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Partner Passing on Food in a Restaurant


Matutu
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Hey Guys,

Going up to London tomorrow evening and we have a booking in Le Gavroche, however my girlfriend today has come down not feeling too well and has really gone off her food.

Now she might be fine tomorrow however she might not, and she does not want me to miss out as i have been looking forward to it for ages and can't wait. So she said that she would come with me but just pass on dinner, how do you think the restaurant would see this? would it be a problem? We originally said at the time of booking we would go for the tasting menu, so i don't know if i should tell them in advance as she might be fine but then might not.

Any advice would be great, as i would hate for the restaurant to take offence at this.

Thanks a lot.

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In general terms, they should be the ones worried about offending you, rather than vice versa!

You could give them a quick ring as soon as you know for certain one way or the other and save the embarrassment of having an equivalent conversation at the table.

That said, if I were you, I'd re-book for when your girlfriend is feeling better. If she's not well enough to eat food, I guess she's not going to enjoy sitting there watching you eat and it'd be a shame for her to miss out.

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I'd explain the situation, and they may be very understanding. If they're difficult about things, tell them you'll be there, but would like to remind them that wiping up vomit is not the joy of the average waiter's life, nor do violent stomach upsets tend to add to pleasure of other diners. If the restaurant chooses to reschedule/cancel your reservation, they can't charge you for that.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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If she is not going to eat at all i shouldn't imagine it would be an issue - they may say not let you order from the tasting menu if she goes ALC though. I have eaten at Le gavroche solo and was extremely well looked after indeed...

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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If I were you I would ring them, tell them the situation and ask if you can ring back in the morning to confirm you are coming. I don't know if this is possible, but it might be worth a shot. This gives time for your girlfriend to see how she feels in the morning.

Personally I would say don't go if your girlfriend it still ill. Reschedule to a time when you can both enjoy the meal.

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I beg to differ with most responses. It's none of their business. I have eaten out many times, including at very high end restaurants, when one person did not eat, usually because they had a huge lunch, or had to leave a bit early, etc. I eat out alone myself quite a bit: one diner, what's the difference as long as you don't have a table for 4? If anyone so much as glanced sideways at my party if one wasn't eating, I'd have a word with the owner. You do not owe them a call.

But I agree with the advice to rebook when your girlfriend is well so it's a treat for both.

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I usually don't eat in the evenings because of gastric reflux, which when bad can be like "being off your food" every day. But I love to go out to eat. And I expect a restaurant would like to make money rather than have people just sit in their chairs. So I do one of two things. Sometimes I pick an entree that will heat up well, just pick at it, and then take it home to eat the next morning. Other times I order a very light appetizer, and then have a light dessert for my entree. Put a nice glass of wine on top of that I spend more than a lot of women around here who will just order a salad for dinner (this is southern California...)

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As far as I remember Le Gavroche has a minimum spend, I assume this applies to a diner eating nothing. I would definitely ring the restaurant, it is inconsiderate not to when you know that your partner won't be eating. A diner not eating is not really any different to a no-show, a booking for a single diner is very different from a booking for two when one person isn't eating. Lastly I wouldn't enjoy a dinner either if my partner wasn't eating.

Matt Christmas.

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Thanks for all the comments guys, we ended up cancelling the dinner. Now next issue is she is still not well (perfectly fine just suffering a lot with acid reflux type thing after eating) and we have a reservation at Pied A Terre on Friday night, and she is saying she does not want me to miss it as I'm the foodie and to be honest she is not fussed here or there about fine dining (Mcdonalds girl lol). So I'm thinking of just phoning them making the table for 1 and asking if she just join for a glass of wine as we are not in London again for a good year and she does not want me to miss out.

What ya think asking for a table of 1 and she just join for some wine etc be ok?

Thanks for all the comments! :)

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I beg to differ with most responses. It's none of their business. I have eaten out many times, including at very high end restaurants, when one person did not eat, usually because they had a huge lunch, or had to leave a bit early, etc. I eat out alone myself quite a bit: one diner, what's the difference as long as you don't have a table for 4? If anyone so much as glanced sideways at my party if one wasn't eating, I'd have a word with the owner. You do not owe them a call.

But I agree with the advice to rebook when your girlfriend is well so it's a treat for both.

