This afternoon around 5 p.m., I received a voicemail from La Ciccia asking me to call back to confirm my reservation for tomorrow since I had previously canceled and/or no-showed a reservation there. If I didn't call back to confirm this evening, they would automatically cancel my reservation for tomorrow.
It's true that I once didn't honor a reservation there months ago. I was urgently called out of town on a business emergency. They never called me to confirm (and they don't usually call people to confirm), so I completely lost track of it with everything else going on. It's the only "no show" I've done in the past 10 years of frequent dining.
I'm torn as to whether this call I got from them is inappropriate. I understand restaurants operate on thin margins, especially small places, but it's still a buyer's market with thousands of restaurants to choose from. To give me an ultimatum voicemail the evening before with only a few hours to respond to keep my reservation is a bad first impression on what was supposed to be a special occasion meal. Also, what if I happened to be out of pocket today. If I were flying back from the East Coast, I would've completely missed the voicemail until it was too late to preserve my reservation from getting canceled.