Restaurant Reservations

by cab

Made dinner reservations for four at our local steakhouse for New Years dinner, However, about three hours before, the fourth person called me to say they were stuck because of road conditions and would not be able to reach us. We went to dinner with three of us and while checking in I told the matred there would only be three of us and he yelled in my face why didn't I call them. I did not know that I had done anything improper and would like to know if this was my mistake on my part, I had never ever heard that we were supposed to change party numbers in advance. It only took approximately one minute to clear one of our settings and then we were seated. Could you give your advice. Thank you!!!!

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Restaurant Reservations
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hi Cab,

Happy New Year!

Many people do not give advance warning to the restaurant if the numbers go down from the original count unless it is significant. In this case, however, when it is New Year's Eve, I would suspect that this is a very busy night for the restaurant where they would like to maximize the attendance. This is likely why you got the response you did. Whether the restaurant could have configured the tables differently with advance notice of the change in numbers would only be speculation on my part.

On the other hand, to have the maitre'd "yell in your face" is not proper on his part. There is a way to tell a person without publicly embarrassing a person. A bit more professionalism should have been due from him.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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