We arrived at "K" at 1:00pm on August 8, 2009. After carefully checking the hours of operation and noting that the restaurant was open and taking in business, we entered. There was no line and we could see an open table in the back.
The hostess came towards, speaking on a cell phone, and we waited for her to finish her call and seat us.
After greeting us, she informed us that the open table was not available to us because it seated five and we were two people. She appeared regretful and told us the wait would be at least 15 minutes or longer.
I was so surprised! I said, "Even though you have an open table you will not seat us?" She said, "We have to leave that table open in case 5 people come in."
In my opinion, if the restaurant does not consider business on the customer's terms, the message sent is that the restaurant does not need the money.
My family and I operate a business. We are very aware of the challenges in the current economy. I cannot imagine having a customer walk through our door, wanting and waiting to buy something and turning this customer away. In fact, even more unbelievable is turning a customer away just in case a better one could walk in later.
Ironically, while we were waiting for the hostess, we were perusing the display case and happily picking out items that we planned to buy and take home after eating our lunch. It is possible that our sale could have ultimately totalled more than the imaginary party of four or five that could possibly arrive in the restaurant at some future time.