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davecap

Cancelled reservations at the last minute

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"But it's puzzling to me that hotels and airlines have fees for no-shows or non-refundable tickets and no one seems the least bit outraged by that, yet restaurants are held to a different standard. I just don't get it."

i think that we might be overstating the degree of guests' outrage at being asked to provide cc info to hold a reso. granted, my restaurant only takes info for parties of 5 or more, but i rarely encounter people getting that upset. many people are surprised and sometimes confused why they need to leave a cc #, but after explaining that we simply ask for the # to hold the reservation (and we wouldn't charge the card as long as if for some reason they had to cancel that they called us to let us know), almost everyone i speak with seems ok with it. it is worth mentioning that there are a select few who adamantly refuse, and are offended that i would imply that they would not show up without calling to cancel (in which case i always ignore the policy and make the reso without the card #). these people account for about 95% of our no-shows. :wacko:


Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

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Where I'm from is your basic large city with many many dining options.  That doesn't make not showing up any less of an economic burden on the restaurant.  Whether you're in Manhattan, Tokyo or are the only restaurant in a one horse town, if you take a reservation, you expect the customer to hold up their end of the implicit contract - "I'll save this table for you so you can eat and you'll show up and spend your money here without cancelling needlessly and preventing us from making money on another more reliable guest."

Every restaurant has "seatings" whether it's stated explicitly or not.  No restaurant owner would expect to stay in business only seating each table once per evening unless they were selling some sort of overinflated tasting menu at $200 per head.  If you and your dining companions came in at 6:00 PM would it be unreasonable of the restaurateur to rebook your table at 8:00 or 8:30 presuming you'd be gone?  Two and half hours for a table of two to six persons is not rushing anyone.  If your dinner took any longer than that I'd suspect folks would feel they were waiting too long between courses.  And no doubt they'd then complain about that.

My point remains the same.  That table is a money making resource to the restaurant, just as the exam room is to the doctor's office and the dressing room is to the boutique owner.  Get a clue folks.  Restaurants are businesses and not charities.  They need to utilize their resources in the most profitable and productive manner possible to stay afloat financially.  It's arithmetic, not calculus.  Think about it.  Why does no one grasp the obvious??  No one thinks twice about being charged for no shows in other industries.  Why should restaurants be any different?  Simply because we have to eat???  That's not a good enough reason.  You could eat at home.

but just to set the record straight not all doctors charge or are able to charge for no-shows. In my practice it happens and I am left high and dry. I also don't routinely collect anything on cancellations. While some of that is the nature of the kind of practice that I have, I know that I am not alone in that regard. It is not a pleasant situation and I can certainly relate to the restaurant owner's feelings.

Doc, you might be the last of a dying breed both in not charging your less reliable clients and in being fair minded toward the restaurants. My doctor's office didn't used to charge me either, not that I'd ever no-show without at least a courtesy phone call, but apparently enough clientele abused the priviledge to make the rest of us have to suffer for their lack of courtesy and responsibility. It's an accepted practice in many industries. "Time is money" as they say, and most professionals charge for their time. Not showing up for an appointment with most doctors, lawyers, accountants or even hairdressers will cost you. It's simply accepted. I simply don't see a leap of logic to the "hospitality industry". Hotels do it all the time. The masseuse at the spa would charge you for a no-show. How is a restaurant different??

This is particularly more of a problem for a smaller restaurant. My current place of employ has 28 seats in the dining room. We don't get a lot of walk-in traffic because folks understand that we fill up quickly (at least on weekends) and have all those seats timed out like a military exercise. It isn't any less rude to cancel out at a larger restaurant than a smaller one, but it really hurts the smaller restaurant operator when folks no-call and no-show. Then we've turned down a significant percentage of the evening's business and couldn't even take those few walk-in clients because we didn't know you were planning to screw us over.

Has common courtesy gone the way of the dodo?? Is it too much to expect that folks would pick up the phone just as they did when they thought they were coming and let us know we could re-book those seats? Is it too much to expect that folks wouldn't plan a full day for their toddler and then hope to drag their overtired little asses into a nice restaurant?? Seriously??

Yes, seriously. You and your business are simply not as important to those people as their child and whatever situation of the moment is causing them to cancel. Call them names, express your resentment, rail against the cruel world if it makes you feel better. You have no power in that situation.

