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Cancelled reservations at the last minute


davecap
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Interesting commentary, depending on which side of the aisle you are sitting on. In this case, either "side" can make the other party look and sound like a jerk or whatever you want them to sound like. Personally, stating that a business owner can run his business any way he/she see's fit -- thank you for the obvious -- does not justify nor defend rude, obnoxious, etc. behavior. Nor does the restuarant being "great" justify it. How small the restuarant is, how many tables, seatings, etc. -- also not the issue in my mind. That is merely an effort in vacillation. Let's not confuse cause and effect here.

At the very same time, bringing a child to a restaurant is not the issue. The deflection here is not at issue. The "no obligation to call" mentality certainly exists. It does. Period. I call, you don't, next. Some do, some won't, next. A contract? Please, that bridge could not be built anywhere. However, while the "not calling" or "calling late" may insult a few, some, many, etc. of us, again, that exists. It is an ingredient in the dish. If a small restaurant can't handle a cancellation or a no-show -- sure, they have every right to run their business their way, and they have every right to complain, but the fact is this is "part of the business" and if you can't "handle it" so to speak, then get out of the business. You want to use your economics, and your problems -- albeit created by someone else -- as your excuse to be a jerk, so be it. Sure you have every right.

We cannot expect everyone to live to the same standard of courtesy nor expectations as we do. It's that simple. At the same time, it is not the cusomters concern to "worry" about the business owner's issues and business model -- however, that shouldn't be to the point of rudeness and a complete lack of courtesy, however, everyone's standard is going to be different.

In this setting, there is a cultural and sociological aspect to this -- there is still a customer and there is still a business owner of a service business.

I think people "read" a lot into a dead medium of communication, and as such, there were some passionate defenses and positions. To me, very simply, the guy called at reservation time and cancelled -- I am not saying he knew an hour before, or a minute before -- he called to cancel. I am not saying he didn't have to, was polite to do so, was obligated, etc. -- none of that. He called to cancel. The business owner reacted the way he did -- and in my mind, he was wrong. Telling me he can act any way he sees fit -- well, yes, that is certainly his right. However, his "right" doesn't make it "right".

Eric

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I have stayed out of this thread based upon the fact the I am not employed in the restaurant trade. However...

The point of the original post was based upon how the customer felt he was treated when canceling a reservation. Whether or not he should have planned better is outside of what I see as the central issue (no offence intended - just letting you know where the following comment comes from).

I spent 17 months sweeping trash at a world famous amusement park in Anaheim that has flourished for over half a decade. When I hired in one point was emphasized during the guest relations part of my training. Never, never, ever make the customer feel anything less than valued. It's not always easy, and sometimes you bite a hole in your tongue, but you remember that they are your guest and you want them to enjoy themselves and come back again because they had a positive experience. Those employees who crossed that line resulting in a complaint were dealt with appropriately. I felt it was a good atmosphere to work in.

This attitude toward one's guests is something I was well aware of decades before working there. It is one of my personal benchmarks for whether I will return to any given establishment be it a restaurant, retail store or place of entertainment.

I, for my part, try to not forget that it is fellow human beings who are serving or aiding me. I read name tags and address people by name when I can so that they know I recognize them as more than mere biological necessitates within the organization they represent. I hope they recognize that I am more than a biological necessity for getting greenbacks into the register drawer.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I have stayed out of this thread based upon the fact the I am not employed in the restaurant trade.  However...

The point of the original post was based upon how the customer felt he was treated when canceling a reservation.  Whether or not he should have planned better is outside of what I see as the central issue (no offence intended - just letting you know where the following comment comes from).

I spent 17 months sweeping trash at a world famous amusement park in Anaheim that has flourished for over half a decade.  When I hired in one point was emphasized during the guest relations part of my training.  Never, never, ever make the customer feel anything less than valued.  It's not always easy, and sometimes you bite a hole in your tongue, but you remember that they are your guest and you want them to enjoy themselves and come back again because they had a positive experience.  Those employees who crossed that line resulting in  a complaint were dealt with appropriately.  I felt it was a good atmosphere to work in.

