Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > DiningBuzz
Reload this Page >

Restaurants, it's bad manners to call me to reconfirm a reservation.

Restaurants, it's bad manners to call me to reconfirm a reservation.

Old Oct 10, 19, 5:41 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,361
Restaurants, it's bad manners to call me to reconfirm a reservation.

Just got a voicemail, while I'm at work, asking me to call back and confirm the dinner reservation I made.

Restaurants, that's disrespectful of my time. It's disrespectful of my character -- you assume I would either not show up, or would not call you proactively if my plans changed. Do not do this.

It's also completely ineffective. I can call you, pinkie swear I'm coming, and then still not come.

Instead, why not take one of 3 options.
  1. Account for no-shows in the cost of doing business. Raise your menu prices. If you're busy enough to take reservations, that means demand is outstripping supply which means you can afford to raise prices and still serve a full house of diners.
  2. Require a deposit when making a reservation
  3. Call the diner and ask them to call back only if their plans have changed. This way it's not burdensome if their plans have not changed.
Sweetone, altabello and mhrb like this.
davie355 is offline  
Old Oct 10, 19, 6:14 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,331
Oh yay I get to be first to respond! No-show reservations cause restaurants to lose a significant amount of money, and a significant number of people no-show. People forget, or they flake out, or whatever. Making people give a credit card number or put down a deposit for the privilege of making a reservation alienates customers. Calling someone to confirm they're coming is not at all a big deal. If you don't like it, don't make reservations.

I really couldn't care less if I have to spend 30 seconds on the phone to tell a restaurant I'm actually coming. Don't take it personally.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Oct 10, 19, 6:17 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,361
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
If you don't like it, don't make reservations.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to tell which restaurants will call and which won't.
nerd and altabello like this.
davie355 is offline  
Old Oct 10, 19, 6:43 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: HH Diamond, MR Plat
Posts: 2,306
OP, I believe you would be in the minority of those wishing to have higher prices, or pre-charged credit cards compared to those who are OK taking the time that a voicemail takes out of your life and the even more onerous 2 minute call to respond.

Medical offices are already there with no-show fees, dental offices also. The luxury of having a reservation held for you is worth a 2 minute followup versus your proposed solutions.
GB, cawhite, lhrsfo and 6 others like this.
xooz is offline  
Old Oct 10, 19, 7:09 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2022), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 8,686
I generally am in the camp of regarding the phone call as being an acceptable price to pay for the convenience of making a reservation. However, earlier this year I was having a frantic day and I came out of a meeting with nine voicemails requiring attention and no time to deal with them. Because the restaurant was just a phone number and not a name, I didn't get round to it and they cancelled the reservation.

I prefer restaurants which send a text asking to respond Y or N. It seems so much faster, easier and more efficient.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Oct 10, 19, 9:45 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Singapore - the hot, little red dot
Programs: BA, SQ
Posts: 735
The world has come to this as too many people jerk restaurants around. It's our own fault.
I know several people who will make bookings at around 3-4 restaurants for the same meal and then decide near the time based on where they are and which one they fancy going to without bothering to cancel the bookings.
Best solution? Restaurant's release the table after 15mins if a no-show
Wong Jnr is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 3:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: UK - South Coast
Programs: Mucci de Guardian des Celliers des Grands Crus 1e Classť, plus BAEC.
Posts: 1,426
Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I prefer restaurants which send a text asking to respond Y or N. It seems so much faster, easier and more efficient.
+1 👍

As for the deposit idea, I really donít like that approach. It actively puts me off some restaurants, perhaps irrationally, unless itís a 2 or 3 star place in which case Iíll grudgingly comply.
downinit likes this.
krispy84 is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 5:26 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, NH, Amex
Posts: 209
Only been to one place that was quite serious about reservations - sushi place in Tokyo. I can appreciate why; if there are only 7 total seats, one single no show is a pretty dramatic percentage loss in revenue!

The increasing prices option is a non-starter for me, on what's probably already an expensive bill. +14% to guard against one no-show? +28% to guard against a couple not showing up? No thanks. Between a call back or giving them your CC information in advance so they can charge you for a no show, I'm actually not sure which I'd prefer (particularly in the case of traveling internationally.) Pros and cons to both.

Either way, I really don't see a call back to confirm as "bad manners."
kimberlyrose, downinit and wrp96 like this.
jerseytom is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 5:31 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA 2MM Yay!, UA MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 44,160
Itís not bad manners. I donít typically forget reservations, doctors appointments and such but I appreciate the reminder as a backup.
GadgetFreak is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 5:31 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hyatt something
Posts: 28,588
Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to tell which restaurants will call and which won't.
Give them a fake number, or number to the local IRS office. Or, gasp, donít go to places that necessitate a reservation.

Some restaurants do want to make sure youíre coming, some donít. I can understand why they want to call, if itís at a busy time. Iíve had many times I wanted a later reservation, but an earlier one only showed up. When they called to verify, I was able to change to a better time.
downinit likes this.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 5:42 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ontario. Canada
Programs: Aeroplan, IHG, Enterprise, Avios, Nexus
Posts: 6,740
I can see the point of restaurants calling and am not so self-obsessed that it would prompt me to start a thread about it in a fit of pique.

When I worked in the hospitality industry we did not call to confirm. The names and numbers of repeated no-show diners who didn't cancel their reservation were instead kept on file. If they booked again their reservation was "forgotten" or the very worst table was kept specially for them.
Badenoch is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 8:47 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MCO
Programs: Acapulco - Gold, Panama - Red, Timothy Leary 8 Mile High Club
Posts: 23,852
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Give them a fake number, or number to the local IRS office. Or, gasp, donít go to places that necessitate a reservation.

Some restaurants do want to make sure youíre coming, some donít. I can understand why they want to call, if itís at a busy time. Iíve had many times I wanted a later reservation, but an earlier one only showed up. When they called to verify, I was able to change to a better time.
Giving a fake number would increase the possibility of cancellation.

I don't mind a single call or text. But the past couple years all the medical practices I deal with want to confirm 16 different ways and times. I get multiple calls, emails and texts. I am starting to leave out my email address from new patient registrations and putting my cell number in the home telephone blank. I still get calls but that eliminates the texts and emails.
miles4CDG likes this.
BamaVol is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 9:29 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 282
"Such a waste of my time!" This screams DYKWIA??

Most restaurants use texts now but there's a couple I make reservations at that call the day before. Is this really such a big deal? My doctor's office does this. Is that rude? Restaurants do this because it's effective, two if they're a popular restaurant they want to be able to fill the time slots and make them available if plans change. Sorry if you're too important to reply.
GB, cawhite, kimberlyrose and 6 others like this.
DutchessPDX is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 9:35 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Texas, USA
Programs: AAdvantage, HH, SPG Gold
Posts: 210
Responsible, respectful customers should not be "punished" for the irresponsible jerks. I agree a text is best if you must contact me, but unless I have a history of being a "no-show" don't cancel me because I can't take your call.
downinit and altabello like this.
Sweetone is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 10:58 am
  #15  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,044
It's fine. Way too many people can't be bothered to cancel or they book multiple places which harms not only the restaurant, but the rest of us. Sure, overbooking is the result, but that defeats the purpose of having a reservation.

At higher end places, a hefty deposit makes all the sense in the world. Provide a CC and either cancel at some specified time prior to the reservation or pay a significant no show fee.
corky, kimberlyrose and FLTripper like this.
Often1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: