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Animal's disregard

  • f

<<Animal will call you the day before your reservation to confirm; please give us a contact number where we can reach.>>

I had misread this. When I realized what it meant, I was appalled: Basically, it's like the girls of my youth who told less-desirable fellows to call back Fri. to see if they were free Sat. night, hoping, of course, for a better offer in the meantime.

It seems Animal's saying you'd better double-book if you want a dinner reservation for Fri evening.

V. inhospitable attitude for a restaurant. I'm surprised anyone puts up with it.

I certainly don't share their apparent low opinion of me and my BH.

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  1. They are trying to head off the no show phenomena that recently drove one of the owners of Red Medicine to tweet the names of people who made reservations and then "no showed" - leaving the restaurant with empty tables. They are simply asking for a contact number so they can call you the day before your reservation to see if your plans might have changed and you hadn't gotten around to telling them. If Animal can find out with enough time they can call folks on their "wait list" and fill your table if you aren't coming.

    Have you ever booked a table through Open Table? I routinely get called the day before my reservation (via the contact phone number I list on my Open Table registration form) by someone at the restaurant checking to make sure we are still coming.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      >>They are simply asking for a contact number so they can call you the day before your reservation to see if your plans might have changed and you hadn't gotten around to telling them. If Animal can find out with enough time they can call folks on their "wait list" and fill your table if you aren't coming.<<

      Can't blame them, and many restaurants that have huge wait lists have been or are starting to do this as well.

      Evan Kleiman had a nice segment on Trois Mec yesterday and the discussion leading up to the reasons for their ticket system for Trois Mec gives a good perspective of the restaurant owner's dilemma:


    2. Oh, you're confirmed alright. They're just making sure that you haven't changed your mind.

      Apparently you don't have a lot of experience with popular and/or fine dining restaurants - this is commonplace.

      So rest assured - you are loved and desired, they want to make sure - at the last minute, that the feeling is being reciprocated.

      4 Replies
      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        That's the second time one of my SoCal chowleagues has made erroneous assumptions about my knowledge and experience!

        I left a message on the answering machine but, apparently, won't know if I have a Friday reservation or not till Thursday.

        The situations you describe all refer to REconfirming reservations, be they through Open Table or having spoken to a real live person.

        1. re: Fine

          Nowhere in your original post do you say anything about leaving a message to make a reservation.

          But now that we have that key piece of missing information let's say that they get a slew of earlier reservations for the same day and time that you booked, but before your call and message via their voice mail machine, that fills the restaurant to capacity.

          At that point they are waiting to see who is actually going to confirm and who is not, by calling the prospective diners and checking with them. At that point, as earlier folks who had booked up the day and time you wanted drop out they start calling the later arriving bookings, such as yours.

          No "beauty contest" or "too cool for school" contest involved.

          1. re: Fine

            I think the problem is -- you are assuming that they are calling to provide you confirmation, whereas we all believe they are calling to get confirmation from you that you still intend to come. That is common enough in my experience, when I leave my name on a machine.

            1. re: Fine

              It's a food board. You're not talking about the food. You're not even talking about the service since it's not entirely clear how you left a message. And it's not clear whether you called back to confirm that they received your original reservation request (which you could certainly do, rather than simply wait until the day b/f for a confirmation message).

              You got responses here w/ "erroneous" assumptions b/c you have (and con't to) leave out important details.

              Rather than directing your energy into a rant, perhaps you should just simply call back during the timeframe specified in soniabegonia's post to make sure they got your message? Or, better yet, perhaps choose a different restaurant altogether since you already seem dead-set on hating it? ::shrug::

          2. Your offense is misplaced. Most better places call to confirm. Nothing wrong with that at all.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Thor123

                Plus the OP's post was rather cryptic and confusing.

                1. re: granadafan

                  I think that's exactly it.

                  It appears that the OP is confusing the word "confirming" and from whose perspective.

                  It appears the OP believes that Animal will call him to let him know that his reservation has been confirmed.

                  Whereas the opposite is actually happening -- i.e., Animal is calling the OP to confirm that the OP is actually going to show.

                  In other words, unless the OP changes his mind when Animal calls, the OP has a confirmed reservation.

                2. do you feel the same way when you make a dentist appointment and the dentist's office calls you the day before the appointment to remind you/confirm?

                  animal's approach seems totally reasonable to me.
                  why are you ranting about this?
                  am i missing something?

                  1. I concur...I really dislike restaurants where I can't get a confirmation, or rejection, on the spot. Leaving a voice mail just puts me in limbo, and forces me to double book.

                    99% of my dining is either at places that don't take reservations or open table. I'm too old to be bothered with jumping through hoops...it's only food!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: manku

                      "It's only food"...

                      But (channeling Gerard Butler in "300")...

                      This... Is... CHOWHOUND!!!


                    2. I would feel honored to receive such a call, and consider it both a convenient reminder and a reassurance that your reservation has not been "lost" by Animal. Contrary to what you think, I think it shows a high opinion of you.

                      1. Animal's website also says:
                        "To reserve a table at Animal please call after 2pm seven days a week to speak with a reservationist or hostess."

                        Did you call during those hours? Did you talk to a live person? That is what I did because I wanted a confirmation on the spot. That was ~1 week before my reserved time. They did, indeed, call me the day before to confirm, as do many other restaurants. If you left a message, did you assume that they will not call you back within a day or two to give you a time slot, rather than the day before your requested time? If so, your bad for jumping to that ridiculous conclusion, because I highly doubt that is their policy. This is a pointless rant.

                        1. I don't even... what? What was the point of this post? You want them to call and confirm with you...

                          1. This is common practice at many establishments. Animal isn't asking you to call back the day before your reservation. The establishment will do that. They'll confirm that you are still coming at the time your requested with the number of guests that you requested. I don't see how you could interpret that as inhospitable - they're not waiting for a 'better offer' (I'm not even sure what that means).

                            If the establishment cannot accommodate, you'll get a call back much sooner, most likely with offers of an earlier/later seating.

                            Nothing unusual about it, nothing inhospitable about it.

                                1. re: ns1

                                  He now has reservations about starting this thread...

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    I think I hear Emily Litella (Gilda Radnor) saying, "never mind..."

                                  2. I like those calls, actually.

                                    It shows me someone's taking the time to confirm a reservation I've made and we're all on the same page with the time. It's a great reminder for me.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      Sometimes I wish my dates would do this ...

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Better yet, your phone will do it for you...

                                    2. It's amazing articles like this are so debatable.

                                      Just make a reservation... and go to the restaurant. It's not likely they'll turn you away. They have such a long line of standbys anyways.