I'm wondering what fellow chowhounds think of the demanding reservation policies frequently
encountered in 'hot' restaurants?? For years I have accepted calling to confirm at a designated time/
day, now we have to call on a certain day, as earlier as one can, to reserve a month ahead. Now, Union
Pacific has asked for a credit card to hold a reservation!!!???!!!!! anyone else think THIS is a bit MUCH
I am thinking of not going, if we all change our step, will they change their dance??
I can see your frustration but I'm sure that one area
in which restaurant owners will agree that the
customer is "always wrong" is in making and following
through on reservations. The next time you are in your
favorite restaurant ask the person handling this
function how many "no shows" they have had. Chefs
purchase food and staff their kitchen based on demand
and one of the indicators of this is the almighty
reservation. There is a sushi restaurant in LA that
will charge your credit card $100 if you decide not to
show or cancel your reservation because there
purchases (fresh fish flown in daily!!??..$$$)are
based on reservations.
The reason they are dancing is because we the customer
have changed our step by blowing off reservations all
to frequently. So if you decide not to go please
cancel your reservation.
re: steve d.
Boycott them. Why bother eating at such places where
getting a reservation is even harder than getting past
an unfriendly and nasty NY Coopo board? Where's the
simple pleasure and fun anyway? Dinner at a restaurant
is supposed to be a friendly, pleasant, relaxing and
memorable culinary experience--certainly not a 100-meter
I am always amazed by this debate because in a million
years I would never NOT cancel a reservation if my
plans changed. I even call if I'm running a little
late for a reservation, which actually embarasses my
husband, but believe me, the restaurant is very
appreciative (and often amazed). I can't believe
enough people actually don't follow this common
courtesy for it to be enough of a problem to prompt
restaurants to take this kind of an offensive, self-
protective stand. As a good scout, being punished by
these byzantine policies annoys the hell out of me.
Afte sitting on hold for a decade to MAKE a res. at
Balthazar recently, you can image how I felt sitting
on hold for an additional decade to cancel. I was
told that there is another number for cancelling but I
assure you it was not given to me. (Rather than be
apologetic for my inconvenience and thankful that I
stayed on to cancel, the woman was kind of snotty,
which amazed me under the circumstances...)
I made a res at Rage the other day and was asked for
my credit card #. I refused. I was then asked to
call 24 hours ahead to confirm and, feeling cocky, I
said "How about if I just call you if my plans change
and I WON'T be coming?" The woman actually accepted
this arrangement, though, to be on the safe side (it
was a business dinner and included my boss) I DID call
the day before to confirm...
At Campagna last New Years I was actually asked to
come to the restaurant IN PERSON beforehand to leave a
CASH deposit - they wouldn't accept a credit card #!
(On top of that the Maitre d' was such an arrogant,
rude A-hole when I did come with my crispy cash, that
I wrote a letter to Mr. Strausman and we ended up
being comped half of the meal. The whole experience
was so unpleasant and stressful that I STILL wouldn't
go back. The Maitre d' came over to apologize not
once but twice during the evening and I think we felt
worse than he did by the end of it all!)
In any case, my final words of wisdom:
A) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS cancel your reservations if
your plans change.
B) Don't make the reservation if you're
offended/inconvenienced/annoyed by a restaurant's
reservation policy, and be sure to let them know that
that is WHY you are declining to be their guest.
A + B should work out for the best...
I was also turned off by Union Pacific's reservation
policy. After being told about all of their
reservation policies, I got fed up and told them not
to bother. I guess restaurants need some protection
against no-shows, but threatening to charge you credit
card if you don't show up seems a bit excessive (and
very likely illegal).