And THIS is Why We Don’t Take Reservations

christopher-walken-photo-platon-antoniouDear Party of Nine Who Did Not Show Up:

There is a reason we do not take reservations at my restaurant. You are it. You see, we are a really small restaurant with only about 16 tables. Remember last week when you called and said you wanted a reservation but we said that we don’t take them but you begged us and so we did? We should not have done that.

You called on Wednesday night and said there were going to be about eight or nine of you coming to dinner the following night and could we please please please reserve a table because you are you are so totally coming to celebrate your birthday and you don’t want to have to wait when you get there. Against our better judgement, we did it. Thursday rolls around and I am at work. You told us you would be there at 7:30 and that you would call at 6:45 to confirm. You did not call. At the busiest time of the night, I stopped seating five two-tops. Four would have been better, but since you said you might have nine people, I had to save a whole extra table. Do you know how many people I was unable to sit because of your reservation? A lot. “But it will all be worth it,”  I thought. “When the nine-top gets here and everyone has apps and cocktails and desserts and then I get to add a 20% gratuity to the check, it will all be worth it.!” I was giddy with anticipation.

7:00: You did not call to confirm yet, but you must be busy getting ready for your big dinner out.

7:15: “No, I’m sorry, ma’am, that table is reserved, you’ll have to sit at the crappy table next to the bathroom. No, we don’t usually take reservations, but we made an exception tonight.”

7:16: Every table is full now except for the five two-tops I pushed together. I hope no one else comes in right now.

7:17:  “Hello, sir. No, I’m sorry, I don’t have any place to seat you right now, sir. That is reserved. Oh, so you’ll go next door to eat? Okay… good bye. I’m sorry.”

7:19: “Hi there. Table for three? There will be about a 15 minute wait. Yes, all those tables are reserved. Oh, you’ll come back later? Okay, thank you.” They did not come back.

7:25: Almost here!

7:32: Running a bit late, I suppose. No big deal.

7:40: Ummm, where are you?

7:50: Okay, I’m getting pissed off.

8:00: You suck. Where the fuck are you?

8:01: I am breaking the tables apart and seating them meaning that now I am going to get slammed by having five empty tables all become available at the same time. I hate you. Why did you make me keep those tables open for you if you knew you were not coming? Did you lose your cell phone up your own asshole which made it impossible for you to call and let us know you were not going to make it? We went out of our way to give you a reservation and this is what happens? Never again will we “make an exception” because too many times it is not worth it to do so. Our place is small enough that we don’t need to take reservations. We can fill up just by walk-ins. I hope that the birthday celebration sucked. I hope that when they brought out the cake with candles on it, you bent over to blow them out and your eyebrows were singed off. I hope the cake was as dry as Phylis Dillers’s vag. I hope every gift you got was the wrong size and wrong color and that you got no gift receipts. I hope that it was the shittiest birthday you have ever had because you ruined a good portion of my shift. My station sat empty for over an hour and I made no money. I hate you.

So the next time you want to make a reservation at my restaurant and you say “Pretty please with sugar on top can we make a reservation?” my answer will be a resounding NO. No. No. No. We do not take reservations.

The Bitchy Waiter

p.s. You’re lucky that the person who took your reservation did not take your phone number or there would now be a flyer hanging at Queens College that says you are selling an iPad for $150 and to only call after 11:00 PM.

9 thoughts on “And THIS is Why We Don’t Take Reservations

  1. Jacob

    Here’s my story:

    I phoned your restaurant on Wednesday requesting a reservation for 7:30 on Friday for my Wife’s birthday, because she has always wanted to eat there. You told me that your restaurant doesn’t take reservations. I asked what the usual wait time was for a Friday at 7:30 and you assured me that people would be sat within 15 minutes of arriving. My wife and I showed up at 7:15 on Friday to be greeted with a horde of people in the sitting area that was so graciously provided by your restaurant in anticipation of people constantly having to wait to eat. We asked what the wait would be and were told about 20-25 minutes. We put our names on the waitlist. At 7:45 I asked how much longer and was told that there were still 5 groups ahead of us, but when a spot at the bar opened, we could sit there and wait (presumably, so you could grab our cash on overpriced cocktails instead of serving us the meal we actually want). At 8:00 a group of ten show up and loudly announce they are party of XXXXXX with a reservation, and are swiftly seated. I ask the hostess as to why they were allowed to make a reservation and am told that it sometimes happens for larger groups. I assume this is because of the opportunity to gouge the group for a mandatory gratuity regardless of the quality of the experience. 8:30 comes and we are offered a seat at the bar and told that because of how busy it is, we should probably order our dinner and eat at the bar if we want to eat any time soon. I ask the hostess if it is usually this busy on a Friday and she says “yes” (which diverges from what I was told over the phone). My wife and I leave and try to find somewhere else to eat, making her birthday evening a disappointment.

    I go to work the following Monday. My business partner asks how the restaurant was and whether we should have our christmas staff dinner (20 people) at the restaurant. I tell him that it was an awful experience and I would never go there again. Future references to your restaurant with any friends, family, colleagues, and clients are met with the same recommendation – Do Not Go There.

    So the next time I am told that you will not take reservations (even though you do if you can gouge a large group), my response will be “piss off then”.

  2. Shay

    Very frustrating I’m sure. But also frustrating waiting for a table at a restaurant that does not take reservations. Why not take credit card info and take a deposit fee for reserving. Makes sense in a smaller space.

  3. Damon

    Saturday night we had a 30 top reserved for a birthday party at 7:30. As my partner and I were driving in ( we’re the owners), we received a call saying that the party of 30 was there for their 5:30 reservation. There was nothing in the book about it and neither of us had booked a 5:30. The manager said she had spoken to us and mentioned our names. We asked them to be patient and we would be there in two minutes. We walked to the bar, where they were waiting , to discover it was one of my elderly cousins ( actually second cousin twice removed whom I have seen MAYBE 5 times my entire life) and she proceeded to have attitude with us. After about a 30 second conversation discover the person who was supposed to have made the reservation, never did! Talk about a MAJOR attitude shift! We were gracious enough to let them use the 30 top, but told them they had to be totally finished by 7:15.
    Not only were they finished early, the server who had to deal with them made over $100 ( our most expensive item is $20).


    After many such incidents, I required a CC No. for call in reservations.
    I’d tell them we place a $20 per head hold charge, 100% refundable at bill time, and 0% refundable if nobody showed up – or if they asked for 15 and 10 showed up, we’d keep that $100. The thing is, I just made up the charge amount based on how nice they were on the call.
    I’d say about 50% of the callers did not want to and hung up. Saved us a lot of headaches – because we too know that people make reservations at several places and then just pick one and never bother to notify the others.
    Those who truly intended to dine with us happily agreed.

  5. Bitchy Reader

    I’m sorry but why did you even keep the reservation without a phone number? Why didn’t you give up after 15 min instead of an hour? All dumb mistakes, which are your own.

  6. CincyDrunk

    Ooohh! We had a ten top double book tonight and both rezzos went to my bestie. When the second table didn’t show, she asked for the name on their rezzo and they TOLD her they made two to guarantee they got in. And laughed. And asked if that empty ten top behind them was their table too. Blank death stare at them and she walked away.

  7. B

    I have had that happen and it sucks!!!!! Tonight i am working a wedding of a 100 people and now its down to 75. Xtra servers called in and now its 25 less people! I am so pissed


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