This attitude toward one's guests is something I was well aware of decades before working there.  It is one of my personal benchmarks for whether I will return to any given establishment be it a restaurant, retail store or place of entertainment.

I, for my part, try to not forget that it is fellow human beings who are serving or aiding me.  I read name tags and address people by name when I can so that they know I recognize them as more than mere biological necessitates within the organization they represent.  I hope they recognize that I am more than a biological necessity for getting greenbacks into the register drawer.

Excellent point(s). I took the liberty of bolding of how this situation landed with me. Thank you for your commentary.

Eric

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the way I see it, once you choose to have young children...you also choose to give up many conveniences...including fine dining (except when you can procure a baby-sitter). that's just the way it is. you have to take the negatives as well as the positives.

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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...

Dave McMillan, owner of Joe Beef and a member of this forum, could very easily take this discussion out of the realm of the hypothetical and possibly even end it, by telling his side of the story, or apologizing.

As for davecap, I'll take his word until I have a reason not to.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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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...

Dave McMillan, owner of Joe Beef and a member of this forum, could very easily take this discussion out of the realm of the hypothetical and possibly even end it, by telling his side of the story, or apologizing.

As for davecap, I'll take his word until I have a reason not to.

Dave M has not been an active eG forum participant for some time.

The last time I was at JB, I spoke to Dave about this incident and there are indeed extenuating circumstances. However it would be a no win situation for him to engage in this incessant debate.

You should remember that he left the multi-establishment corporate restaurant scene in order to concentrate on his own place and to report to himself. It is his business and within the laws of the land he can conduct himself as he sees fit. Is it smart to be rude or treat a potential customer with disdain? Probably not. Would he do the same thing again? I'm not sure; we'll have to ask him.

Let us not forget that there is not but one set of rules for how you run a business; service or otherwise. Marco Pierre White who became the first English born chef to garner 3 Michelin stars (he remains the youngest to do so) would, on occasion, literally throw customers out the door if they pissed him off. He became revered throughout England as the Bad Boy Chef and his multi-starred establishments were extremely successful. Is that what we know as Joe Beef? Not at all. Those of us who patronise the restaurant see it as a wonderful little oasis where the service is great, the decor unpretentious, the food fabulous and the overall experience one of the very best in our city of great restaurants.

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While I think the situation could perhaps have been handled better, my experience with David McMillan is such that Joe Beef remains the No. 1 restaurant for me to try when I next return to Montreal. My personal experience with him he hasn't been anything but extremely gracious, but Chef McMillan is a passionate man and a passionate chef. I would rather have that (within reason) than an extremely tactful chef owner who doesn't care about his food.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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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...

Dave McMillan, owner of Joe Beef and a member of this forum, could very easily take this discussion out of the realm of the hypothetical and possibly even end it, by telling his side of the story, or apologizing.

As for davecap, I'll take his word until I have a reason not to.

Dave M has not been an active eG forum participant for some time.

The last time I was at JB, I spoke to Dave about this incident and there are indeed extenuating circumstances. However it would be a no win situation for him to engage in this incessant debate.

You should remember that he left the multi-establishment corporate restaurant scene in order to concentrate on his own place and to report to himself. It is his business and within the laws of the land he can conduct himself as he sees fit. Is it smart to be rude or treat a potential customer with disdain? Probably not. Would he do the same thing again? I'm not sure; we'll have to ask him.

Let us not forget that there is not but one set of rules for how you run a business; service or otherwise. Marco Pierre White who became the first English born chef to garner 3 Michelin stars (he remains the youngest to do so) would, on occasion, literally throw customers out the door if they pissed him off. He became revered throughout England as the Bad Boy Chef and his multi-starred establishments were extremely successful. Is that what we know as Joe Beef? Not at all. Those of us who patronise the restaurant see it as a wonderful little oasis where the service is great, the decor unpretentious, the food fabulous and the overall experience one of the very best in our city of great restaurants.

