Why Wait?

It happened again.  We walked past a HUGE crowd waiting to be seated at il Fornio and were immediately given a table.  Same thing happened last week at Dragonfish.  It’s also a regular occurrence at P.F.Chang’s, Stanfords, BJ’s and countless other popular restaurants.


Why?  Certainly not because we do anything each and every one of you COULD do but somehow don’t think to do.  We simply make reservations.

When we have tickets to a concert or play, I use the internet to decide a nearby restaurant for dinner beforehand.  Same once we decide on a time to see a movie.  I prefer to only park once so walking distance between the two is a priority.  If they validate for free or reduced cost parking – even better!

Even if you are not one to plan days ahead, you usually have at least 30 minutes notice of where you are planning to eat.  After all, it takes that long in most major cities to get from where you are when you decide to the actual restaurant.

Do you have an iPhone, Droid or other “smart phone”?  There is typically an app for a free reservation service such as OpenTable or UrbanSpoon.  You can often earn points towards free dining bucks just for using one of these services that allow you NOT wait in line!

Some restaurants such as P.F. Chang’s don’t offer their reservations through 3rd party providers such as OpenTable or UrbanSpoon.  That doesn’t mean they don’t take reservations!  In their case, the reservations are done directly through their website.

If you don’t have a “smart phone” or find the on line process tedious, just call and see if you can get a reservation when you are on your way.  If they don’t have an open spot, see if you can get put on a waiting list or if the wait time they quote is too daunting, ask for a recommendation of another restaurant nearby that may be able to take you more quickly.

Even casual restaurants such as BJ’s and Applebee’s which don’t offer reservations have a “call ahead” service.  You phone the restaurant when you leave your house and get put on their waiting list.  When you walk in, if you are given one of those pagers at all, your wait will be much shorter.

Our family is so accustomed to having a reservation that even the younger members walk up to the counter and give their name automatically.  It even happened once at a restaurant we love in Park City that doesn’t take reservations!

Yes, we do sometimes eat in restaurants that don’t take reservations but only at off-peak times or when we don’t have something better to do than wait.


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