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Apr 30, 2008 07:25 AM

TWO HOUR LIMIT? Rise Number 1

Perhaps I'm not a foodie like I think I am, but is it normal to tell your patrons at time of reservation, that there is a two hour limit? I frequent RiseNumber1, and I made reservations for Mother's Day. The hostess was nice and courteous, but after booking my table, she reminds me there's a "two hour limit" for my meal. And this is a 3-star restaurant. I eat out in DFW quite often and all over Europe. I've never been rushed out before I even sat down. Please enlighten me if I am wrong.

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  1. I've only had this happen once, in London. It was at OXO Tower (a higher-end establishment), and I can only presume they do so in effort to maximize turns and thus profit.
    Also, it was a weeknight, not even a special occasion.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dexters

      Many years ago, in London, at the River Cafe. They only have (or had) two seatings for the evening, and a "curfew" on traffic in the neighborhood. A turnoff initially, but in fact --- the food was worth it. FANTASTIC. Don't know how they are (or even IF they are) these days.

      1. re: BerkshireTsarina

        A lot of restaurants in London have two sittings these days, even at lunchtimes. Personally, I find it incredibly annoying that you can't make a reservation for 8pm a lot of the time, it's either 7 or after 9pm.

        The River Cafe is alive and well, and very expensive! My friend still says it's the best meal she's ever had in a restaurant.

    2. Wow. I mean, wow! I've got to say that is a new one to me. I think if I were told such a thing I would drop my reservation. Not so much for the policy as much as the pressure it would put on me. I would be checking my watch the whole time which would without a doubt put a bummer on my meal.....funny thing is I would likely be done within the 2 hours.

      1. I hear that occasionally when making a reservation - particularly an early one - in Manhattan. I don't mind and will take the reservation as long as the time frame is one in which I think I can enjoy my meal. I'd rather they be honest w/ me and tell me up front that they have the table booked at a later time, etc., than find it out when I get to the place.

        1. My guess is that it may be because of Mothers Day. Tends to be large groups and being family some people may get all chit-chatty and take their time ordering, etc. I think it was wise for them to tell you this ahead of time. Of course when we take my MIL out for any occasion the goal is to make it one hour from the time we pick her up until we drop her off, but back in the day when my Mom was living, we were close and a chit-chatty group and could easily lose track of time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Janet from Richmond

            Janet, I had a good laugh about the MIL comment. Yes, agree on the Mother's Day or holiday timing. We have been out and people think they can monopolize a table for 1/2 day. At least they told the OP up front, rather than kicking them out after 2 hours. Who can sit longer than that anyway?

          2. As long as they tell you when you're making the reservation, I don't have a problem with it. I've heard of some places that do have time limits and make them known. I have a problem with it if they don't tell you until you get to the restaurant. If they make the policies known, we can choose not to go there. I'd also expect them to be quite quick with getting drink orders and taking food orders such that the meal itself could be relaxed.