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Opentable Irritating Telephone Confirmations

l
Libbytgb Dec 18, 2008 01:06 PM

I just hate it when some maitre'd interrupts me in the middle of the business day to confirm a reservation. Is there a reason why Opentable does not use email?? If the restaurant does not get a response to an email, then go ahead and call. Just wondering how others feel about this...

  1. k
    katielp Dec 25, 2008 08:56 AM

    i agree. annoying. the reason why i use opentable is to avoid making phone calls in the first place, so i'd also prefer an email only setup. i used to believe that they deducted points for no-shows, which might be an incentive not to make reservations wildly! in the current climate, though, i can see why restaurants are keen to confirm with us.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katielp
      l
      Leonardo Dec 25, 2008 09:14 AM

      I don't mind at all. It's a reassuring confirmation for my side too. And it's certainly not confined to Open Table reservations. I like it when they call!

      I don't blame them for doing this. Way too many people don't show, and they are just trying to run their business well in these tough times. No-shows can mean their ruin if they turn down business and the table goes empty. (I've NEVER not shown up.)

      Just because the phone is ringing, doesn't mean you have to answer it. Just return the VM when you can.

      1. re: Leonardo
        Whosyerkitty Dec 26, 2008 01:00 PM

        Because a live person talking to another live person is more reliable. Email is not an exact science.

    2. l
      Le Den Dec 19, 2008 03:03 PM

      From the business side of things, so many people blow off reservations that we have to try and confirm as many as possible so we can accomodate other guests who want to dine with us. The longer a reservations goes unconfirmed (meaning a message was left on voice mail, no answer or the increasingly popular "wrong number") the more likely we are to over book that time period. We also look at reservation histories (OT lets us keep complete records--no shows, cancellations, visits etc) when deciding how long to hold a non-confirmed reservation.

      If you don't want the restaurant calling to confirm your reservation, call yourself, first thing in the am to confirm before your very busy day begins.

      Lastly, if you are rude to the Maitre'd when he calls to confirm, you can be sure that it will be noted in your reservation history and you stand a better chance of not getting a prime table.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Le Den
        s
        Sinicle Dec 21, 2008 06:34 PM

        Although I understand your perspective from the business side of things, from the customers point of view (from whence all largess flows), trying to call a restaurant at the start of my "very busy day" is not very practical. On the other hand, I really have no problem with the restaurant calling me to confirm.

        1. re: Sinicle
          wilafur Dec 24, 2008 08:34 AM

          if you are busy, they will typically leave a vm. so just call them back when you have time/are free.

      2. n
        nc213 Dec 19, 2008 01:59 PM

        As someone else pointed out, Opentable is not calling you. The restaurant is calling you. Opentable is software the restaurant uses. If you don't want the restaurant to call to confirm, you could note that in your reservation; however, confirmed reservations = more tables for those who want them = more accurate food orders = better staffing = better service for those who dine there.

        1. m
          mjhals Dec 19, 2008 05:48 AM

          I've actually found this feature very helpful. Last weekend I made a reservation for 3, and the day before the dinner our third cancelled. I tried to go on Opentable to modify the reservation but for some reason it said they couldn't accommodate 2 at the same time as the original reservation, so I left it as is. Then I received the confirmation call directly from the restaurant, told them of the change of plans, and they were able to switch things around and we got a great table. I just thinks it's a nice part of their customer service and a good indication of a well-run restaurant.

          1. Miss Needle Dec 18, 2008 08:26 PM

            If you don't like them calling you in the middle of the business day to confirm, why don't you use your home phone number? And if you work at home and don't have a business line devoted to work, it will probably not just be restaurants calling you but also telemarketers, your cable company, friends, family, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle
              d
              DGresh Dec 19, 2008 04:25 AM

              I agree; honestly I never give my work number as my "daytime" number even though it is. I just don't think it's appropriate. If I'm expecting some important message I just check the home machine remotely. The reservation confirmation can wait until you get home.

            2. p
              purple bot Dec 18, 2008 06:51 PM

              It has nothing to do with OpenTable. It's the restaurant. And no, I have no problem with it. Too many people blow off rezzies without a second thought, they are a business, and they need to know who's coming and who's not.

              1 Reply
              1. re: purple bot
                l
                Lucia Dec 19, 2008 05:07 PM

                Agreed--it's a restaurant policy, and I'm used to it.

              2. jfood Dec 18, 2008 05:57 PM

                You do not have to pick up every call, that's why there is voice mail. Let them leave a message and then you can call back when it is convenient for you.

                BTW - The MD has no idea what your work day is like.

                1. s
                  small h Dec 18, 2008 05:52 PM

                  It isn't Open Table that does this, it's the restaurants themselves. I'm not a fan of it, but I accept it as a necessary evil. If people were responsible about canceling reservations they didn't intend to honor, restaurants wouldn't need to take this step. And judging by the number of Chowhound posters who ask for help deciding between multiple restaurants - and mention all the "placeholder" reservations they've made - it's probably a good idea.

                  As to calling vs. email, a phone call means the restaurant can be reasonably sure the message went through.

                  I also see it as an affirmation - oh, good, they remember I'm coming.

                  1. westsidegal Dec 18, 2008 03:15 PM

                    i would imagine that the reason is that the person who is confirming the reservations is concurrently on duty at the hostess station. it makes perfect sense to me that a restaurant would not want to set up internet/email access from the hostess station.

                    1. w
                      writergirl Dec 18, 2008 03:11 PM

                      This happens with non-open table ressies as well. I do find if I'm don't tke the call I get a crappy table, which isn't too surprising. They're not sure I'm going to show. A lot of people blow off reservations without a second thought.

                      1. wilafur Dec 18, 2008 01:09 PM

                        doesn't phase me at all.

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