As has been stated before on this thread, there is no contract real or implied. Reservations are a courtesy of the business.

I am starting to agree that requiring a credit card for reservations is the cleanest solution to this problem. Yelling at your customers is just self defeating.

Finally, not every restaurant makes money by turnover. Other models exist. In Montreal, people dine out more frequently than in other cities. There are advantages to cultivating a large regular clientele. Also the standard of hospitality is different from most places I've been in the States and part of that standard is not rushing people out the door.


Edited by rcianci (log)

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This is particularly more of a problem for a smaller restaurant.  My current place of employ has 28 seats in the dining room.  We don't get a lot of walk-in traffic because folks understand that we fill up quickly (at least on weekends) and have all those seats timed out like a military exercise. 

I think most people simply don't understand this. They assume walk-ins will pick up the slack. In this regard, I don't think the main difference between restaurants and hotels or airlines is that people know better with the latter two: it's that no hotels or airlines really give them the opportunity NOT to pony up in advance, and if you don't show it WILL cost you. People don't like that or even understand it, particularly, they just have no choice.

It's a dilemma when you are in business. Sometimes it's really tempting to try to educate people just a tiny bit about the realities of what you are dealing with. It's so frustrating when someone thinks they are an ideal customer when really everyone cringes as soon as they walk in the door. But everyone knows what it's like to encounter a business person who thinks it's his/her mission to explain things to the public and who thinks everyone needs to understand his/her business in order to patronize it. I owned a business with a guy like that and wanted to put a muzzle on him. You could just watch the customers' eyes glaze over as he started explaining the business to them.

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From the New Yorker article on Gordon Ramsay's New York opening (emphasis added):

"But it wasn’t just staffing. At three in the morning, Ramsay (in his fiftieth hour without sleep) went through the fridges and found them filled with lobster and foie gras that had been prepared but weren’t being used: no one knew they were there. (“I could have pissed myself. Neil, I wanted to phone you, even at that hour.” Neil was looking beaten. “I wish you had, Gordon.”) Ramsay examined Gregory’s wine cellar—bottles everywhere, no locks (“Don’t think for a moment he’s the only one who stole something”). He went through the reservations. The restaurant was losing twenty thousand a week in no-shows (fourteen on New Year’s Eve), and every Monday Ramsay was ordering a hundred thousand dollars from the U.K. He called a meeting."

To a certain extent I don't lose any sleep over a restaurant's profits, just like I don't worry about a liquor store or car dealership's profit: it's not my problem (and Katie, I camp like a Boy Scout :wink: ) but reflecting for a moment on the consequences one's actions have on other people is never a bad thing, especially given that the restaurants most hurt by no-shows are often small businesses owned by real people operating on narrow margins.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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To a certain extent I don't lose any sleep over a restaurant's profits, just like I don't worry about a liquor store or car dealership's profit: it's not my problem (and Katie, I camp like a Boy Scout :wink: ) but reflecting for a moment on the consequences one's actions have on other people is never a bad thing, especially given that the restaurants most hurt by no-shows are often small businesses owned by real people operating on narrow margins.

Oh, absolutely. For me, the question is how to get them to reflect, as opposed to giving them a lecture and end up sounding like a bore.

Interesting that you should mention car dealerships. We bought a new car the other day. We heard a lot from the dealer about his side of the deal, the position he's in, blah blah. I absolutely hate buying cars because I hate this kind of discussion when trying to make a deal. And I've owned a couple of small businesses. I don't get irritated by discussing business realities until I am trying to patronize a business-- and then, my tolerance is extremely limited.

I've really enjoyed discussing aspect of business with restaurant owners, including when I am dining at the restaurant, but that's after I know them and have made it clear that I'm interested. A restaurant owner that treats the restaurant like his/her soapbox? Not so much.

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"Every restaurant has "seatings" whether it's stated explicitly or not. No restaurant owner would expect to stay in business only seating each table once per evening unless they were selling some sort of overinflated tasting menu at $200 per head. If you and your dining companions came in at 6:00 PM would it be unreasonable of the restaurateur to rebook your table at 8:00 or 8:30 presuming you'd be gone? Two and half hours for a table of two to six persons is not rushing anyone. If your dinner took any longer than that I'd suspect folks would feel they were waiting too long between courses. And no doubt they'd then complain about that."

