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Mar 6, 2009 01:41 PM

Do I count a baby when making reservations on Opentable?

Said baby is one year old and will need some kind of high chair. Do I count her as a "person" since she won't be eating?

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  1. The number on the reservation is so the restaurant can determine what size table they'll need to seat your party. So, since your child will fill a chair space at the table. You can use the comment section on the OT reservation form to say you're bringing your baby and will need a special seat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      I'd second that. The number you choose is less important than explaining in the note, i.e. 3: 2 adults plus highchair or 2: 2 adults plus highchair.

      1. re: nc213

        as someone who works with open table, please use the total number of humans in your number. 2 adults plus a baby is 3. if rushed, and/or having to change your table on the fly, the host may not have time to recheck the notes section.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Yes, when using Open Table, I include children in the total number, then use the notes section to indicate ages of the children. I received a phone call from one restaurant that their high chair seat belt straps were broken, I've been given a server with children of the same age, and I have been given an out-of-the-way table where the baby could observe the whole restaurant. These were very much appreciated accommodations that made our experiences successful. We also tip around 25% in addition to leaving additional money for the busser for the extra carpet cleanup.

    2. I also say yes. This way your baby can be placed on a chair at the table properly.

      1. Absolutely. And don't count on her not eating, either. My niece was eating table food (and stealing it off people's plates when it wasn't offered to her) before her first birthday.

        1. I agree *your* baby should be counted, although I disagree that *all* babies should be. If the baby's a newborn & will remain on your lap, not eating food, not requiring the facilitation of the restaurant in any way, I say that little bit of dependent flesh should be regarded as an exo-fetus, not as a separate person. IME newborns seem to share that view. ;-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mawrter

            it's been my experience that newborns and infants generally come in some kind of carrier. if awake, yes, the baby may be on somebody's lap, but that carrier needs a spot, and it won't be on mom's lap. :)

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Well, good point - I guess that's how most people do things.

          2. I was a host at a restaurant for a while and I would get upset if people with reservations at the time of seating would add: Oh yeah.... we need a high-chair/baby basket. It does add another seat to the table and sometimes tables were in tighter areas or in walking isles and it wasn't just that simple to add another seat.

            ALWAYS add your special requests (even if you'd like a booth) when making reservations or giving your name to the host(ess)... it helps us find the best table for you!