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Jun 1, 2011 07:01 AM

Restaurants that call you and ask that you "Call us back to confirm" a reservation you've already confirmed online. Do you call back?

Increasingly restaurants are accepting, if not encouraging, online reservations. I happen to love the convenience of this however, lately I've been finding that more and more restaurants are calling me a day or two in advance and leaving a message saying to give them a call back to confirm the reservation.

While I understand why they're doing this, I also find it annoying. It tells me that they don't trust that if my plans have changed, that I'd let them know.

They are now creating a more cumbersome, two-step reservation process. The message is, if you want to dine here, make a reservation on-line and then, you better call us closer to the date too.

I dine out frequently due to business and lately, I haven't been calling back. What about you?

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  1. Yes. I'd rather spend 5 minutes on the phone than lose the reservation. We've had too many online reservations disappear. Or maybe "disappear".

    1. Yes, I call back. Always. Not only would I, too, "rather spend 5 minutes on the phone than lose the reservation," but online reservations are not fool-proof. In other words, from my end, I've shown up at the appointed date and time only to have the restaurant have no record of my making a reservation -- this is why I *always* print out the emailed confirmation and bring it with me.

      But more importantly, from the restaurant's point-of-view, you have hit the nail on the head:
      >>> It tells me that they don't trust that if my plans have changed, that I'd let them know. <<<

      Have you ever worked in the front of the house? Do you have any idea how many people change their plans and do NOT let the restaurant know? Happens every night -- or, at least, several times a week -- whether we're talking about casual dining, fine dining, or even "uber-fine" dining. This is precisely why they still ask for a confirmation within 48 hours, and why some restaurants will insist on a credit card to charge if you fail to appear . . .

      1. it isn't personal ..... no one is calling you,specifically, untrustworthy. most restaurants are operating on a razor thin margin right now, and they cannot afford tables sitting empty

        1. It's unfortunate that so many people are so inconsiderate as to make reservations and simply fail to show up. But it's pretty common, so you can't blame the restaurant for asking for confirmation. They're just trying to make sure they have customers for all their tables and tables for all their customers - that's a good thing. And for me the confirmation phone call has always been a matter of seconds, not minutes, so it really isn't that big a deal.

          At least it's harder these days for the boors to make three or four reservations and then decide at the last minute what they're "in the mood" for. Lots of places use Open Table, which will only allow you to hold a single reservation at a time without resorting to convoluted shenanigans.

          1. BC, have to agree with everyone, though it's a pain for someone like you who dines out a lot. Better to call and make sure they have your spot, as you'll waste more time and energy arguing with a restaurant about not having your res, then maybe having to find someplace else to eat - just a bad start to an evening.