Plush Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant Galvin at Windows is scrapping prices and allowing some of its diners to simply ‘pay what they want’.
Run by brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin and set on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, the restaurant deals in sensational views over Hyde Park along with intricate French cooking.
In a bold move they are allowing a limited number of tables each night to tuck into a special five-course menu – featuring steak tartare and chocolate fondant – with no set price tag, inviting diners to pay what they think the meal is worth.
The initiative will launch on August 3 and continue for as long as the restaurant finds it feasible to do so, which will depend on how much diners choose to pay. If diners pay too little for the restaurant to break even, it will be cancelled.
The menu will be available at lunch and dinner, but will be limited to just 12 covers per day. Diners wanting this deal will also only be able to book a maximum of two days in advance, and for a maximum table size of four.
Drinks will be charged for as usual.
To give an idea of the value of the five-course menu, the restaurant currently charges £70 for its three-course Menu Prestige and £110 for its seven-course Menu Degustation, both without drinks. A cheaper three-course Menu Du Jour for £33 is only available at weekday lunchtimes.
The restaurant’s general manager, Fred Sirieix, says that he believes in his guests’ honesty and is “confident that they will pay a fair price according to the quality”.
Other London restaurants have run similar offers for limited times, including Bermondsey Street’s Tanner & Co two years ago. However, no restaurant has kept such a strategy going long term, and Galvin at Windows is almost certainly the highest-end restaurant to give it a go.