to have not waited and walked out instead?

(43 Posts)
charlmarascoxo Sun 25-Nov-12 14:43:11

Rang up to book a table for lunch for me and OH.

The table was booked for 1:00. When we arrive a couple of minutes early, give our name, the front of house scowls at us and say "well you'll have to wait 20 minutes for a table"

Completely fine if we had just walked in. But I booked a table to avoid having to wait around.

Went back to the woman and said as politely as I could that I think we'll leave it then. We get a short and sharp "fine" and she walks off. Not even an apology.

I understand it was busy but I'm not about to stick there for 20 minutes waiting for a table when we had booked ahead. Aibu to have just walked out?

EduCated Sun 25-Nov-12 14:44:53

YANBU, might have been different fishes said 'Im ever so sorry, there's been a mix up and your table won't be ready for 20 minutes, would you like to wait?'

But she didn't, so I probably wouldn't have stayed either.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 25-Nov-12 14:45:12

Depends how hungry you were !
YANBU but email them and let them know what happened

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 14:45:31


TheNebulousBoojum Sun 25-Nov-12 14:46:06

What do restaurants do if the customers linger over eating and take longer than they ought to? Do they have a person who comes over and clears their throat and tells them they have 5 minutes left?
How do you get rid of table-hoggers?

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Nov-12 14:46:16


Do you think they can time these things to the absolute minute?

She they ask people how fast/slow they eat and whether they're going to have/skip dessert when they take the booking?

And she 'scowled' at you for no reason....really?

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 25-Nov-12 14:46:27

I'd complain about that they should have apologised on arrival and when you said you were leaving

DecAndAnt Sun 25-Nov-12 14:47:08

yanbu but definitely complain. Where was it?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 14:48:30

YANBU because how rude they were, if they had said so sorry but your table will be 20minutes do you mind waiting I'm assuming you would not be annoyed?

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 14:48:42

I would have waited.

I own a restaurant and its very difficult to time these things exactly. sometimes the previous customers just won't leave, or there could have been an issue in the kitchen. All sorts.

In our restaurant your would have got an apology and shown to the bar for a complimentary drink if you were willing to wait.

I would imagine it took longer than 20 minutes to find somewhere else to eat.

complexnumber Sun 25-Nov-12 14:51:02

I doubt if she was too worried about missing a customer if they were busy. Probably quite grateful if she was getting stressed because a few tables were taking longer to move than expected.

You were hungry and took the decision to go somewhere you would get to eat more quickly.

So I wouldn't worry about being unreasonable, you probably did her a favour.

ArtexMonkey Sun 25-Nov-12 14:51:58

Wow, it all happens to you doesn't it op? What an exhausting week.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 14:52:33

TheNebulousBoojum we ask if they want anything else, then give them the bill. If they still stay, we offer to book a taxi. If they still stay they get told nicely.

However we do tell people when they book that they will have the table for 2 hours and then it is booked again. So telling them we need them to leave is rarely a problem as they expect it.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 25-Nov-12 14:55:35

That makes sense to me brandy. I think sometimes people forget that they are in a system, on a conveyor belt.

TheMonster Sun 25-Nov-12 14:57:10

Yabu. 20 mins is hardly a long time.

MsHighwater Sun 25-Nov-12 14:58:39

I think the lack of politeness, more than the lack of table was enough to warrant walking out. I have gone to a restaurant and been told that they needed the table back for such and such a time because of a booking. Of course it's going to happen sometimes that customers take longer than expected, which is why restaurants have to have strategies to deal with it when it does.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 25-Nov-12 15:02:17


I have done similar in the past. You don't have to put up with poor service. I don't see why you're asking if you're being unreasonable,it's a judgement call based on ones own expectations.

marquesas Sun 25-Nov-12 15:10:18

On balance I don't think ywbu, yes, it must be difficult to know how long other diners will take but presumably if you book at table for 1pm on a Sunday it won't be the second time that table's been used as no one could be finished in such a short time.

9pm is maybe more unpredictable but there's no excuse here for not offering an apology and explanation as the first thing they say.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 15:21:29

marquesas not always.

The OP may have booked for 1pm. Then another customer calls but there are no tables left. He customer really wants a table so its agrees they can come at 11.30 but the table is needed again at 12.50pm (to allow time to reset).

We do it all the time. Slot customers around those booked.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 15:22:47

Also the op hasn't said what restaurant. It could have a Toby carvery I which case an hour is more than enough for a one course carvery.

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:32

the thing is, at lunchtime it is more likely you are going to have limited time to spare

a working lunch, for example may only have a one hour slot including travel time to and fro...a 20 min delay will really bugger things up in that case

charlmarascoxo Sun 25-Nov-12 15:33:50

The restaurant was F&B.

We took a 2 minute walk to Pizza Express and were seated straight away, with quite a good table too.

If there had been an apology I definitely wouldn't have been annoyed, and probably would have stayed. I do think a 20 minute wait is quite long when you have booked a table in advance.

ArtexMonkey didn't realise there was a limit to what you could post. Perhaps I log off to make the forum police happy?