Dave McMillan is listed as a participating member in the rolls. There is nothing to stop him, if he chooses to post. I'd love to ask him if he'd again chew out a guest who called late to cancel, but he'd have to be online for me to do that since I won't be going to his restaurant any time soon.

Gruyere, you are the third person in this discussion to suggest that there are "extenuating circumstances" without actually stating those circumstances. So I guess we can assume those "circumstances" wouldn't hold up in the light of day.

I am aware of Dave McMillan's story and his stated reasons for opening Joe Beef. I am aware that it is his business. I know what it is like to eat there. None of that gives him the right to be rude. Please try to get that.

On this side of the Atlantic, Frank Bruni gave Gordon Ramsay only 2 stars. I guess not everyone is impressed with "bad boys."

Edited by rcianci (log)
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...McMillan is listed as a participating member in the rolls.
But inactive, acording to an earlier post; therefore why repeat the point.
... third person in this discussion to suggest that there are "extenuating circumstances" without actually stating those circumstances. So I guess we can assume those "circumstances" wouldn't hold up in the light of day..
No, we can only objectively assume we don't know.

The ethic evident in some restaurant-experience threads is remarkable. As a restaurant consumer I appreciate the mutual commitment enabling diners to eat at fine restaurants. 15 years ago I told one of them I hadn't stood up a restaurant in 20 years and if I did so I'd consider it important to compensate the restaurant per an average check for our table and if they wanted, I would put that in writing. (They didn't. I also have been a regular ever since.)

Yet there are threads like one on French Laundry (2005) where customer used false premises to get a sought-after reservation and then, when the fraud surfaced during dinner, service became a bit chilly and that is what the customer protested in the thread and that is what many respondents commiserated about! Not the fraud that created the situation. Porthos, "the central issue" is the restaurant was stiffed. Yes there's a problem with how that was handled on the phone, no question. But that came only after the original slight. (One that seems not to bother a lot of people.)

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...McMillan is listed as a participating member in the rolls.
But inactive, acording to an earlier post; therefore why repeat the point.
... third person in this discussion to suggest that there are "extenuating circumstances" without actually stating those circumstances. So I guess we can assume those "circumstances" wouldn't hold up in the light of day..
No, we can only objectively assume we don't know.

We assess the information we have. Do hints of "if you only knew what I knew" cut it for you? Because they don't for me. If the restaurateurs want their story considered, then they need to tell it.

Porthos, "the central issue" is the restaurant was stiffed.  Yes there's a problem with how that was handled on the phone, no question.  But that came only after the original slight.  (One that seems not to bother a lot of people.)

The name's Rich. The customer called and released the table. The customer had a child to consider. The owner had that information, yet chose to see the customer's action as a slight to his business and was rude to the customer. The owner was in the wrong and should apologize. That is the central issue.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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If the restaurateurs want their story considered, then they need to tell it.

I haven't gotten the impression that the restaurateurs want their story considered by the general public. It would be in pretty poor taste for JB to start revealing the details of their interactions with their customers over the internet.

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If the restaurateurs want their story considered, then they need to tell it.

I haven't gotten the impression that the restaurateurs want their story considered by the general public. It would be in pretty poor taste for JB to start revealing the details of their interactions with their customers over the internet.

Point taken, but hints through third parties that the customer was less than truthful are in equal poor taste. They should really just apologize and leave it at that.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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The name's Rich.
Again no: My remarks above answered Porthos's, after answering rcianci's.

Do many others really not get what's happening?

From long enough focus, three problems are distinct. A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner. (Believe me, I've been there.) B, Customer backs out of high-end restaurant reservation. C, Restaurant complains to customer.

