Change in venue for this Sunday’s meetup

Last week I asked y’all to join Scott and I for dinner this coming Sunday, March 17. There was a bit more interest than we expected and we’re also having it on St. Patrick’s Day, so it probably doesn’t make sense to meet at an Irish pub after all if we stand any chance of talking.

So Scott changed around the location a bit so we’d have a private room and not have any space constraints. Instead we’ll be having dinner at Maggianos at Lincoln Square in Bellevue at 7PM.

What you’re thinking and what I’m thinking are probably two different things. I’m thinking “woohoo, this is literally a block from my apartment.” You’re probably thinking “well wait a second, Scott, with authentic Italian culinary delights like this, how are we going to be able to carry on a real conversation about miles & points?” I know it’ll be tough, but we’ll try to manage. 😉

Anyway, Scott outlines the process for signing up:

(1) Send payment to reserve your seat. The cost is $54.50 per person including taxes and service charge. You can use Amazon Payments or PayPal (send money to If you send money by Amazon Payments, check “goods and services” and the transfer is free. If you send money by PayPal, there is a processing fee. Add $2 per person to cover my costs or make sure you pay the fee on your end.

(2) Send an email to telling me how many guests will be in your party. Make sure you tell me your payment details so I can match your name with the payment.

(3) People who confirm in time will get to participate in selecting the menu. I’ll send a link to a survey after I receive your payment.

(4) You must confirm by noon on Friday, when I will update Maggiano’s with the final tally. If you must wait until Sunday, there is some wiggle room, but you better check with me before showing up. Send an email to

(5) Alcohol is your responsibility. Pay your bill and drive safely. The Hyatt Regency and the Westin are both next door.

I realize it’s a bit pricey, though please keep in mind it includes tip, soft drinks, appetizers, etc. I know it’s a bit more expensive than you would otherwise pay, though that’s the cost of these kinds of events with banquet rooms. It’s a pain, though hopefully you guys will still come more for the company than the value of food. And having organized many of these in the past, I can say that the “pay upfront” model makes things much easier day of.

Again, hope to see lots of you there, and maybe next time we won’t plan it for St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe.


  1. Maggionos is far from authentic, as it’s owned by Darden or one of the other conglomerates. Either way, if I were on the west coast I’d gladly join, hopefully I can make the next meet up like this!

  2. Order from one of the all you can eat menus, unless they somehow don’t offer it at that particular location.

  3. won’t be able to join you Lucky, but amused that folks are already sharpshooting your choice. I appreciate the invite to your readers and hope you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. As Ben said, it includes a lot. Trying to find space for 20-30 people is tougher than it sounds. This is all you can eat for $40 + 10% tax + 20% tip. We get a private room. I actually think it’s a good deal. Every place that was willing to reserve for a group this size wanted $800-1000 for 20 people. This is in the same ballpark.

  5. And yet it’s Maggiano’s which is owned by the same people as Chili’s. Seattle/Bellevue has such great restaurants, surely you can do better than a chain (and a crappy one at that)

  6. Hey, Maggiano’s isn’t that bad. You guys are getting spoiled by your first class international cuisine!! I’m in!!!!

  7. Isn’t the mandatory tip 18%? In that case, $40 + 10% tax (if it’s really 10%, and not 9.xx%) + 18% = $51.20?

  8. Yes, Maggiano’s is pretty blah and generic.

    That being said, Scott’s absolutely right in saying that a group of 20-30 is a pain to get in without expecting someone to guarantee a tab, even on a Sunday.

    Flash mobbing a bar sometimes works, though (Sundays are usually slow enough that it can work)- I do this regularly on Fridays with anywhere from a few friends to something like 10-15, no issues. An Irish place on St Patrick’s Day, though, is a disaster waiting to happen for your flash mob.

  9. I can’t believe how unappreciative some of the posters are. If you are so dismissive and self-entitled in the air no wonder FAs have a hard time being gracious. As a professional meeting coordinator I have volunteered to Lucky to arrange a similar meetup for his next visit to SIN. Perhaps I should reconsider?

  10. I find it amusing how so many people who aren’t participating in the dinner are so concerned over the restaurant and cost. My impression is the evening is more for socializing and discussing miles than dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant. And such interest in the fact that Maggiano’s is corporate-owned, like that’s a horrible thing (By Brinker Int’l btw)

  11. $50 ai for Maggiano’s even without alcohol is a bargain; I have given conferences at Maggiano’s and a private room, food, drinks can run $80+ and if you throw a couple of wine glasses it tops $100 per person easily.
    Too bad I am in SJC and cannot attend.
    Maggiano’s also has a nice gluten free variety of pasta and pizza and they will accommodate your needs even with a larger group.

  12. Hello, what’s the matter people? Is a meet up to enjoy the opportunity to have great conversations on a fun topic we are all passionate about, travel and miles. So, why do we have to tear into the locale that was chosen or the reasonable price that was agreed for this gathering? I for one applaud the idea and the initiative shown; and I certainly hope that it takes place again, since I can’t make it from IAH this time around. So, Lucky & Scott have a great event and let us know how it all went! @SINJim, @ISbuff & @Rami are all spot on.

  13. @Ken Y. Maggiano’s wants 20%. In fact, they define it as an “event facilities fee” and make clear it does not go to the servers, but say they also pay their servers more so that a tip isn’t necessary. Tax is 9.5%. I may have rounded up my numbers by a few cents just to make things easier, but I’m not making a profit off this. In fact, I’m on the hook for $1,000 if no one shows up.

  14. Thanks for organizing this, Ben and Scott! Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it due to venue change. Hopefully the next one will be IN Seattle. 😉 Have fun!

  15. Any word on a future meetup in Portland? The last post about this had about 20 commenters wanting one.

  16. Amusing read, living in Australia I want to tell the guys b*tching about the price of food / venue one thing: do not come to Australia on holidays as you will have stale bread and tapwater, anything else is not affordable if you look at American price levels…. :-))

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