Sorry, not EVERY restaurant.I do one sitting

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That's some pretty serious damage!! The original poster would have been out 240 GBP or in the order of $480 US. Under these circumstances somehow I think there may have been an afternoon nap (for the young child) pro-actively inserted into the program.

And again, I cannot imagine the restaurant winning should the customer dispute the charge. I agree that asking for a CC number is a good way to inspire people to cancel instead of just no showing; as long as the restaurant doesn't actually plan to ever collect any money.

And that example quoted is just outrageous. Several days notice?? shit happens. I wouldn't go there.

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That's some pretty serious damage!! The original poster would have been out 240 GBP or in the order of $480 US. Under these circumstances somehow I think there may have been an afternoon nap (for the young child) pro-actively inserted into the program.

And again, I cannot imagine the restaurant winning should the customer dispute the charge. I agree that asking for a CC number is a good way to inspire people to cancel instead of just no showing; as long as the restaurant doesn't actually plan to ever collect any money.

And that example quoted is just outrageous. Several days notice?? shit happens. I wouldn't go there.

Any restaurant I've worked in, regardless of us acquiring credit card numbers, cannot charge a no show fee based on the lack of a proper contract. Acquiring a credit number isn't enough-- the credit card companies will fight a charge and win. Credit card numbers are simply asked for to prevent no shows.

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"Every restaurant has "seatings" whether it's stated explicitly or not. No restaurant owner would expect to stay in business only seating each table once per evening unless they were selling some sort of overinflated tasting menu at $200 per head. If you and your dining companions came in at 6:00 PM would it be unreasonable of the restaurateur to rebook your table at 8:00 or 8:30 presuming you'd be gone? Two and half hours for a table of two to six persons is not rushing anyone. If your dinner took any longer than that I'd suspect folks would feel they were waiting too long between courses. And no doubt they'd then complain about that."

Sorry, not EVERY restaurant.I do one sitting

Interesting business model. Do you take reservations or just allow the place to fill up, first come first served? Does your clientele know what the appointed hour of the one seating is? Is it "boarding house style" where everyone sits down at the same time and gets fed the same thing? As Dr. Phil would say, how's that working out for you? Might you not be more profitable if you were to try and seat more customers on a given evening? I honestly don't mean to be snarky, I'm just curious how this works for you since (and I stand corrected here) virtually every restaurant that bothers with reservations at all, does so to be able to maximize their seating and profitability, by planning the flow of the diners, in ordering product, stocking the bar and wine cellar, in staffing, etc. Obviously not all, but most.

I've never once suggested that yelling at a customer or being rude is an appropriate response to having a last minute cancellation. Realistically there's nothing to do but grumble about it and carry on. But my astonishment remains at how the general public doesn't even consider restaurants as being a functional business like any other, no less one that tends to operate on much tighter margins and has the highest rate of failure of almost any. There just seems to be less courtesy toward restaurants for whatever reason. As Ingrid pointed out, other industries perform poorly on a more regular basis, charge for no-shows and no one thinks a thing of it. Logically, you'd expect some level of customer appreciation and loyalty for restaurants that provide excellent customer service consistently, and you'd think folks would show the most minimal level of common courtesy and call and cancel, yet they don't, or do so when it's no longer of any use. WHY IS THIS???? No one has yet explained this to me to my satisfaction.

The only upside to this is that those very expensive reservation systems that restaurants pay for, like Open Table and Guestbridge, are not just for accepting online reservations. They also allow the restaurant to keep track of customer preferences and history. Like if a certain guest has cancelled or didn't show up before. If a pattern is sensed, then the restaurant can suddenly become COMPLETELY BOOKED into the next century every time Mr. No-Show calls up. And that's exactly as it should be. :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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This has certainly elicited some hard-nosed responses! I cook in a country club where reservations are "encouraged"(whatever that means) but not required. To complicate matters, eighty-sixing anything is cause for Extreme Freakouts on the part of Upper Mgmt. So the idea of actually having some idea of how many folks I'm supposed to be cooking for on any given night is quite foreign to me. Must be nice. At any rate, in my view making a reservation is indeed entering into a contract, albeit an informal one, and certainly every effort should be made to honor it. BUT- things happen, and everyone knows that. As is the case with everything, there has to be some give and take in these situations. I have to wonder at a business which is running things so close to the bone that a certain number of cancellations can't be factored in. And, honestly, I feel that taking a small child to anyplace nicer than a fast-casual restaurant is perhaps not the best idea, but that's another topic.

