Popular U.S. restaurant once again fills year’s reservations by postcard

A popular U.S. restaurant with an intimate dining room of only 40 seats has once again filled all of its reservations for the year by postcard.

The Lost Kitchen (TLK) in Freedom, Maine, is a “farm-to-kitchen” restaurant promoting local food. Despite its small dining room, the restaurant garnered national attention and received 10,000 calls for reservations between May and December 2017, after which time chef Erin French chose to forgo phone reservations. Instead, for the past two years, interested diners have made reservations months in advance using what some may consider an outdated form of communication—the postcard.

“Here at TLK we are old-fashioned, we are simple, we are slow, we are Mainers,” wrote French on the restaurant’s website. “We prefer human contact over computers and pen and paper over keyboards.”

Reservations for this year were required to be mailed and received within a two-week window: cards had to be postmarked from April 1-15, or they would be disqualified from the reservation lottery.

That’s right—sending a request via postcard doesn’t guarantee a reservation; instead, the restaurant randomly chooses cards until all of the forthcoming year’s reservations are filled.

“Through the use of simple postcards in such a hyper-digital age, we were reminded just how important it is to slow down, connect with others, and make it personal,” French told Meredith Goad, a reporter for Portland’s Press Herald, earlier this year.

“The cards connected us. And connecting brought us joy … and when you cook with joy, you can taste it.”

Interested diners are advised to stay tuned for announcements regarding a handful of tables the restaurant will donate to charitable auctions or check back next March for details about how to submit for reservations for 2020.

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