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Did the Restaurant Do the Right Thing?

The other night my friends and I were out and about and decided to grab some dinner. At 7:35, we popped in to a small sushi place and asked if they had a table for four. Our chances didn't look good — there was only one table left and it had a reserved sign on it — but the hostess disappeared into the back and about five minutes later she returned, removed the reserved table and sat our party.

We proceeded to sit down, order drinks, and peruse the menu. A few minutes later — at least 7:45 — a lady entered the restaurant and was really upset to hear that she no longer had her 7:30 reservation. The hostess said she called twice, but that no one answered. Personally I wondered why — if the lady knew she was going to be late — she didn't call the restaurant herself.

So what do you think, was it okay for the restaurant to give the table away? Or should they have waited?


Join The Conversation
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
I say they did the right thing - they are running a business, plus the restaurant called.
silly_pickle silly_pickle 9 years
I always try to be about 10 minutes early for my dinner reservations for this reason. The restaurant should have apologized to the woman, and promised her the next available table. Being 15 minutes late she should have been more understanding as to why her reservation was gone. Reservations are for a reason, she should have been on time, but they should have given her more than 5 minutes before they gave away the table.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
The fact that she came in at 7:45 isn't a big deal to lose your table. However, you said you showed up at 7:35 and they gave you the table -- that, I would have a problem with. 5 minutes and giving away a table is totally unfair. And like heyjen said, what if you're on the subway and can't call? I always try to be early, but sometimes things happen... I wouldn't feel guilty being 5 minutes late to a restaurant, especially because so often when I make reservations, I still wind up having to wait 20 minutes for a table.
ElissaM ElissaM 9 years
If you care enough to make a reservation you need to be early...the restaurant shouldn't have to potentially lose money waiting for you...
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
personally i think that it was ok to give the table away - but only if it was 745...not 735. traffic, parking, all sorts of things can make you 5 minutes late.
Hautie Hautie 9 years
I detest people who are intentionally late. It is just rude to make an appointment and show up when you get good and ready. It the reservation was for 7:30 then you need to be there by 7:25. Period. This is the lone reason most restaurants won't do reservations anymore. It just cost them money to have to hold tables for people who obviously have no intentions of being there on time. Or if they show up at all.
Sherelyn Sherelyn 9 years
I agree with the "you snooze you loose" policy. At least call if you're late or make sure another person in your party can be there on time if you can't. Additionally, it's people like this woman and her party that make the rest of us have to wait 30 mins. for our reservation. Yes sometimes the resteraunt over books or something but a lot of times it's because people make reservations and they are late. And then the rest of the party is late. So then it takes even longer. So now the table isn't just 15 mins behind, it's 30 mins behind. That pushes the next seating back and affects everyone really. People don't realize that reservations are also used to plan out the night. The people coming in are spread out in a certain way so as not to overwhelm the kitchen with orders. All it takes is a few inconsiderate people to throw off seating for everyone else.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
Sorry, it's like any other appointment where you don't call if you know you're running late. It's courtesy. Besides, an empty table means less money ... and there are a LOT of people who either never show or show up very late. I think 10 min is more than appropriate window of time.
haze1nut haze1nut 9 years
Yum came in at 7:35 got her table at 7:40 and the hostess still gave away the table within a 15 minute 'grace period' the reservation person came at 7:45, 15 mins past her reservation. all in all i would be pissed if i was the person reserving, like others before me there could've been traffic or what not holding her back. but yum just said she had a reservation for 6 and she was the only one. i don't know kind of torn but i guess it's up to the situation
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 9 years
im rooting for the restruant... the lady should have called and said she was running behind or stuck in traffic, whatever the case may be... and yum topped it off with her update
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
Hey, if you're late then others shouldn't have to wait. They waited too long in my opinion to give that table away. 10 minutes tops should be the wait time in my opinion. And if she had reservations for 6 and she was the only one that showed up at 7:45, then she looked even more ridiculous arguing with the people at the restaurant. Snooze ya loose girlfriend. That's what someone should have told her loud mouth as she was making a scene in the restaurant.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
they did the right thing. as for someone who said she didn't move down when people were late for the movie - i wouldn't have either! i hate when i have to move from my comfy spot or whatever for someone else - especially anyone with kids. i am so sick of people with kids thinking that they should be more privileged. like the entire country isn't already rooting for them in every single way.
emalove emalove 9 years
I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I walked into a restaurant fifteen minutes late for my reservation to find my table had been given away. I don't expect a restaurant to wait around for me...they're not on MY schedule. If you are running late and aren't sure if you're going to be there on time, how hard is it to give the restaurant a call and let them know?? I'm sure they'd be much more likely to hold your table for a bit if you called.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 9 years
She should of been on time if she wanted her table. I usually show up 15 minutes early to my reservations. I am sick of people who don't understand the concept of an appointment. If the shoe was on the other foot they would do what they had to do to make the money.
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
oh wow, then she really loses if she was the ONLY one of a party of 6! sheesh.
Food Food 9 years
Oh I forgot to mention the part that I thought was the most ridiculous. She had a reservation for 6 people, but when she came in at 7:45, she was the only one there. We were by the window and could see that no one was waiting outside either.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
She wasn't there, she wasn't answering her phone, she already WAS fifteen minutes late, she didn't bother to call; I see no problem in giving away the table.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Yes. ESPECIALLY if they tried calling her (twice). You snooze, you lose!
bastille_75 bastille_75 9 years
While I was in college I too worked at a very popular restaurant and I gotta say it depends . . . for our regular clients we would hold the table all night if need be; however, in most cases we had the standard 15 to 30 minute grace period (of course longer if they called to say they were running late). But here the establishment only waited five minutes according to the facts above. Therefore, I think that in this situation the restaurant could have given the reservation holder a few more minutes then 5 - and then let YUM and friends no that it may be a possible 15 minute wait if the reservation holder does not show or longer then 15 minutes if they do show- but your obviously at the top of the list for the next available table . . .
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
And I'm a chronically late person. But I ALWAYS call :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
The restaurant did the right thing. Like sucrechaton said..they don't know if you're late, or just not gonna show up. And how pretentious of the lady to think the restaurant would hold the reservation for her...when she showed up 15 minutes late. But, that's how people are these days. Think they deserve everything handed to them, no questions asked.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I think waiting 15 mins is totally reasonable. I ALWAYS call if I'm not going to be there on time though. I would never expect a restaurant to hold a table for me (for any amount of time) without having called them first.
sucrechaton sucrechaton 9 years
It's definitely a courtesy on behalf the resturant. I would think that most resturants would at least do that because I'm pretty sure resturants are not always bang on with their service. A little give and take is good for business. On the other hand, how would the resturant know whether you are few minutes late or a no show? Best advice is let them know if you are a few minutes late. It can't hurt and it would probably ensure that you get your table.
swt-strwbrry-sgr swt-strwbrry-sgr 9 years
if the person can make reservations, they should be polite enough to tell them the party is running late.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
the restaurant has the reservations as a courtesy, because they are so popular. If you dont show up on time, they have no obligation to hold it. 15 is too much time passed with no phone call. too bad lady.
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