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Logically, you'd expect some level of customer appreciation and loyalty for restaurants that provide excellent customer service consistently, and you'd think folks would show the most minimal level of common courtesy and call and cancel, yet they don't, or do so when it's no longer of any use.  WHY IS THIS????  No one has yet explained this to me to my satisfaction.

But I tried! I called it "the curse of competence." In my work, it means that if I do my job well and my colleague doesn't, my "reward" is a heavier workload because my boss can trust me. Growing up, I gave my mother more shit than my father, because I could rely on her more.

Haven't you heard the saying, "You only hurt the ones you love,"? :laugh:


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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[

Interesting business model.  Do you take reservations or just allow the place to fill up, first come first served?  Does your clientele know what the appointed hour of the one seating is?  Is it "boarding house style" where everyone sits down at the same time and gets fed the same thing?  As Dr. Phil would say, how's that working out for you?  Might you not be more profitable if you were to try and seat more customers on a given evening?  I honestly don't mean to be snarky, I'm just curious how this works for you since (and I stand corrected here) virtually every restaurant that bothers with reservations at all, does so to be able to maximize their seating and profitability, by planning the flow of the diners, in ordering product, stocking the bar and wine cellar, in staffing, etc.  Obviously not all, but most.

A very successful and popular restaurant in Vancouver, Vij's, does not take reservations. It is always full, there are always line ups, the restaurant gets rave reviews from pretty much everyone who visits from critics - local or not - to regular folk. That approach seems to work well as a business model for that particular restaurateur.


Cheers,

Anne

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We take bookings, and stagger peoples arrivals so we can look after guests properly.Yes we could double our turnover by resiting tables, but i,m sure one of the resaons we are so heavily booked is that people aren't rushed through.We are very small only 22 max, with one chef, one KP and one waitress, it works for us.When you have a larger place, you are more flexible in seating people, possibly having bar as a holding pen, or a room for people to take coffee in after their meal.We don't have that luxury.

I'm sorry to be pedantic, but when people make comments on how restaurants operate, i feel compelled to tell people my story :biggrin:

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There are way too many good points made by everyone on both sides to quote everyone and respond to them individually, but here are a couple of points based on my experience working at fine dining restaurants in New York and San Francisco (and making reservations and eating at some of them):

1) use the credit card option and if they don't call or don't show, charge them but in the form of a gift certificate which you send to them, thus insuring that you'll have them return. they did this at masa's in san francisco at $50/person.

2) the only correct response, regardless of 'personality' is: "Thank you for calling, may I make another reservation for you?"

3) state reservation policy up front and VERY CLEARLY

4) as a guest, be considerate of how long you're at a table. often, the first reservation at a table can cause trouble for all following turns by camping out with a glass of water for two hours.

5) as a restaurant, take every scenario into consideration (you'll still be wrong about 15% of the time, but make allowances when you can)

6) just as it is impolite for a restaurant to be pissed at you for canceling at the last minute, it is impolite for you to be angry if you have to wait a few minutes for your reservation...in each case, you're relying on your fellow humans to follow the 'rules' of social interaction...we know how dangerous and unpredictable that can be :raz:

while all of these things are good guides, one think that hasn't been mentioned that really bugs me and might be the start of another topic is when you make a reservation (or are being seated at a restaurant as a walk-in) and you're told "we need the table back at such-and-such a time" and you feel rushed. i'm torn on that behavior...can't decide whether it is good that they warn you or bad because then it gives them leeway to rush you through a meal...it should still be comfortable to dine there...of course, you can always cancel that reservation if there are conditions made on it. :wacko:

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On the flipside we had a reservation for 5 @ Fora here in Long Beach last year for 5- they had overbooked (sadly I used to like that place). We arrived @ the appointed time - they said 15 minutes... Over an hour later we were seated, after having a pint @ the pub (unconnected to Fora) next door. For me paying for that that dinner represented several days work. F' them we have not been back since. Cancellations @ the last moment are a bad deal for the restaurant. Overbooking gone awry in my case anyway = never coming back there.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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On the flipside we had a reservation for 5 @ Fora here in Long Beach last year for 5- they had overbooked (sadly I used to like that place). We arrived @ the appointed time - they said 15 minutes... Over an hour later we were seated, after having a pint @ the pub (unconnected to Fora) next door. For me paying for that that dinner represented  several days work. F' them we have not been back since. Cancellations @ the last moment are a bad deal for the restaurant. Overbooking gone awry in my case anyway = never coming back there.