Ethical issue is the unexamined assumption that customer's problem A should reasonably become restaurant's problem B. You can likewise rationalize the customer in French Laundry complaint here (June 1, 2005: couldn't get reservations, so used ruse representing him as someone he wasn't). And as you can see, people do rationalize it.

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From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.

This over-simplifies the issue. They changed their mind, but waited until the moment of the reservation to call. Assuming they are anything like most people, they would have had to get ready for dinner. This in itself takes time, so at best they knew they would be cancelling an hour ahead (or however long it takes them to get ready and get to the restaurant). Why they waited until the minute of the rezz doesn't make sense...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.

This over-simplifies the issue. They changed their mind, but waited until the moment of the reservation to call. Assuming they are anything like most people, they would have had to get ready for dinner. This in itself takes time, so at best they knew they would be cancelling an hour ahead (or however long it takes them to get ready and get to the restaurant). Why they waited until the minute of the rezz doesn't make sense...

Even if they waited until the last possible minute to decide because they really, really wanted to go and hoped up until the last minute that they could, that last minute probably should have been about fifteen-thirty minutes prior due to the need to get to the restaurant at 7:30 for their reservation.

What makes this topic interesting is the situation taking the specific principals out of it. We are talking about a small, popular, very good restaurant run by a dynamic, individualistic chef-proprietor in an out-of-the-way location and a food-loving guest with a family including one or more small children who really wanted to dine at that restaurant, but ultimately felt that they could not because of the condition of their child(ren). I can relate to the parents' desire to do it all - entertain the children with a fun, busy day and then entertain themselves. The problem is with very young children it is difficult to do both and often something has to give. In the example cited here, both parties are at fault to some, albeit explainable degree. The restaurant was understandably rude given the timing of the cancellation, though as a service business that is a dangerous tack to take. The parents could have and probably should have predicted the child's condition unless the child is ordinarily unusually energetic and cooperative with this sort of thing. As such the parents should have either devise alternative plans to begin with such as taking it easier during the day to preserve the child for dinner, planned for a babysitter or planned a more child-friendly evening. In the event that they still wanted to do it all they should have called the restaurant as soon as it was apparent to them that the evening would not work out as hoped. This almost certainly could have and should have been determined before the reservation time of 7:30 unless they were actually at the restaurant and determined then and there that they could not reasonably handle the situation. Although Davecap has taken a lot of heat along with Joe Beef throughout this thread, I am glad that he posted it as it has generated a lot of thought and interesting commentary.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Davecap's statement in his opeing post: "My point in raising this is that I have never been treated that way by a restaurant."

Your reply to me:

Porthos, "the central issue" is the restaurant was stiffed.

Your statement of the "central issue" does not agree with Davecap's stated "point of raising this." I respect your right to not agree with his choice of actions but I do not agree with ignoring his original stated point in deference to one's reaction to his choice of actions. Any retail business assumes the risk of loss the moment they open their doors and if such a loss occurs, it was already established that such a loss could occur. Various restaurants having policies and procedures for attempting to mitigate this loss have been covered in other threads so I will not tread into those waters here.

Corrected punctuation.

Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Do many others really not get what's happening? 

From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.  (Believe me, I've been there.)  B, Customer backs out of high-end restaurant reservation.  C, Restaurant complains to customer.

You left out:

D, Customer, after planning so poorly as to create a problem for customer and then transferring customer's self-created problem to restaurant, goes online in an extremely public forum and bashes restaurant in order to.....what?

Get even?

:cool:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You left out:

D, Customer, after ... transferring customer's ... problem to restaurant, goes online in an extremely public forum and bashes restaurant ...

Yes, I earlier highlighted and again I refer everyone to the June 2005 French Laundry thread for a really pure example, where still, someone went online to complain (and others to commiserate) despite initiating the whole sequence, without even a sudden personal problem "A" as in this thread. The morality of convenience is what got me posting here.

