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Restaurants Overbooking to Compensate For Weak Economy

You may be more apt to call and confirm your Friday night reservation now that restaurants are taking steps to stay afloat in the current weak economy. Taking a cue from struggling airlines, your favorite dining establishment may be adopting the old trick of overbooking to better guarantee a full house.

Turning tables is even more of a priority than it used to be: Because restaurants can't pass on their increased expenses to equally cash-strapped customers, they need to rely on traffic to keep revenues up. While your reservation time may actually mean you'll still end up waiting for a table, The New York Times dishes out a pretty shiny silver lining — this Fall we can expect more deals like cheaper happy-hour snacks and lunchtime specials.


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Yeah, I've noticed this too. I've never been denied a table when I've had a reservation, but I might have to wait up to 15-20 minutes, which is OK - you can't REALLY predict just when, exactly, a table will be free, and I understand the restaurant wanting to keep their tables full. I don't mind a brief wait.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
I hate making reservations and they dont tell you something important. My beau and I kept driving past this nice restaurant, so I booked for his birthday at 8pm. We got there and there was no room to park ANYWHERE within a mile and we were both dressed to the 9's so we gave up and got chinese takeaway! They could have told us they have limited parking or something. I wrote a letter of complaint to no avail. Its not like it was pizza hut, this was going to cost like $150 for the two of us you would have expected better service.
Smart-Living Smart-Living 8 years
ilanac- I always find the long wait even with a reservation frustrating, too. I end up going to the bar and spending extra money, along with the other people waiting for a table that are passing the time at the bar.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've definitely noticed that even with a reservation - most of the time i'm forced to wait at least 15 minutes for my table. it's really kind of annoying actually since i've gone through the steps to secure a table and i still have to wait. there have been a handful of times that i've made a reservation and waited over 30 minutes as well - at that point - what's the point of making the reseration to begin with. of course this post makes me fear for my saturday dinner plans this week. it's for my mother's birthday and i don't want to have to wait ages for our table. i can understand that they are trying to ensure that they are always full - but i think that it's a bad tactic. who wants to come back to a place if you ALWAYS have to wait regardless of reservations or not. as for the happy hour/lunch deals - i can agree that i've seen some better things out there - which makes it more economical for me to time my outings just right.
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