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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Monday, 17 December 2012

No Reservations Please, We're British

An increasing trend, brought into sharp focus by my latest London excursion, is for pubs to reserve tables for patrons. Now, of course, this has long been common practice in ones that major on food and is sensible, particularly if you’re travelling any distance. Nobody likes to turn up with Aunty Jean and find that there’s no room at the Inn.

However, we’re not talking about gastropubs (sorry, couldn’t think of a better name for them), Brewer’s Fayre or anything of that ilk. No, I’m addressing the ones that do very little or, even more frustrating, basically no food at all. I simply cannot see the justification in potentially alienating the customers who have already come through the doors and are willing to spend time and money there.

And it’s not even as though these are large tables best suited for groups. I’ve seen signs on little ones that can fit three people on at best. And this is isn’t some form of British Stammtisch in action. No, this is usurpers trying to circumvent tried and tested pub practice. Of course, you could sit at the table and wait to be ejected, but the point is; you shouldn’t have to.

If Billy Bones wants a table at 1830 for him and his chums, he should do like the rest of us and get there early enough.


Glyn Roberts said...

Totally agree. I was in an Adnams pub last week and was asked to move because a big group was coming in. There were no reservation signs and I was waiting for a few friends myself. It turns out that I was just sitting in the seats that two of their regulars usually sit in.
It was such a lovely looking pub that I'd still have been tempted to return to it. If the beer hadn't been so badly kept aswell...

Tandleman said...

Happened to me, E and Jack and Jill in BrewDog Glasgow and me and E in the Draft House at Tower Bridge.

Both extremely politely I must say. But still.

John Clarke said...

In BrewDog? Reserving seats for regulars? How "punk" is that?

jc said...

I visited cambridge earlier this year and it seemed to be common practice in several pubs.
If the reserved sign mentions what time the table was reserved it may help a little. One pub had all their tables reserved (5 or 6 ) yet there was no-one in , and I had no where to sit.
Very bizzare practice, and one i cannot fathom out what benefits it has. As soon as we saw these signs our group moved onto a pub that would wecome our custom.

Bailey said...

The funny thing is, the hippest restaurants these days are all about 'no reservations' -- huge queues halfway down the street. Good publicity, apparently, and all part of the 'theatre'.

Reservations for parties of, say, ten or more in pubs seems sensible, though, especially if you're given a good hour or two's warning and made to feel welcome otherwise.

Jules said...

This is a worrying trend. If top places such as Craft are doing it, how long before it becomes the norm?

Giddy said...

This reaslly pisses me off. You've put good money behind the bar and then you are turfed out on your ear. If I find a pub regularly does this I will boycott it in future.

Cooking Lager said...

It is popular in some Manchester bars of the posh type. There is a minimum spend per table. Oh and you can book your table on t'internet

Anonymous said...

Not a problem in Trackside

Fishter said...

Got annoyed recently when I arrived at a pub to find just one table unreserved. It was occupied. I'd checked the pub's website and they didn't take reservations after 7.30. Needless to say all the table bookings were for 8. Not impressed.