General Discussion

My Tiny Restaurant's Reservation Policy - Good or Bad?


General Discussion 10

My Tiny Restaurant's Reservation Policy - Good or Bad?

fullycommitted | Oct 6, 2002 08:34 PM

My place has a miniscule bar and no real room for people to wait if their reserved table isn't ready. The operation is too small to constantly soothe upset waiting guests with free drinks/apps, so I would like to book the room in 3 seatings: 2 tops get 2 hours (they typically take 1.15 hrs) and 3+ tables get 2-2.5 hrs. This isn't the best deal for the restaurant, which I know could squeeze in more seatings than this, but I am not willing to hurry people or deal with the fallout of not honoring reservations - after much thought, this seems to be the only solution. However, I can't help but think people will see this as a scheme for the restaurant to turn tables faster and I'll end up offending people.

What is your opinion of this proposed policy?
I know my tables turn faster in general than the time I would be giving them under this policy, but there are always a few tables that throw a monkey wrench into my seating plan by lingering and I can't deal anymore with the stress of waiting guests! My place is a casual neighborhood bistro that is very popular; the food comes out quickly and the service is fast; it's not like people don't have enough time for the whole production of a good meal.

I had to start taking reservations - which doesn't really fit with the casual neighborhood vibe of the place, anyway - because the wait for a table was a nightmare and there was nowhere for people to wait besides out in the street!

I would appreciate any and all comments.

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