If you pay in advance for a reservation at a restaurant, should you be able to cancel it without penalty?
This discussion originally started with the Beast Restaurant review, but really could be about any restaurant, so I moved the comments regarding reservations in general. The debate is about whether the restaurant should be willing to bend their reservation cancellation policy for a few people.
These are the comments that started the parade:
Feel free to chime in below!
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.
It’s a small restaurant built on a model of buying exactly what they need for any given service and only having two turns. They have expectations that affect their budget and bottom line. They have a high corkage fee, a no substitutions policy, and a no cancellations policy. The diner is free to choose somewhere else if that doesn’t meet with their approval. It shouldn’t offend them. It’s not rude. It’s what they do because they think it’s the best choice for their business. Maybe it helps them maintain a certain price level with more expensive ingredients. Maybe it lets them pay their cooks more. Who knows? Not you. But they’re obviously “EXTREMELY rude” for not letting you out of what you had presumably already agreed to. Ah, HIYW, showing again that they’re the worst four words in the American dining scene.
Hopefully when you do complain to your friends, they have the sense to look at you skeptically and ask why you made a reservation at a place with such policies if you weren’t sure you could keep it.
Let me ask you this: if you have tickets to the opera, or tickets to a concert, or tickets to a Blazers game, do you ask for a refund if “an unexpected scheduling conflict” arises? Did they laugh in your face?
It may be a tough policy, a strict policy, an inconvenient policy, etc. It may be a policy you’re not willing to agree to and so decide not to visit Beast. But to make the leap to defaming an individual who sticks to that policy or created that policy, just because you don’t like it, is rude. Extremely.