Momofuku Ko’s online reservation site debuted at 10:00 a.m. yesterday. It crashed at 10:02.
All day long at Eater.com, breathless editors chronicled the site’s ups and downs—mostly downs (here, here, here, here). It took about five hours for the first week to sell out, though it would have taken only minutes if the site had been working.
At Ko HQ, engineers said they’d been hit by a denial-of-service attack. To us, it looked like they simply weren’t ready. It turns out that building your own website isn’t as easy as it looks.
The money quote was in the Eater.com comments: “Oh wait I get it now. In keeping with the whole concept of the restaurant, they’ve put the reservation system on a server that only can handle 12 people at a time!”
It didn’t take long for scalpers to start hawking reservations on eBay and Craig’s List. Team Ko added a word of warning to their home page, phrased in their trademarked sentence fragments:
please note you must show id that matches
your reservation info when you come in to eat
(wish we didn’t have to do that)
As we expected, David Chang’s publicity machine is in high gear today, the first day the restaurant is open to paying customers. A photo of Chang tops this week’s Dining section in the Times, and Ko leads off Julia Moskin’s feature article, “Your Water Tonight… Will Be the Chef.” Naturally, Momofuku Ko is also the top item in Florence Fabricant’s “Off the Menu.”
Our cynicism notwithstanding, we do intend to dine at Momofuku Ko very soon…if the website cooperates.
Momofuku Ko (163 First Avenue at E. 10th Street, East Village)