Subscribe Now »

Special Holiday Deal

Give the Gift of the

Give one person a magazine subscription for $29.95, and get each additional subscription for just $19.95.

Newsletters

Get Dining Out delivered to your inbox every Wednesday Morning.

Chew on This: What’s an Acceptable Wait Time for a Reservation?
Comments () | Published October 13, 2009

Last week, a reader wrote in to food and wine editor Todd Kliman’s chat to get his feedback about a bad experience waiting at a restaurant. The reader had a 9 PM reservation and wasn't seated for 50 minutes. “I’m wondering what your guidelines are on what’s considered a reasonable wait for a table when you have a reservation and when you should just cut your losses and leave?” asked the frustrated customer.

“I think 2 minutes or fewer is a reasonable wait if you have a reservation. I’m not being facetious,” Kliman said. “Actually, I’m being charitable and forgiving. I think no-wait-at-all is what is reasonable if you have a reservation. Or two minutes and the restaurant buys you a drink. Fifty minutes? Fifty minutes and the meal ought to be comped.”

In Kliman’s chat today, lots of people wrote in with opinions on how the restaurant should have handled the situation. What do you think? How long is an acceptable wait for a table when you have a reservation? If you have to wait, should the restaurant do anything to make up for it?

Categories:

Feedback
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 12:34 PM/ET, 10/13/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs