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Requiring a credit card to make a reservation?

We are in NOLA 2-3 x per year and make reservations by phone and on Open Table. This is the first time when making reservations by phone that we have been asked for a credit card number to hold a time. Herb saint said a 24 hr cancellation or there would be a charge. Cochon said a 48 hr cancellation or a $25.00 per person charge. The times we wanted were not available on Open Tale but were available by phone. So what's up ?

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Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. I know those guys well. They put the credit card charge policy into place because so many people weren't showing up for their reservation and didn't have the good manners to call and cancel. They had to try something to cut back on that happening. I know it's common in other big restaurant cities like New York and San Francisco.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sanglier

      Thanks sanglier! This is the first time we have come across this practice even in NYC and DC we haven't been required to do so. We are going to be in NOLA at the start of The French Quater festival and wonder if that has anything to do with it. Too bad for the people with good manners having to be lumped in with the others.

      1. re: memphischix

        I agree, memphis. I will add that I think Cochon's 48 hour policy is a bit much, 24 is more like it. Have fun at FQF and avoid those tourist traps!

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        Cochon
        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. re: memphischix

          I would also guess that a table during a "festival" might affect the reservations too. Kind of like booking a room in NOLA for Mardi Gras - minimum stays, down payment, etc.

          Also, it seems that more and more patrons just make dozens of reservations, and never bother to cancel, or honor them. One of the first things that I do, should a trip be canceled, is to call all restaurants, even in Europe, and notify them that I will not be dining with them, and as soon as I can, so they can fill those tables. At least with cellphones, that is easier than it once was.

          Travel safely and enjoy,

          Hunt

      2. I just made lunch reservations for next week at Cochon and did not have to submit credit card info nor did they mention anything about a policy. I wonder if it is only for dinner service.

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        Cochon
        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1 Reply
        1. re: andrew21

          I think it is just a dinner policy.

        2. I have found this to be a fairly common practice, though do not recall any restaurants in NOLA requiring the credit cards before. Just finished making reservations for trips to London, Rome, Washington DC, San Francisco and Atlanta. I'd guess that half of those restaurants asked for a credit card to hold them.

          As far as Open Table, many restaurants will hold a certain number of tables. When OT does not have what we want, when we want it, we always call. It seems that about 30% of the time, there is a table available directly. I have also "struck out" with OT, and a call to the restaurant, only to be able to score one, though one of my credit cards' "concierge services." Some restaurants will hold a few tables aside for either a service like the AMEX Concierge, the top hotel concierges and then maybe for a few "walk-ins." It depends on the restaurant. Also, some top restaurants will call resort concierge desks, if they have tables that have become open. We encountered that for our first visit to The French Laundry, though I had already failed with every possible source, that I could muster. Walked into our resort, asked the concierge what might be available, and she told us that she'd just gotten a call from FL, and they had a table. We took it. Up to the day before, I couldn't get a table by "hook, or by crook."

          Hunt

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Well gee whiz Andrew - our reservation is for lunch also. Guess it just depends on who answers the phone. And true too Bill OT did not not have a 7:30 time for Herbsaint but when we called they gave us one. And btw bill hunt do you need to adopt a daughter? Or a traveling companion cause you sure seem to eat well!

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            Herbsaint
            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. re: memphischix

              Well, I suspect that I'd have to adopt you as my grand-daughter... [Grin]

              Also, be careful what you wish for. That travel is not nearly as glamorous, as it sounds. From Sept thru Dec we did over 50K+ miles each, and that was just on United, so US Air and Southwest were not counted. To sleep in my own bed for more than 3 nights was an answered prayer - now the dining was good, but not sure that it was worth it all. Starting this week, we're back in the air for about 3 mos., and the dining is all I have to look forward to.

              I am a bit surprised at this policy being invoked for lunch. As you state, it could depend on exactly who answers the phone. I might have just forgotten, but never recall a credit card being required for lunch anywhere - just dinner.

              OTOH, had a card been requested, and I really wanted to dine there, it would have been no issue, but I think I would have made note of it.

              Enjoy,

              Hunt

          2. Yes, it's because of French Quarter Fest. Wouldn't be surprised if this becomes more common for all "special events".