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Restaurants and the Business of Hospitality


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I don't know if it's just me (okay, probably is), but I don't think the first thing a host/hostess should say to customers after they're seated, is that we'll need these seats back by x o'clock.

Because then the first thing I think (okay, probably just me) is go fuck yourself. And you know - make the customers who may have a reservation at x o'clock wait a few minutes if we're not done - even if you have to buy them a fucking drink.

Lack of training, lack of brains - I don't know what it is - but we're doomed.

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Amazingly it's even worse without it!

I was once told  "If you say 'no problem' to something it implies you are inconvenienced by it, and that it actually is a problem"  

I read this very quickly and at first thought you were being offered a seat IN the walk-in.

Recently at Semma they simply turned the very bright and white lights on, turned off the music, and came to collect payment at 10:30 (on a Saturday, when they were happy to take a four top reservation for 8:45)

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This is the sort of thing that should be brought up when you make the reservation. Or in a notice on the website (as some sushi places have) that you get 90:00 (or whatever) to eat.

I have said, "fine, but if the kitchen is slow, no promises from us."

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2 hours ago, Orik said:

Recently at Semma they simply turned the very bright and white lights on, turned off the music, and came to collect payment at 10:30 (on a Saturday, when they were happy to take a four top reservation for 8:45)

It would have been DELIGHTFUL if they'd turned down/off the music the night we were there. 

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3 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

I don't know if it's just me (okay, probably is), but I don't think the first thing a host/hostess should say to customers after they're seated, is that we'll need these seats back by x o'clock.

Because then the first thing I think (okay, probably just me) is go fuck yourself. And you know - make the customers who may have a reservation at x o'clock wait a few minutes if we're not done - even if you have to buy them a fucking drink.

Lack of training, lack of brains - I don't know what it is - but we're doomed.

Did you have a reservation? I've been told this when they've take me as a walk in but not with a reservation. I don't mind it in that instance.  I've noticed almost every reservation I make recently has a "90 minutes for party of two - 120 minutes for party of four" as a notification when booking and sometimes also on the (QR Code) menu.

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I've been seeing this more due to COVID restrictions.  Our favorite tiki bar says flat-out when you make reservations for the outdoor seating area that tables are only to be occupied for 90 minutes.

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3 hours ago, The Flon said:

It would have been DELIGHTFUL if they'd turned down/off the music the night we were there. 

Amazingly it's even worse without it!

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6 hours ago, Orik said:

Recently at Semma they simply turned the very bright and white lights on, turned off the music, and came to collect payment at 10:30 (on a Saturday, when they were happy to take a four top reservation for 8:45)

Oy.

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3 hours ago, The Flon said:

Did you have a reservation? I've been told this when they've take me as a walk in but not with a reservation. I don't mind it in that instance.

No reservation last night. I still minded. For more than one reason; fortunately, the person who actually took care of us once we were seated at the bar, is great.

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I tried to walk into Semma well more than 45 minutes before their stated closing time Saturday night (maybe when Orik was there!), and the person at the desk gleefully told me that they couldn't seat me cuz they had already taken last orders.  The problem wasn't so much that they were unable to accommodate me, as that they seemed so happy about it.  I guess the hostess was overjoyed at the prospect of going home or wherever.

Similarly, Le Crocodile turned me away as a walk-in several times late Fall/early Winter of last year because there was no room.  And again, the problem wasn't that they couldn't accommodate me -- that happens when you try to walk in -- but that they seemed so gleeful.  I get it:  they should have been happy to be so busy, especially coming out of a Lockdown.  But don't show it!

Then, in January, I got a rather pathetic email from Le Crocodile essentially begging me to come by, since their business had declined so badly during Omicron.  It shouldn't have pissed me off.  But it did.

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