HoneyDragon Sun 25-Nov-12 15:36:01

Did you take dp? Which pants was he wearing? grin

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 15:36:36

what is F and B ?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 15:37:00

F&B annoy me I don't go anymore, apart from there shite food I hated that your table was never ever on time and they would fob you off with those devices that go red when it's time to go back. (blue cheese sauce almost made it worth it)

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 15:37:14

Frankie and Bennys AF

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 15:39:25

oh right

I don't think that's the sort of place I frequent. Is it like nando's that all the kids go to ? grin

marchwillsoonbehere Sun 25-Nov-12 15:39:28

Oh well if it was Fand B I am not at all surprised either by the shoddy service or the lack of apology...I would have done exactly as you did. (Except that wild horses wouldn't get me to make a booking there in the first place, but hey it's a learning curve!) grin

However....I thought Artex was being sympathetic to you, yet you seem to have taken offence. So it kinda makes me wonder whether the waitress was as rude as she sounds (except, as I say, it's par for the course in my F and B experience)

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 15:41:09

Frankie and bennys?

Really. I think yabu. People are constantly in and out. Its difficult to tell.

A restaurant could (I suppose) leave the table open from about 12.30 to stop this. However if they did this on every table across a day. They would lose money. Which isn't what they are there to do.

I would expect this (but with an apology) at Frankie and bennys.

pigletmania Sun 25-Nov-12 15:41:30

YANBU at all, the lady was very rude and no apology frtbcoming. She is in the hospitality industry.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 15:42:13

No it's a american branch like TGI fridays type

charlmarascoxo Sun 25-Nov-12 15:43:52

What has dp's pants got to do with it HoneyDragon ?

AnyFucker - Frankie & Benny's.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 15:45:32

Its a 'get them in, get them out place'. Customer service isn't their strong point.
I went to one in Leeds a few months ago. Was rubbish.
personally I would have preferred pizza express.

charlmarascoxo Sun 25-Nov-12 15:46:20

marchwillsoonbehere it came across to me as she was having a go at me for posting so much.

But why I could be wrong. It's very easy to get misunderstood on a forum.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 25-Nov-12 15:48:28

because the restaurant made no effort
"sorry Madam but the people before you are still enjoying their coffee, come sit at the bar and have a look at the menu"
makes 20 minutes fly by

no idea what F&B is - try to avoid 'chain' eateries at all costs - do not want food that is prepared in eastern europe and microwaved in the UK

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 15:49:37

I am too reconsidering if she was rude or maybe reacted to you. It seems unthinkable to you to wait and you do seem a bit defensive.

Are you sure you didn't come across as rude?

I also think once you have said 'right we are leaving' there isn't much they can do.

If someone told me they were leaving I would accept their decision to leave.

charlmarascoxo Sun 25-Nov-12 15:55:26


Conversation went like this.

Me: Hi, we have a table booked for 1, under the name Smith"
Her: Yeah, its going to be a 20 minute wait.
Me: Oh erm ....
Hands me a beeper and says to wait in the bar.

We go to the bar and then decide we'd rather not have to wait.

I go back to her to return the beeper and to make sure she knows we have left so. And
Me: "Actually I think we'll leave it"
Her: "Fine."

End of conversation.

She was short and quite abrupt. I have worked in the hospitality industry and I know its stressful, but customer service is so important.

I really do not believe I was rude to her.

NamingOfParts Sun 25-Nov-12 16:03:13


If you have booked for 1.00 it is because that is the time you wanted to eat not at some random other time.

Good customer service doesnt mean that things never go wrong. Good service is about how an organisation deals with things when they do go wrong. It sounds to me here that the problem was not what they did but how they did it.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 16:07:23

I take your word for it.

but I am not sure what response you wanted to saying you are leaving.

I had this actually the other week. Woman calls to book a table after the kitchen closes and tell me (owner) she has eaten at that time before. I assure her she hasn't as that is my regular night to work and we close the kitchen at 10.
She books slightly earlier. However turns up at 10.15pm. I advised her that (as per our phone conversation, which she denied) the kitchen was closed but if she wanted to take a seat I would see what we could do.
She decided I was rude to tell her the kitchen was closed and came over to tell me she was leaving. My response was 'ok'.

She is an adult and can make her own decisions.

What could she have done at that point to make it better? Would you stayed if she had apologised?
in our case, after another instance of her swearing at the 17 year old waitress and calling the poor girl a whore, She was banned. She was a pita smile

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 16:08:03

Not suggesting you did anything like that just an example.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 16:09:40

I thi k places like this should either not take bookings or advise customers they can book but there could be a short wait. Shorter than if you hadn't booked at all. Perhaps

HoneyDragon Sun 25-Nov-12 17:02:29

Ha ha! Nothing. I posted totally on the wrong thread blush

HoneyDragon Sun 25-Nov-12 17:05:44


Sorry. What I should've put was. When we booked at F&B and they were running late they asked if we would wait at the bar and were offered a complimentary drink. Were you offered a drink or just told to wait?

But you have now relayed a full conversation that indicates you weren't.

So I'm going to sit in Twats Corner now.

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