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May 17, 2010 10:38 AM

High-End Restaurants -- No-Show/CXL Fees?

For anyone who knows, when it comes to Alinea, Avenues, Trotter's, Spiaggia, Tru, etc. -- I know most require a CC# and if you cancel within 72-48 hours or do not show completely, they will charge you $50-100 per person on the reservation.

My question is, if you have a rez for four people and only three show up, or two and only one, will they still charge the missing person fee or let it slide? I realize with some establishments it's case-by-case, and the dining room manager can override things, and that I should be calling each individual spot for their policy. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this in the past or knows for certain how it works?

We are planning a trip in September. Alinea is a must. But our companions are a variable, so I'm just thinking ahead. Thanks.

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

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  1. I have never been hit with a no-show fee when the number that shows up is less than the number in the reservation (although I'm diligent about notifying the restaurant in advance whenever possible). And I consider it so unlikely that I have a hard time believing any restaurant would impose one (aside from banquets where a headcount is guaranteed in advance).

    As for no shows (where the entire party actually does not show up or cancels), such places typically allow for cancellations with no charges if you give them at least a certain advance warning on your cancellation, usually 24 or 48 hours, which strikes me as eminently reasonable. A quick check of Chicago restaurants on Opentable shows that TRU charges $50/pp for no-shows or cancellations with less than 24 hours notice, at Charlie Trotter's it's $100/pp under 48 hours, at Everest it's $50/pp under 48 hours, at L2O it's under 48 hours with the charge not stated, and at Sixteen it doesn't state the charge or the time required. There do not appear to be any such charges at Avenues or Spiaggia.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      As an aside, one of the more thoughtful implementations of this policy is at LaMar in San Francisco, where the no-show fee is applied to a restaurant gift card. Takes the sting out of an unexpected last-minute cancellation.

      1. re: ferret

        Thank you both for your replies. That's pretty much what I figured.