I just had a somewhat unsettling experience. I called a new, much-touted restaurant to get reservations for my husband and me this Sunday at 11:30. The woman taking reservations hmmmed and asked if we could come in at 10:30 instead. I assumed they were booked as it’s close to Valentine’s Day. I normally would have taken the earlier reservation, but as it happens I am volunteering at a blood drive that day and have limited time off. I told her we couldn’t but that I understood and we’d try them another time. She immediately said, “Oh, no – we can do 11:30,” and proceeded to take my information.
Now I am left feeling a bit disconcerted. I realize that I was asking for a prime time, and from a business perspective I suppose it would make sense to attempt to fill less desirable slots first, but I understood restaurant reservations to be, essentially, first-come, first-served. Is this a common practice?
The funny thing is, if they are going to do that, I think just a little more subterfuge is called for. I thought afterward that if she had just said, “Let me see if we can rearrange some things to squeeze you in at that time,” and then had me hold or called me back, I would have actually been quite happy!