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Do you make resesrvations?

I always make reservations unless the place does not take them. If it's 6:30 and we're heading out the door, I'll call to make a 7:00 reservation if it's last minute. If it's planned, I do.

But it seems we are the exception.

There are places where a common complaint is regard to the wait for a table and the people don't make reservations in advance. I don't get it.

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  1. I think it depends on where you live and what restaurant you're going to. Most of the places we dine at don't even take reservations (holes in the wall, bars or surburban chains) and they wouldn't be necessary anyway as they aren't packed to the rafters. When we have a formal date night and go to a popular restaurant downtown, I do always make reservations.

    1. I'd say 90% of of our eating out is last minute type "Where should we go, what do you want to do?" so we don't plan ahead. But, if it's a special occasion, we always make reservations. Those restaurants, for the most part, require reservations to get a seat but we do it regardless.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        Even if it's last minute, I'll call...ounce of prevention and all of that.

        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          I REALLY hate making phone calls. Plus, most of the places we go to are never full or even close to full. I live in kind of a food oasis and when we eat out, it's because I'm too tired to cook which means I'm too tired to drive half an hour so it's about close and easy. I wonder what they'd do if I called for reservations? Maybe laugh.

      2. <There are places where a common complaint is regard to the wait for a table and the people don't make reservations in advance. I don't get it.>

        I don't get it either. If there is a particular popular restaurant that I want to dine at I will make a reservation because I hate waiting. And when I have guests coming in from out of town I always make reservations. But on a normal night with so many options avaliable to us, it not necessary to wait for a table. If there is an unmanageable wait we just go elsewhere. And most places we eat at either you can't make reservations, or they only allow reservations for larger parties. However, I am trying to get in the habit of always making reservations when possible to get the opentable points.

        1. If they take them, I make them!

          If a place does not take reservations and it has the potential of being busy, we either go early, particularly if my kids are with us, or go someplace else. We are not big drinkers so hanging around at the bar is not a great option for us.

          1. If a place takes reservations, we make one.

            1. It depends mostly on the day of the week and time of day.

              If it's small and/or popular place and I know there will be a long wait (especially if it's the kind of place where the bar area is going to be equally crowded) I won't go without a reservation unless its off-peak hours.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LeoLioness

                For a special meal that requires more than 15 travel time - we make reservations

                Spur of the moment - generally not because we don't mind waiting at the bar, grabbing a drink until a table opens up.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  I only do that if the bar area isn't mobbed. Now that eating at the bar is standard, drinking at the bar can be a little trickier.

              2. I make reservations, even if it's last minute. I'm pretty sure I made the first reservation they ever took over the holidays at a Vietnamese resto :-). I hate waiting. I rarely go to restaurants that don't take reservations for that reason. I know I'm missing out on some gems but life is short and options abound, lucky for me.

                1. Most of the restaurants I frequent either don't take reservations, or the wait time is short (>15 min). I only make reservations for special occasion meals at smaller/more formal restaurants, and then I know the date and time well in advanced and make the reservation as soon as I can.

                  1. If I expect there to be a wait and they take reservations, I will make one. If you can generally walk in without a wait I don't bother, unless the restaurant is on Open Table, in which case I will reserve to get points that eventually add up to dining checks.

                    1. I'm not a planner. As a result, I seldom make reservations and as a result, I get shut out of restaurants more often than I like, but it's what happens to people like me and I accept it. Once in a while, especially if we're going out with friends, we'll make a reservation. I'm then under pressure to be on time and that stresses me out especially if I have to start searching for a parking spot. For a guy whose idea of a meeting time with friends usually ends in "ish", a reservation is a big commitment so I try to avoid them whenever possible. I actually have to be on time to so many things in my life that to really feel relaxed, I try not to tie my self down when I'm doing things that are supposed to be a stress free - like dinner. That's why tee times don't work for me either.

                      1. Just really depends. Last minute definitely not making reservations. But if planned in advance certainly will if the restaurant is taking reservations.

                        But we usually do when we go out in a big group or try to do call ahead seating if they allow it.

                        1. Yes, and like you, whether it's short notice or not. Unless it's one of our few favorite casual places that we know for sure won't be busy when we arrive.

                          1. I rarely make reservations. I only do so if I'm trying to go to a restaurant that is extremely popular at the moment, or if it is a special event and I absolutely have to have a specific restaurant at a specific time.

                            I am lax at making reservations for a few reasons. As others have stated...I'm not a planner so most of my plans are last minute, I hate making phone calls, and there are a lot of suitable options in my area if I am not able to dine at my first choice. Furthermore, I rarely face long waits or get shut out because prime dinner service at most places around here is wrapping up between 8-8:30, and I rarely even consider my potential dinner plans any time before 8. Finally, I've made friends with a number of people that work at some of my favorite haunts, and they have always been able to accomodate me with little to no advanced warning, even when the restaurant is "full."

                            1. Only if it's a special occasion, or extra large party. Otherwise nope.