A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I beg to differ with most responses. It's none of their business. I have eaten out many times, including at very high end restaurants, when one person did not eat, usually because they had a huge lunch, or had to leave a bit early, etc. I eat out alone myself quite a bit: one diner, what's the difference as long as you don't have a table for 4? If anyone so much as glanced sideways at my party if one wasn't eating, I'd have a word with the owner. You do not owe them a call.

But I agree with the advice to rebook when your girlfriend is well so it's a treat for both.

A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

My guess is as Janeer writes from the US she has no idea what la Gavroche is all about and thus the advice lacks any relevance. My rule of thumb is to treat all resturants with respect and you will reap the rewards - they are staffed by people not machines, do a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

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A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

My guess is as Janeer writes from the US she has no idea what la Gavroche is all about and thus the advice lacks any relevance. My rule of thumb is to treat all resturants with respect and you will reap the rewards - they are staffed by people not machines, do a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

This. Not just in restaurants but generally across the board. I've lost count of the number of favours I've been done by hotels (free upgrades), airlines (ditto), restaurants etc. simply by treating them with respect and not acting like a customer is always right asshole.

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I beg to differ with most responses. It's none of their business. I have eaten out many times, including at very high end restaurants, when one person did not eat, usually because they had a huge lunch, or had to leave a bit early, etc. I eat out alone myself quite a bit: one diner, what's the difference as long as you don't have a table for 4? If anyone so much as glanced sideways at my party if one wasn't eating, I'd have a word with the owner. You do not owe them a call.

But I agree with the advice to rebook when your girlfriend is well so it's a treat for both.

A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

My guess is as Janeer writes from the US she has no idea what la Gavroche is all about and thus the advice lacks any relevance. My rule of thumb is to treat all resturants with respect and you will reap the rewards - they are staffed by people not machines, do a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

Oh please, like I've never been to a restaurant like this? Courtesy goes both ways.

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A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

My guess is as Janeer writes from the US she has no idea what la Gavroche is all about and thus the advice lacks any relevance. My rule of thumb is to treat all resturants with respect and you will reap the rewards - they are staffed by people not machines, do a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

This. Not just in restaurants but generally across the board. I've lost count of the number of favours I've been done by hotels (free upgrades), airlines (ditto), restaurants etc. simply by treating them with respect and not acting like a customer is always right asshole.

As I sit writing this from my upgraded hotel room in San Francisco, may I say that you have no business suggesting I am an asshole for saying that not everyone at the table has to order. Or for any other reason.

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So, Janeer - if you booked a table at a small 2-3*, seating say 20 people, and only one person on the table actually ate, you don't think this is a bit rude? You don't think it might be worth notifying the restaurant before you arrive that they aren't actually going to eat anything?

It's not hard to understand why booking a table for one is different to booking a table for 4 which is only really for 3, because one person decided to pig out at lunch!

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A lot of things we do out of courtesy to others aren't things that are strictly required or "owed".

My guess is as Janeer writes from the US she has no idea what la Gavroche is all about and thus the advice lacks any relevance. My rule of thumb is to treat all resturants with respect and you will reap the rewards - they are staffed by people not machines, do a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

This. Not just in restaurants but generally across the board. I've lost count of the number of favours I've been done by hotels (free upgrades), airlines (ditto), restaurants etc. simply by treating them with respect and not acting like a customer is always right asshole.

As I sit writing this from my upgraded hotel room in San Francisco, may I say that you have no business suggesting I am an asshole for saying that not everyone at the table has to order. Or for any other reason.

I wasn't casting anything negative about your character. But I wonder if you have a lot of experience at top restaurants? Restaurants with a small number of covers and where each diner is a key element of the profitability in their business model. I can see your approach working in many of the high turnover restaurants in the US but would you try this in Manresa, The French Laundry, Saison, Quince, or Station 1....?

OK in mass market restaurants it isn't a real problem with many covers and tables turned a few times a night. But the restaurant we are discussing is quite small and thus if 50% of the party don't eat (and thus don't pay) it can really dent the profitability of the restaurant and viability of the restaurant. Isn't part of the social contract you make when you book a table for X people is X people will eat in order for them to occupy the space provided by the hosts.

Common courtesy would suggest it is simply polite to ring the restaurant and discuss this, not doing so seems very arrogant and very rude.

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I can only agree with PhilD and others. The idea of planning to have one person - at a table of two! - not eating without even bothering to check with the restaurant beforehand seems entirely absurd to me.

These people deserve to be sent without further ado to Sat Bains and get a taste of their cancellation policy. :smile:

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