Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What do you think?

I called to make a reservation at a restaurant yesterday and they asked me for a credit card # to hold the reservation. They will charge me $15 per head if we do not show up/do not cancel. I found this off-putting but went ahead and did it. When I told husband about it he was livid about it and thinks I should cancel the reservation on principle. ("There are too many other restaurants we can go to")

Has this every happened to you? What do you think? Legitimate way for a small restaurant with limited table space to make additional revenue? How long do they hold your table before giving it away to another party? Long enough that it works out to $15 per head out of their pocket? Is this going to be the wave of the future in the new economy?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

We rarely go out to eat anymore, so I've never run into this. But, I generally do not agree to anything that doesn't have a reasonable cancellation policy. That goes for hotels, doctor appointments, restaurants, whatever...If I've learned anything from having 2 kids, it's that life is too unpredictable to be locked into anything. Lisa

Kevin said...

I find this has been a reality for a quite a while in higher end restaurants, especially on weekends.

Styling with Renee Michelle said...

I'm torn. It's annoying to have that change, but then again, if the other option is that when I get there, my reserved table isn't ready (or they decide to quit taking reservations because too many people are no-shows), then I guess I'd choose the fee.

Styling with Renee Michelle said...

Um, "charge" not "change."

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

I think it's reasonable. If someone makes a reservation and then doesn't show or cancel, screw them, they should get charged. A restaurant has to make a living too and maybe they could be busy that night and turned away someone else. It's not that hard to pick up the phone and cancel.

I've heard about it, but haven't had it happen to me in a restaurant. Happens all the time on golf courses though and the cost of a meal and round of golf can be similar.

Bernice said...

My manicurist said she had asked for money down with teen girls who made an appointment for a manicure for Prom and then didn't show. It would be interesting to ask the restaurant if that is an effective policy (like are they loosing or gaining customers)

Dad said...

I think I'm on the side with Lakeview. It is so frustrating when people/customers do not honor their commitments and you...the business owner...are left holding the bag. There are just too many people who never think of the real financial consequences to those they effect when they blow off a reservation.

alexis said...

I've definitely heard of it for higher end resto's. I agree it's not hard to pick up a phone and cancel. As long as there is a reasonable cancelation policy. Still it would put me off indeed to have to give my credit card number.