Coincidence: After posting yesterday, I was in the same used bookstore where the legendary Epicurean cookbook surfaced for ten dollars, and ran into current chef of 15-year restaurant I mentioned yesterday. I asked him about customer understanding of the expensive commitments a small high-end kitchen makes when booking for costly meals. He said many customers don't seem to know about this (and implied that if they did, they might more clearly understand a reciprocal commitment).

Maybe this site, with many restaurant-savvy consumers reading it, can help get the word out.

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In case anyone failed -- as I did -- to notice that MaxH was not talking about the main French Laundry discussion, here is the link to the topic to which he is referring.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Your statement of the "central issue" does not agree with Davecap's stated "point of raising this."  I respect your right to not agree with his choice of actions but I do not agree with ignoring his original stated point  in deference to one's reaction to his choice of actions.  Any retail business assumes the risk of loss the moment they open their doors and if such a loss occurs, it was already established that such a loss could occur.  Various restaurants having policies and procedures for attempting to mitigate this loss have been covered in other threads so I will not tread into those waters here.

Nobody is under any obligation to respond to a post in terms of what the poster claims is its "point." In this case, I think the real point was to bash the restaurant, anyway.

I think this poster was under a misapprehension-- namely that his late cancellation would cause the restaurant no loss-- which has hopefully been corrected if he's read this thread. I usually think that, when you are in business, it's a bad idea to try to explain this sort of thing to customers but hey, this time it may have worked-- if not on the original poster then on some others reading this thread.

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From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.

This over-simplifies the issue. They changed their mind, but waited until the moment of the reservation to call. Assuming they are anything like most people, they would have had to get ready for dinner. This in itself takes time, so at best they knew they would be cancelling an hour ahead (or however long it takes them to get ready and get to the restaurant). Why they waited until the minute of the rezz doesn't make sense...

Putting down a tired and cranky child for the night could have easily captured the parents' attention until reservation time. Whenever friends with young children make plans to visit, I am never surprised, much less annoyed, if they are late or have to cancel. It's not that they're flakes or insincere, it's that parenting is tough and requires the ability to respond to emerging situations.

Porthos: Apologies, I did not see your name in the thread. I plead over-tiredness when I posted.

MaxH: I'm sorry, but no "reciprocal commitment" exists. That's not a rationalization, it's a fact. As has been stated before, reservations are a courtesy of the business. Restaurants do not have to take reservations. Likewise calling to cancel is a courtesy of the customer. The customer does not have to call. The customer does not owe the restaurant anything beyond money for services rendered. Call it a rationalization if you like, I call it having good boundaries.

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From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.

This over-simplifies the issue. They changed their mind, but waited until the moment of the reservation to call. Assuming they are anything like most people, they would have had to get ready for dinner. This in itself takes time, so at best they knew they would be cancelling an hour ahead (or however long it takes them to get ready and get to the restaurant). Why they waited until the minute of the rezz doesn't make sense...

Putting down a tired and cranky child for the night could have easily captured the parents' attention until reservation time. Whenever friends with young children make plans to visit, I am never surprised, much less annoyed, if they are late or have to cancel. It's not that they're flakes or insincere, it's that parenting is tough and requires the ability to respond to emerging situations.

Porthos: Apologies, I did not see your name in the thread. I plead over-tiredness when I posted.

MaxH: I'm sorry, but no "reciprocal commitment" exists. That's not a rationalization, it's a fact. As has been stated before, reservations are a courtesy of the business. Restaurants do not have to take reservations. Likewise calling to cancel is a courtesy of the customer. The customer does not have to call. The customer does not owe the restaurant anything beyond money for services rendered. Call it a rationalization if you like, I call it having good boundaries.

That's bogus. Everyone -- everyone -- has an obligation to make a good faith effort to keep obligations they voluntarily enter into. That includes showing up at restaurants (who have turned away others to hold a table for them) when they make a reservation. Cheap legalistic rationalizations not withstanding.