I described a similar experience upthread. My question remains:

"Should the customer's financial obligation -- whatever the restaurant's policy ends up being -- be equal to the customer's compensation if there's a problem honoring the reservation?"

Neither Fora nor the restaurant I went to had a stated policy of charging for no-shows but I do think such policies beg the question of what happens when the customer is the one who is stiffed.


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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I described a similar experience upthread.  My question remains:

"Should the customer's financial obligation -- whatever the restaurant's policy ends up being -- be equal to the customer's compensation if there's a problem honoring the reservation?"

Neither Fora nor the restaurant I went to had a stated policy of charging for no-shows but I do think such policies beg the question of what happens when the customer is the one who is stiffed.

Good question - had they comped us a drink or an amuse or even provided decent service perhaps in some way acknowledged the fubar we might have been back. @ over $100/head it was simply inexcusable. I was going over our taxes today and saw that bill.... Still cranky almost a year later.

That place was great in every respect for the first couple of years.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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had they comped us a drink or an amuse or even provided decent service perhaps in some way acknowledged  the fubar we might have been back. @ over $100/head it was simply inexcusable.

And lousy business sense. At least we got one free dessert -- at least it showed they understood there was something to rectify. Saying, "I'm so sorry," is free, you knuckleheads!

In regard to having to wait for a table, I totally agree customers should understand there has to be a grace period. But I'd like that grace period to be the same as the length of time the restaurant holds the table if I'm late. If I have to wait longer than that, I want some woo-age to make up for it!


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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"Should the customer's financial obligation -- whatever the restaurant's policy ends up being -- be equal to the customer's compensation if there's a problem honoring the reservation?"

If a customer is forced to wait longer than whatever the restaurant's stated alloted time that a reservation will be held until the table is given away in case of lateness or no show, then the appropriate thing to do is for the restaurant to make the delay as tolerable as possible by providing a round of drinks or appetizers at the bar without charge. I've shaken many a free drink in my day and that's the cost to the restaurant for overbooking. However, if the restaurant does allot a reasonable amount of time for guests to eat without being rushed, gets the food out of the kitchen in a timely fashion, etc. they often end up having to buy the "campers" that are screwing everything up a round of after dinner drinks to get them to unass the chairs in the dining room. So the restaurant, even when they're doing everything right, ends up giving stuff away just to appease everyone.

When's the last time your appointment at the doctor, dentist or hairdresser was actually on time? If it wasn't, did they provide refreshments or a discount??


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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"Should the customer's financial obligation -- whatever the restaurant's policy ends up being -- be equal to the customer's compensation if there's a problem honoring the reservation?"

If a customer is forced to wait longer than whatever the restaurant's stated alloted time that a reservation will be held until the table is given away in case of lateness or no show, then the appropriate thing to do is for the restaurant to make the delay as tolerable as possible by providing a round of drinks or appetizers at the bar without charge. I've shaken many a free drink in my day and that's the cost to the restaurant for overbooking. However, if the restaurant does allot a reasonable amount of time for guests to eat without being rushed, gets the food out of the kitchen in a timely fashion, etc. they often end up having to buy the "campers" that are screwing everything up a round of after dinner drinks to get them to unass the chairs in the dining room. So the restaurant, even when they're doing everything right, ends up giving stuff away just to appease everyone.

When's the last time your appointment at the doctor, dentist or hairdresser was actually on time? If it wasn't, did they provide refreshments or a discount??

My hairdresser is always on time. My doctor and my dentist not so much, but then they're not in the business of pleasing the public, are they?

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A friend has a VERY tiny restaurant in Paris where he only does one seating a night and turns away more people than he can actually serve. I had a friend in town this weekend and called to make a reservation for Friday night the week before but unfortunately he was already booked. He told me he would call me as soon as he had a cancellation which he says happens just about every night. By Thursday night there were still no cancellations so I had to make other plans. Finally at 7:30 on Friday night he called, saying two people had just cancelled, but by then it was too late. I had already made another reservation and was meeting friends at the restaurant at 8pm. Sadly this table probably sat empty for the night because it is not in an area that gets a ton of foot traffic. He only serves 16 people a night, so cutting out 2 is a big deal. I could imagine if this happened over and over again (which I think it does), you might get a little cranky.

