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Reserving a Table -- Do I Have a Gripe?

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Reserving a Table -- Do I Have a Gripe?

nosh | Mar 9, 2007 05:43 AM

During my annual trip visiting mom in Florida, she made a reservation at a fairly upscale downtown restaurant for 7 on a Saturday eve. Our group of five was ready early, so we called to make sure we could be seated early, and arrived shortly before 6:30.

When we entered we were escorted to a table on the main floor near the back that had probably been a four-top, with one end of the rectangular table abutting against a wall window and a fifth seat added on the other end with the chair extending a bit into the flow of traffic. As the others sat, I noticed an empty large circular table in the corner next to us set up for five and empty. I began looking for a staff person to ask if we could move there, and a heavy-set man in a kitchen-type oufit curtly said no, that the vacant table was specifically reserved for his friends, who had specifically requested it.

Well, I was pissed, though my mom thought that it was reasonable for the restaurant to refuse our request if another party had requested that particular table. The hostess did say we could have scouted out another table on the second floor, but this was impossible since one of our party had problems negotiating stairs. The beautiful spacious round table of plenty and majesty remained blissfully vacant for almost our entire meal, until we were finishing our entrees. When what looked like a family with two adults and three mid to late teens was seated, they were greeted effusively by the hostess with hugs and kisses and upon my asking, verified that they did indeed know the ownership and the chef.

So Hounds, do I have a legitimate gripe about our request to move being refused? Or can and should a restaurant not only reserve a table, but a particular prized table?

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