... to ask if anyone in the restaurant business can shed some light.

(23 Posts)
JustHereForThePooStories Wed 16-Mar-16 14:57:41

Bear with me on this first world problem.

I'm trying to book a specific restaurant for tomorrow night. According to their website, they're open from 12.30pm - 3pm for lunch, then 5pm - late for dinner. I'd never ring a restaurant during "peak" times so I rang yesterday at 4.45pm figuring that they're not open yet for service but will probably take a reservation. Nope, voicemail to say "our opening hours are... please call back". No problem, my assumption about opening outside of the stated times was obviously wrong.

Rang at 5.10pm, no answer. Rang at 5.25pm to be told "we're in the middle of service, you'll have to call back tomorrow between 12pm and 3pm".

Today, I rang at 12.05pm- no answer. Rang at 2.45pm to be told, very snappily, "you'll have to ring back, we're in the middle of lunch service" and the phone was hung up before I could enquire as to when the planets would best be in alignment to facilitate this. Why answer the ruddy phone at all then?

I work full time, I don't have the luxury of sitting around on the phone all day trying to reserve a table in a restaurant- the website of which describes the establishment as "casual and relaxing".

AIBU to ask anyone in the restaurant industry to tell me when is an appropriate time to ring a restaurant?

VimFuego101 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:00:10

Well you are calling at their busiest time (lunch) but you're right, why answer the phone at all if they can't take bookings? I would have said 5pm before the evening rush was a good time...

DamsonInDistress Wed 16-Mar-16 15:00:18

Not in the trade but I sure as hell wouldn't be giving them my business after that attitude! I know you said it was specific but I'd find somewhere else tbh.

Chrysanthemum5 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:00:57

I think the message to take from this is to book somewhere else! Either they are understaffed or rude but that's not a place where I would want to go for a meal

Sparkletastic Wed 16-Mar-16 15:01:44

Don't go there.

RaspberryOverload Wed 16-Mar-16 15:02:59

I'd leave a review somewhere. That's terrible service.

It's almost like they don't want to do business.

Crazypetlady Wed 16-Mar-16 15:06:30

Don't go. From experience they are probably very understaffed hence the sharpness. It doesn't lead to a good meal.

isseywithcats Wed 16-Mar-16 15:08:19

i would be looking somewhere else too i work at tgi fridays and the staff who answer the phone are always polite no matter what time of day the phone rings or how busy we are, if this is their attitude over the phone just wonder how they would treat you as a customer

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Wed 16-Mar-16 15:10:32

Restaurant owner here - they're bring crap, don't care if they're in the middle of service, they should still take the call, or at least offer to call you back when service is finished, or ya know .... allow people to leave a message and then call you back!

MackerelOfFact Wed 16-Mar-16 15:14:22

If you are desperate to go, check if they're on Open Table and book online?

Personally I would go elsewhere though! Not a great first impression.

winchester1 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:34:40

Id ring a place about five min after they open as people are arriving and sitting so there should be staff available to take the call.

YoniMitchell Wed 16-Mar-16 15:38:19

How rude, not to mention counter productive from their business point of view! Unless it was somewhere I was dying to go (which would be unlikely if you can book a table at a day's notice), I'd go elsewhere.

Which restaurant is it, btw?

curren Wed 16-Mar-16 15:45:21

I had a restaurant.

That's ridiculous. We wouldn't answer the phone at peak times and the answering machine advised to leave a message.

Personally I wouldn't be going. Their service is poor so far.

No restaurant has staff turn up at opening time to open within minutes. Chefs will be there Prepping and staff in the front opening up.

If you really want to go I would call at just before 3 and if you are told you can't book tell them you have called several times and always told to call back at another time. You do and they won't take it either. Ask to speak to someone in charge.

It sounds to me like staff just can't be arsed and using 'busy' as an excuse.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Mar-16 15:51:06

When I worked for my friends restaurant the person working the bar would take the calls. As my friend said, a 2 minute phone call delay makes no difference to a seated diner, but it could be the difference between a potential customer going to his place or somewhere else.

I would vote with your feet, and maybe leave something on TripAdvisor saying why, to give them a chance to sort it out.

Foxtrot26 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:54:04

personally would take my business elsewhere, if that's their attitude before you step foot in the place, I cant imagine its going to be much better once your there

OnlyLovers Wed 16-Mar-16 16:06:26

Just go elsewhere and say exactly why online. They sound shite.

Paperchaserr Wed 16-Mar-16 16:07:42

That's a very poor attitude. I would definitely go elsewhere.

SurlyValentine Wed 16-Mar-16 16:16:24

I've been in and out of the hospitality industry for years, and that restaurant's attitude is shocking.

If you are desperate to go to that restaurant, and you can't book online, then I'd try again at 5pm tonight (just after opening time, and unless there is a queue of people waiting outside there should be someone able to take your call). If that doesn't work, then I really would forget it and go elsewhere, and leave a comment on TripAdvisor about their seemingly impossible reservation policy.

notquitehuman Wed 16-Mar-16 16:17:33

I wouldn't give my money to them to be honest. When I worked in restaurants, even at the busiest peak times, the waiting staff always managed to answer the phone and be polite. If they didn't have the book in front of them, they could have called you back.

You could always try their Facebook page if you're that determined.

Doilooklikeatourist Wed 16-Mar-16 16:20:35

Restaurant owner here too , quiet now
Go somewhere else , if they can't be bothered to answer the phone politely , or at least ask for a number so they can call you back when they have time
They can't need your business very much , can they

blamethecat Wed 16-Mar-16 16:22:42

If they are so busy they can not take a 2 minute phone call I doubt they can fit you in anyway. Sounds like you would be better off elsewhere McDonalds

BreakingDad77 Wed 16-Mar-16 16:29:32

Rang at 5.25pm to be told "we're in the middle of service, you'll have to call back tomorrow between 12pm and 3pm

Like WTAF, this sounds rubbish what a terrible way to run the business. The only reason? I can think is that they are trying to give it an air of being in demand, but this isn't a closed market and most normal people will just try somewhere else in the end.

If they are too busy to physically take orders then have an electronic system, or third party.

* Chefs will be there Prepping and staff in the front opening up*

The places I temped at there is generally someone around, what about the owners etc how many staff run the place?!

anotherusernameugh Wed 16-Mar-16 16:29:44

would love to know which restaurant this is...

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