Some will say that canny front-of-house management compensates for inconsiderate customers and that may be so. Regardless, restaurant no-shows has been a hot button topic in Montreal for the past several months.
Over the weekend, popular Villeray restaurant Tapeo was hit hard. Maître d'hôtel Danny Van Dam:
So tonight, I experienced a real shock and disappointment as a maître d'hôtel. A table of 18 people, a table of 6 and a table of 4 did not honour their reservations! That makes a total of 28 people, or 1/3 the capacity of the restaurant. It is a lack of civility and respect! It doesn't bother me that you didn't show - we just ask that you call to warn us. It is the least you can do. Especially when you consider that I refused some 50 people tonight. We're restaurateurs who do this for the love of the job - we respect the reservations, but at what price?
In response to questions about Tapeo's standard procedure for day-of table confirmations, Van Dam went on to add:
We use Open Table and obviously we call people to confirm. The person [table of 18] was called 6 times and I left 3 voice messages and a text message. No need to make a drama, I just wanted people to understand the impact that they can have.