings per month.

Overall 2014 trends

Overall, 2014 was a great year for NYC's high end restaurants. Year over year compared to 2013, Q4 saw an 18% decrease in same-day availabilities from 12.6 same day tables per month to 10.7. Looking at quarter by quarter trends from 2013 through 2014 and into the first month of 2015, average restaurant availability is on the decline.

Great for restaurants, not so great for diners.

Michelin losers

Daniel’s lost star was announced in September of 2014, and Daniel wasn't able to keep up with the city wide 18% average availability decrease. From Q4 2013 to Q4 2014, Daniel went from 1.71 same day tables per month to 1.57, or a 9% decline.

Table for 2 at Daniel (Upper East Side, $$$$): 9:30, 9:45

— Last Minute Eatin' (@LastMinuteEatin) September 3, 2014

Hard to feel too bad for their second derivative slow-down, yet their lost Michelin star is truly a set back.

Sushi Nakazawa shocked the world when Pete Wells awarded them a NYTimes their top four star award, the first time a new restaurant received such a rating on their first go around. Yet the Michelin guide shunned Nakazawa from even a single star. Biggest loser? You make the call: Nakazawa's 30 day same day table average is among the lowest in the city at just over one same day table open each month.

Table for 2 at Sushi Nakazawa: 9:45 — Last Minute Eatin' (@LastMinuteEatin) November 7, 2014

A Voce Columbus and A Voce Madison both lost their stars in 2015, and both saw declines in availability last year. Neither were particularly hard to get into, with both averaging around 16 same day tables per month in 2013, and around 14 in 2014.

Table for 2 at A Voce Columbus (Midtown West, $$$$): 7:30, 7:45, 8:00, 8:15, 8:30 — Last Minute Eatin' (@LastMinuteEatin) August 2, 2014

Michelin winners

M. Wells joined Lugers and Minetta Tavern as the third steakhouse with a Michelin star.

At the low, low price of $0.00 RT @LastMinuteEatin: Table for 2 at Minetta Tavern (West Village, $$$$): 8:00, 8:15 — Pete Wells (@pete_wells) June 3, 2014

Danny Meyer's Eleven Madison Park maintained its 3 star rating and also maintained their effective zero same-day table availability throughout 2014.

Table for 2 at Eleven Madison Park (Gramercy / Flatiron, $$$$): 9:15 — Last Minute Eatin' (@LastMinuteEatin) October 6, 2014

Per Se ran into problems with the NYC health department earlier last year, yet had no problem keeping their 3 star rating. Their same day ability also stayed around 1 table per month.

2015 and beyond

What's in store for 2015? Will Michelin re-appoint a 10th three star restaurant in the US of A? Will the NYC restaurant craze continue it's up-and-to-the-right trends? Who knows, but follow Last Minute Eatin' to track the excitement, and of course to get your last minute tables!