Entertaining & Etiquette

Etiquette: Restaurant Cancels Reservation


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Entertaining & Etiquette

Etiquette: Restaurant Cancels Reservation

Gonzo70 | | Jun 20, 2011 12:17 PM


This is my first post on this website, so hopefully I am doing this correctly and it is in the right spot.

A few evenings ago my wife and I had reservations for our anniversary for Bonsoiree. We had dined there once before (several months ago for my birthday) and had a great overall experience and really loved the food and experience.

On this occasion the restaurant called a few hours beforehand to confirm our reservation (I had reserved online) and I answered the phone and confirmed we were coming. While driving to the restaurant I felt my cell phone vibrate, but do not pick up my phone while driving for safety reasons. By the time we arrived (about 40 minutes later) I had forgotten that my phone had rang and we parked and walked up to the restaurant. As we approached we saw workers exiting the premises carrying out trays of food. A worker approached us and stated that they had suffered a power outage (there had been thunderstorms that day) and explained that they had to close the restaurant for the evening. He indicated that he had called everybody (when I checked my voice mails, sure enough he had been the missed call I received while driving to the restaurant). He also stated that he would be calling people soon to try to reschedule them (Bonsoiree is not an easy restaurant to dine in unless you books a few weeks in advance).

It is now five days later and I never heard back from anybody at Bonsoiree to try to reschedule me. There is no availability that works with our schedule until August when I view the online reservation system, and by then the menu will be different (we really love the current menu - it changes each season). While I certainly was not expecting much (if anything) compensation wise since the power outage was not their fault, I was a bit surprised they did not extend the courtesy of a phone call to apologize and try to fit us in for a new reservation. Fortunately our evening was saved by HB (Home Bistro). They are one of our favorite restaurants and we quickly called them and explained what happened, and they squeezed us in even though they were fully booked; we had a great meal at HB, though very different than the type of meal we were expecting and anticipating at Bonsoiree.

As this is the first time a restaurant has cancelled a reservation on me on such short notice, I am curious as to what the normal etiquette is, especially for a fairly high end place like Bonsoiree where it is not easy to obtain reservations without advance planning? Am I right to feel a bit upset they did not reach out to me afterwards, or is this customary and should I forget about it?

Thanks for any feedback. :)

2728 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647