Time for a little grousing about rude restaurant behavior — from the management’s point of view. Ted Burke has been running a mighty successful establishment — Shadowbrook Restaurant — for decades. He’s seen it all in the rude patron department. But here’s what’s got him seeing red a week before Valentine’s Day. “Too many people interested in dining on St. Valentine’s Day,” Burke said in his recent email, “will make several reservations around town — this happens on New Year’s too — and decide at the last minute which one they want to keep …and then not bother to cancel any of the others.”

This is really unacceptable. If you want to cover your bases, great. But give the restaurant people enough time to plan — call and cancel at least 24-hours in advance. Shadowbrook has decided to take action. Burke goes on, “because of this boorish behavior and because we have far, far more parties interested in dining here that night than we have table space, we have gone to mandating credit card guarantees at the time of reserving in the event one doesn’t show up. It is a policy we have had for some time for large group reservations but recently we have applied it to all parties for holidays. Most people do understand the need to protect our business and the income of our servers and other employees in such a way.”

Before the credit card guarantee, Burke estimates a no-show rate of 20% or more on key holidays. “With the new policy we end up reserving only for those who are serious about coming in, and by so doing we increase the opportunity for other guests similarly interested in reserving a table for that night. I believe this is becoming a fairly standard policy at many restaurants, as it is now a regular part of the
nation-wide Open Table restaurant reservation process”

Hope all of you restaurant-goers are paying attention. Good behavior is a two-way street. Maybe three-way, but that’s a whole other topic.