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.

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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