That said, I agree that shaming the customer isn’t a great business practice and of course there are times when it is unavoidable to cancel and unfortunately a lot of people wouldn’t have even bothered. If I were the original poster I would just realise the guy was cranky for whatever reason and would give them another try.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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If a customer is forced to wait longer than whatever the restaurant's stated alloted time that a reservation will be held until the table is given away in case of lateness or no show, then the appropriate thing to do is for the restaurant to make the delay as tolerable as possible by providing a round of drinks or appetizers at the bar without charge.  I've shaken many a free drink in my day and that's the cost to the restaurant for overbooking.  However, if the restaurant does allot a reasonable amount of time for guests to eat without being rushed, gets the food out of the kitchen in a timely fashion, etc. they often end up having to buy the "campers" that are screwing everything up a round of after dinner drinks to get them to unass the chairs in the dining room.  So the restaurant, even when they're doing everything right, ends up giving stuff away just to appease everyone.

When's the last time your appointment at the doctor, dentist or hairdresser was actually on time?  If it wasn't, did they provide refreshments or a discount??

Well, unlike many restaurants around here, Kaiser gets me in for same-day appts and, actually, has seen me early when I've arrived early. That's at least keeping up w/ a good percentage of restaurants. Of course, most of us are seldom reluctant to unass ourselves from an exam table. Also, I just realized there's no charge for canceling or even for no-showing. Clearly, Kaiser's laissez-faire attitude is destroying the hospitality industry.

My hairdresser is a whole other story. She runs late but she always offers to go get me coffee and a sweet treat.

I am curious, though, how you handle it when customers have to wait, say, more than 30 minutes despite having a reservation. Chilling for 15-20 minutes isn't unusual and it's easy with a drink or just hanging out. But more than that can deflate the evening, or wreck post-dinner plans.


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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A disclaimer: I helped out during Joe Beef's formative months, so i am not unbiased. Notwithstanding this...

First off, I am amazed that davecap even got the reservation. JB is so tiny, that the policy is 2's or 4's only. Two adults and a baby? I suspect that davecap wasn't 100% forthright about the age of his third guest...Dave (at JB) loves kids but, truthfully, they are not big spenders....

Secondly, JB has NO, none, zero, zippo, walk-in potential. They are in the "middle of nowhere", restaurant-wise, and so small, that people don't bother coming unless they have a reso.

JB should have been more polite, and I have even mentioned that to them, in person. But, thing is, they usually are. Every story has at least three sides, and we will never know the "truth". We are all debating hypotheticals here. If JB was typically rude to its' patrons, it would not have any business. Obviously, they do a wonderful job, and are very good hosts. Lets not just take one persons' word for something.

Lastly, as a resto owner, I have had many no-shows over the years. It is very frustrating. Many times, I have wanted to react "badly", but have held my tongue. I would say that every restauranteur reading this thread is a little envious of JB...

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A disclaimer: I helped out during Joe Beef's formative months, so i am not unbiased. Notwithstanding this...

First off, I am amazed that davecap even got the reservation. JB is so tiny, that the policy is 2's or 4's only. Two adults and a baby? I suspect that davecap wasn't 100% forthright about the age of his third guest...Dave (at JB) loves kids but, truthfully, they are not big spenders....

Secondly, JB has NO, none, zero, zippo, walk-in potential. They are in the "middle of nowhere", restaurant-wise, and so small, that people don't bother coming unless they have a reso.

JB should have been more polite, and I have even mentioned that to them, in person. But, thing is, they usually are. Every story has at least three sides, and we will never know the "truth". We are all debating hypotheticals here. If JB was typically rude to its' patrons, it would not have any business. Obviously, they do a wonderful job, and are very good hosts. Lets not just take one persons' word for something.

Lastly, as a resto owner, I have had many no-shows over the years. It is very frustrating. Many times, I have wanted to react "badly", but have held my tongue. I would say that every restauranteur reading this thread is a little envious of JB...

Very well put, John!

I totally agree with you.


"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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The resturanteur who answered the phone was rude, but the last minute aren't they lucky I called guy was wrong. If it took them to the reso time to realize their baby was tired, they are also rather oblivious parents, as well. This guy is using a tired baby as an excuse for a last minute cancellation.

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