(note: I am speaking generally and not specifically to this case.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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From long enough focus, three problems are distinct.  A, Customer family fatigued, changes mind about dinner.

This over-simplifies the issue. They changed their mind, but waited until the moment of the reservation to call. Assuming they are anything like most people, they would have had to get ready for dinner. This in itself takes time, so at best they knew they would be cancelling an hour ahead (or however long it takes them to get ready and get to the restaurant). Why they waited until the minute of the rezz doesn't make sense...

Putting down a tired and cranky child for the night could have easily captured the parents' attention until reservation time. Whenever friends with young children make plans to visit, I am never surprised, much less annoyed, if they are late or have to cancel. It's not that they're flakes or insincere, it's that parenting is tough and requires the ability to respond to emerging situations.

Porthos: Apologies, I did not see your name in the thread. I plead over-tiredness when I posted.

MaxH: I'm sorry, but no "reciprocal commitment" exists. That's not a rationalization, it's a fact. As has been stated before, reservations are a courtesy of the business. Restaurants do not have to take reservations. Likewise calling to cancel is a courtesy of the customer. The customer does not have to call. The customer does not owe the restaurant anything beyond money for services rendered. Call it a rationalization if you like, I call it having good boundaries.

That's bogus. Everyone -- everyone -- has an obligation to make a good faith effort to keep obligations they voluntarily enter into. That includes showing up at restaurants (who have turned away others to hold a table for them) when they make a reservation. Cheap legalistic rationalizations not withstanding. (note: I am speaking generally and not specifically to this case.

I don't intend to stiff a restaurant when I reserve a table, I'm booking an evening's entertainment. I alway call to cancel a reservation. I always call to confirm one as well. And I stand by my position that by calling I am extending a courtesy; giving a gift rather than fulfilling an obligation. I don't owe the restaurant.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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I alway call to cancel a reservation. I always call to confirm one as well. And I stand by my position that I am extending a courtesy. It's a gift, not an obligation,

So doing what you said -- or clearly implied -- you would do is a "gift," not an obligation? I guess the whole "a man's word is his bond" thing is passe, as far as you're concerned.

One assumes that similarly, if the restaurant decides to hold the table you have reserved until you arrive, that too is a gift, and not an obligation on their part. I trust that you follow up with a hand-written thank you note.

Perhaps instead of reservationists, restaurants will begin retaining notary publics and we call all have our reservations signed and stamped and legal obligations clearly spelled out, until such time as people agree to act like grown-ups once again.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I alway call to cancel a reservation. I always call to confirm one as well. And I stand by my position that I am extending a courtesy. It's a gift, not an obligation,

So doing what you said -- or clearly implied -- you would do is a "gift," not an obligation? I guess the whole "a man's word is his bond" thing is passe, as far as you're concerned.

One assumes that similarly, if the restaurant decides to hold the table you have reserved until you arrive, that too is a gift, and not an obligation on their part. I trust that you follow up with a hand-written thank you note.

Perhaps instead of reservationists, restaurants will begin retaining notary publics and we call all have our reservations signed and stamped and legal obligations clearly spelled out, until such time as people agree to act like grown-ups once again.

That's funny because I can't recall even once in my life reserving a table with the words "I give you my solemn pledge, my wife and I will be there at 7:30", usually I just say that I would like a table for two at 7:30 and the reservationist tells me if that's possible.

Busboy, I apologize if my opinions have made you angry. I think I understand your frustration. Restaurant owners have to extend trust to (and gamble resources on) people they can't control. I get that there's economic fallout when the customer doesn't show, but that is risk the restaurant owner assumes when they agree to take reservations. I understand that there are "serial reservationists" who abuse the system. But people see restaurants as a service and they show up or don't for reasons that have to do with their lives and not yours. Seeing that as malicious just seems pointless, unless the point is to make yourself crazy.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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