Monday, November 2, 2020

Rant: Restaurant Reservations & Common Courtesy

Imagine this: A customer makes a business appointment with you, and you will be paid for that appointment. Because of that scheduled appointment, you must turn down other customers who wanted to see you, and pay you, at that same time. The appointment time arrives and your customer doesn't show up, and doesn't even call to tell you they won't be there. You don't get paid, losing money, and can't fill that open appointment at the last minute. You'd probably be upset and justifiably so. 

Unfortunately, that problem happens much too frequently in the restaurant industry. Numerous customers make reservations but then never show up for those reservations, and may not even call to say they won't be there. It might seem to some people to be an innocuous harm, thus providing justification for their cavalier attitude, but that isn't the case. It can have a significant financial effect on that restaurant, on everyone from the owner to the servers. 

This discourteous act needs to immediately stop, especially at this time when restaurants are already in a precarious financial situation because of the pandemic.  

Restaurants often operate on thin margins and no-show reservations hurt their bottom line, especially if someone doesn't call to say they won't be showing up. Other potential customers may get turned away because of that reservation. A no-show is not a victimless activity and it needs to stop. Where is basic courtesy and etiquette? You wouldn't like it to occur to you, so why do it to others? And now, when restaurants must significantly limit their capacity, this discourteous act is even more harmful.

Some people make multiple reservations for the same day and time, and then, frequently at the last minute, choose which restaurant to visit, failing to call the other restaurants that they won't be there. Stop doing that! Yes, there are legitimate reasons why you might need to no-show at a reservation, from medical to family issues, but a simple phone call to the restaurant is still warranted. Have the courtesy to notify the reservation of your cancelation. Give them a chance to get someone else to take your reservation time.

Stop being so self-absorbed and thinking only of your own needs and wants. Give consideration to how your actions effect other people. Failing to show up for a reservation and not even calling to cancel is a selfish act. Start thinking about how such actions could negatively impact the restaurant and its employees. We need more people to be courteous, to consider others. And we need people to be more courteous not just in this situation, but in all aspects of life.