Our topic today, dear readers: Restaurants. (Let me immediately say that I have a personal stake in this subject and that it was inspired by a recent dining experience at a franchise restaurant which shall remain nameless. Rick, not feeling particularly sociable on Friday, called the restaurant (one of the few to still take reservations for a party less than eleventy thousand) to make reservations for the two of us on Saturday. We decided to dine early, at six. This is plenty of background. I press on.) Restaurants have become a Behemoth Of Bad Behaviour in our Society as of late. Not owning or operating one myself, perhaps I am simply naive or ignorant, and a restaurateur can set me straight. Otherwise, I will remain convinced that the following points need to be remedied immediately. It simply cannot be that hard.
1. Reservations: Firstly, take them. Regardless of party size. Second, honor them. I do not want to arrive on time and have to wait twenty minutes (as was the case Saturday). Listen, I made a plan to dine at your establishment. I can understand there being some unexpectedness involved. But twenty minutes? Ridiculous. I'd like to paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld when I say, "Anyone can take a reservation. It's holding the reservation; that's the most important part."
2. Seating: Do not insult me and take me, a person who made a plan to dine at your establishment over 24 hours ago, to the lousiest table in your restaurant. Those horrific cafeteria-like two-tops along a banquette. I do not wish to share my dinner and my dinner conversation with strangers. As a matter of fact, restaurateurs everywhere, STOP PUTTING THOSE GODAWFUL SEATS IN YOUR RESTAURANTS, PERIOD. THEY ARE TERRIBLE. If you must have them, save them for the walk-ins who decided at the last minute to patronize your establishment. When I am escorted to one by a clueless hostess, I politely insist that I be moved. Questions follow, managers inevitably insinuate themselves, and the dinner check ends up being comped. I don't try to get a free meal. I just want a nice dinner. I'm happy to pay for it, really.