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Is this allowed?
Restaurant rules...

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#1 Funwith3

Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:59 PM

We have a group booking for tomorrow night at a restaurant - there are about 8-10 of us. Now, keep in mind it's a Tuesday night.

The restaurant has told us that we will be charged $40 for whoever doesn't turn up. Now this is a group of mums, so of course, someone's child could get sick, someone's baby might play up (most likely mine  wink.gif )... Are restaurants allowed to charge for a no show? And $40?! Seems very excessive to me. And again, it's just a Tuesday, it's not a weekend.

#2 Feral Becky

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I am sure it is allowed. Their restaurant, their rules. Probably sick of no-shows. If you don't like it go somewhere else. Sounds like they have enough business and especially this time of year.

#3 Feral Becky

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

Bugger, I posted on the unpopular thread. See, I AM a thread killer  biggrin.gif

#4 rjflc69

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

Apologies from me, something 'funky' has happened and the other thread has been removed.  I am copying all replies into this thread.


QUOTE (niggles @ 03/12/2012, 01:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Id go elsewhere. That's weird.

QUOTE (cstar @ 03/12/2012, 01:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have never heard of this before.  Is it an exclusive restaurant that is hard to get into??

#5 rjflc69

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

QUOTE (MrsLexiK @ 03/12/2012, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have a few in our areas that charge like that, or if you book over x amount there is a minimum amount the table has to spend.  (It was explained to me that this is because they got sick of older teens booking a table and ording tables of garlic bread and staying there for hours on end) Don't blame them really.  My dr charges me if I don't turn up.

Also it may be Tuesday but bear in mind it is Dec.

#6 katpaws

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

I think that it is allowed. There is a Victorian restaurant that charges around $100 for a no show. Another place, Vue de Monde in Melbourne it is $150. I may not think it fair but i guess if you don't like the policy, don't go to that place.

I think tell the people that are invited the policy - if you still intend on going - and that if they don't come they will owe the group the $40 charge. If people aren't happy with that, you might need to find another venue.

#7 rjflc69

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 03/12/2012, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It would be allowed as it's their restaurant so I guess it's a case of "my place, my rules".

I've never heard of it before though.

#8 rjflc69

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

QUOTE (vääräsääri @ 03/12/2012, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Since it's a Tuesday, they may be calling in staff just because of your booking? And so want to be guaranteed it's worth it. I don't think it's that weird, at least they've been upfront about it.

#9 Mumma_G

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

This is pretty common in Brisbane. I guess they are just sick of people booking for 20 and only having 10 show up particularly when they ask for an outside table with views. Simply tell everyone of the request and if they cant make it to simply call so that the numbers on the table can be reduced.

I get that things happen but a 20 second phone call is all it takes. Sadly, I think FB and sms has made it a lot easier for people to get out of coming to things without making a call.

#10 rjflc69

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (Madnesscraves @ 03/12/2012, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've heard of this happening with number over a certain point but more they just charge a one off fee if its cancelled. But if only half the number turns up they are usually fine either way.

Think they are well within their rights. As PPs said, it's December, so lots of parties happening. At least he was upfront at booking.

QUOTE (aprilrain @ 03/12/2012, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would then ask everybody to pay upfront, or the organiser could get left holding the bill.

Should they charge you? I waitressed one night where a table was booked for 20 for a work do. Only the organiser and wife turned up. A forty seat restaurant had turned down other bookings, had to pay for food and extra staff member etc.

If you were going to a game, show etc you would usually still have paid even if you didn't show up.

QUOTE (loggedin @ 03/12/2012, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Their restaurant, their rules. But there is no chance I would go anywhere that did that.

If there are 8-10 of you then you will probably spend at least $400 (working on their $40 per head theory) plus tips. If they want to risk losing that money for the sake of charging an extra $40 I don't think they care about their customers so I doubt their food/service/restaurant would be very good.

A minimum spend would be a nicer way of doing the same thing.

You could always book for 8 and then add chairs if there are 10?

Or find somewhere else that is happy to serve you?

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 03/12/2012, 01:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some of the more expensive restaurants have had a credit card when booking rule for a while. They have costs even when people don't turn up and they may also be forgoing other bookings.

It may be a Tuesday but it is Christmas/end of year party season.

