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20-40-60 Etiquette: Table for 10?

What is proper protocol for making reservations at a restaurant? A friend makes reservations for the same time at different restaurants, then cancels all but one of them at the last minute.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: November 4, 2012

Ask the restaurant how far ahead you need to book. You can always look online at menus and make your decision. That does not count last-minute decisions. You can always call and see if there is space available.

Oklahoma City Devon Energy Tower's new Vast Restaurant has had a surge of reservations, so if you want to go there, you might want to plan ahead and call your reservation in ahead of time.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Hilarie Blaney, etiquette and international protocol consultant: Most upscale restaurants hope for, or require, reservations, even at lunch. If you know a restaurant is busy for lunch, I would call for a reservation the moment you make your decision. If they only take reservations, you will quickly know the protocol. As for your friend, she has to be the nightmare of every restaurant and a frustrating practice for all restaurants that accept reservations.

But, for those last-minute people or visitors to our city, they could have just hit the lottery with an unexpected and open table at a great restaurant! For booking tables, it depends upon the city, but in Oklahoma City, I would try a week ahead for expensive restaurants and even more for the holiday season.

Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. You'll also find a guest answer. To ask an etiquette question, email For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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