Usually, people with restaurant reservations, say “Hey, I am Chantel and I have a reservation for 5”
This is the reason why I turn into a witch when I say “May I please have a table for 5 people” and get asked, “Do you have a reservation?” For a fleeting moment, the story I tell myself is that somehow I was not prepared, I neglected to do something. The answer I am going to give is “no”, and it is similar to those moments when my homework was not done. The tone with which this question is asked is usually that of a unacknowledged, scared hospitality staff member that has been given a little power, if only for a moment to allocate tables.
Surely there must be a more welcoming way to greet restaurant goers than “Do you have a reservation?”
For fuck sake, I chose your restaurant at the spur of the moment. I chose an adventure. I was spontaneous and I get met with a bucket of cold water.
How about “Hi, have you been here before?” “Did you book a table or can I surprise you?”
The first question would start to build a relationship like I am already part of the family. The second question would then land softer.
Everyone just wants to feel great about themselves! Don’t shame people for not making a booking! They are still choosing you!