20-40-60 Etiquette---Table for 10?
YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: Is there a protocol for making reservations at a restaurant? Should you make reservations for lunch, too? I have a friend who makes dinner reservations at several places and then picks the one that sounds better at the last minute. I don’t think that is right, but how far ahead should we book a table?
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Different restaurants have different policies about whether they take reservations for lunch or dinner and fill up in advance at different times. Some restaurants are more popular than others; some may fall victim to reservation hoarders like your friend and have open seats at the last minute.
It sounds as if you are questioning your friend’s indecisiveness. Although a restaurant is an institution and not a person, your friend’s choices to make a series of reservations and then cancel all but one of them have effects on real people, often small-business owners who are trying to make a living. Empty tables aren’t good for business, especially when the restaurant planned its menu that day with a certain number of diners in mind.
One suggestion is to have the group decide way ahead of time so the venue is settled before the day. Your friend’s actions seem inconsiderate to me.
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