QUOTE (Livsh @ 03/12/2012, 01:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it were me I'd be cancelling the booking for another restaurant! I'm pretty sure they can make up what ever rules they like, so long as they tell you upfront. There is no way in hell I'd be going to a restaurant that tried to pull that on me though!

#11 Diamond~Sky~Lucy

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

I am sure that they are allowed to do that as they run their own show.  However, no way on earth would I be making a booking with rules like that - whilst I get that they need to make their money (and I ALWAYS ring to change my booking when numbers change - as they inevitably do) - this rule is simply rigid and unreasonable IMO.

Having said that, I am quite happy with the "leave a credit card no for a minimum deposit/spend" method of booking.

#12 Gembac8019

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

Meh, I would go elsewhere. I find it a rude turnoff. At the end of the day if someone is sick, they are sick. what would they prefer, a sick person turning up?

#13 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

Is it allowed?  Probably, it's their restaurant.

Would I go to a restaurant like that?  Probably not, not on a Tuesday night!  That would be enough for me to look elsewhere.  There are plenty of other restaurants to pick from that aren't so militant in their approach to bookings.

#14 Bluenomi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

It becoming more common. I think restaurants are getting sick of people making big bookings and not everyone turning up. Margins are pretty tight and a few no shows can cost them a fair bit of money.

You either just don't go there if you don't like the policy or be prepared to pay up if someone is a no show. If you give them notice you are more likely to not have to pay.

#15 TenYears

Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:56 PM

It's very common for large bookings in Sydney, with variations.  Most allow one or two people not showing (out of a large group booking) before they start charging, despite what their policy says.  All of them allow you to change the booking without penalty up to the day of the booking.

Edited by Sevenyears, 03 December 2012 - 10:30 PM.

#16 casime

Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:30 PM

Restaurateurs say a growing number of diners book several restaurants on peak nights, choosing one at the last minute without cancelling the others.

They say this new breed of diner tries their luck at trendy new eateries that refuse to take bookings, with the back-up of bookings at other restaurants as insurance.

So restaurants are planning no-show fees to cover their costs.

"All we ask is that people have the manners to ring up and cancel," The Brix owner/operator Emma O'Mara said.

"It's not much to ask, really. Some nights three or four tables just don't turn up, without a call. It's devastating for a small business, but people don't seem to understand."


#17 FiveAus

Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:33 PM

Can't say I blame them. Restaurants generally run on very tight margins and have their staff work according to the amount of bookings they have. If a percentage of the bookings are no-shows, they still have to pay the staff even if they really weren't required after all.

#18 Propaganda

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

While irritating, I imagine it's allowed.

You'll often be charged for missed appointments elsewhere.

Perhaps it's better to organise your lunch somewhere else, or have everyone contribute up front, so nobody else is forking out for a no-show.

#19 Copper and May

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

I worked for a doctor and thay had a sign in the waiting room that patients would be charged for missing an appointment, but it is big lie, because doctors have to provide a service and have eye contact with the patient, before they can charge.

#20 Copper and May

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

Well, someone said something about being charged by their doctor if they didn't turn up and now I can't find it. unsure.gif

#21 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

Doctors can and do charge for noshows.  What they cannot do is charge medicare.  They charge the patient directly and it cannot be claimed back from medicare.

#22 Exhaustedbuthappy

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (Balzac @ 03/12/2012, 07:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Doctors can and do charge for noshows.  What they cannot do is charge medicare.  They charge the patient directly and it cannot be claimed back from medicare.

Slight tangent - but... This.

Most specialists will charge a fee from anywhere from $55 - $150 if you cancel in under 24 hours or are a no show. Having said that most doctors will waive it if there's a genuine reason (ie gastro and you simply can't get there to the appointment).

#23 Feral_Pooks

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

They might be able to do it, but I would also cancel and never go back there.

#24 Holidayromp

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

A doctor is a an essential service whereas a restaurant is not.  If a restaurant had the hide to charge that for a no show then it is very easy to go elsewhere.
If it is a Mum's group that is booking it will be highly likely that the group will have to wear $40.00 plus due to sick kids etc.  Maybe due to this fact this restaurant is not the place for you.
Best idea to book elsewhere that doesn't charge as it is too high a risk to take.

#25 ms flib

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Underestimate your numbers.

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