During a vacation to SW FL this week, my wife & I had 8:00 p.m. reservations to this french bistro. It came with high recommendations from my parents and others. Reservations were made three weeks in advance.
On the night of said reservation, a rainstorm blew into Naples. An hour before the reservation, a hostess from the restaurant called to say the reservation would not be honored due to the rain, which forced closure of several outdoor tables and relocation of those patrons indoors.
When I asked if our reservations were being pushed back to 9:00 or later, the hostess said no, they were being cancelled. Another reservation on another night wasn't offered. There was no gesture of a free meal at a later date. It was simply, it rained, you're screwed, what can we do? (one aside - our reservation was for indoors.)
I asked how a restaurant could treat its customers so shabbily. The hostess replied "I'm just doing what my owner told me to do." Apparently, the owner doesn't have the nerve to deliver bad news to his/her guests.
Here's a post-mortem: I e-mailed the owner after hanging up with the hostess to register my displeasure. Thirty minutes later, the phone rang It was the hostess, calling to argue with me about my 'misunderstanding' her message. She said she had not called to cancel the reservation, but merely to announce that it would not be honored at 8:00 p.m. When I asked, do you mean it will be honored at 9:00. She said no but you can try your luck.
Message of the day? If good service is priceless, I'd say there's a high price to pay for the likes of this ridiculous episode. So far, two customers forever lost and counting.