Bryan Dayton now has reservations about busting no-shows on Twitter

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Lori Midson
Bryan Dayton: How tweet it is!
For a guy who doesn't like drama, Bryan Dayton, a nationally-recognized bartender, sure knows how to set the stage. On graduation weekend last month the Oak at Fourteenth co-owner found himself facing a restaurant with lots of empty seats -- even though the place had been booked solid. And Oak had decided to open early for dinner, at 4 p.m. instead of the normal 5:30 p.m., to accommodate all the families feting their newly-minted University of Colorado grads. But fourteen people didn't show up for their dinner reservations, and that was after two big parties -- one of nine people, another of ten -- hadn't shown up for lunch.

See also:
- Review: Oak at Fourteenth rises from the ashes
- Photos: Behind the scenes at Oak at Fourteenth
- Bryan Dayton and Steve Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth are opening Acorn in Denver

So Dayton did what more and more restaurateurs are doing these days: He tweeted out the names of the dinner offenders.

To him, it was a way of getting out his frustration, akin to "kicking the trash can," he explains, and he quickly came to regret that impulsive move as comments piled in. Many were sympathetic to his plight -- he had, after all, opened the restaurant early, ordered extra food and paid his staff overtime.

But some disagreed. and hours later the normally affable Dayton pulled the tweet.

Fair warning: You don't want to skip out on a reservation at Oak at Fourteenth. Not because Dayton might bust you -- but because the food at the restaurant, which I review this week, is just too good.



Location Info

Oak at Fourteenth

1400 Pearl St., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

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14 comments
Christopher Day
Christopher Day

Filippo, customers already complain and share their uneducated opinions on Yelp, why shouldn't businesses have the same audience?

Filippo Broggini
Filippo Broggini

Ridiculous. What if customers start tweeting things like "this place sucks because I have to wait 1 hour to get a table", etc..

Mark Paco Slosky
Mark Paco Slosky

As a long time veteran of the food and beverage industry I totally understand the frustration of customers not showing for their reservations but tweet them out on Twitter? If I were those customers I would never set foot in this guys restaurant again. Great business move Bryan!

Skinney85
Skinney85

Go Bryan! I would've done the same! People need to start being more respectful of others time and effort that goes into planning special occasions. Yes, I get it you're the customer but flaking out on reservations is the equivalent of standing up your date.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

For busy times like graduation weekend and restaurant week, many restaurants take a credit card number to hold the reservation.  Sounds like that might have worked better.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@Filippo Broggini What if customers start tweeting things like that?  You don't think they already are (at least some of them)?

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@Mark Paco Slosky  

I'm glad I don't have Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@Bagwhan I'm all for the taking a credit card number idea.  A lot of high end restaurants in NYC, SFC, etc. have been doing it for years.  Really, how hard is it to pick up the phone and cancel a reservation so (especially in small venues) that the restaurant can at least try to accommodate people on a waiting list.  You fail to cancel - your credit card gets hit with a failure to cancel penalty.  You'd have to disclose that penalty when taking the reservation of course.  I bet that'd cut down on the no-shows!



lateeda
lateeda

@Bagwhan Exactly!  Not to mention Yelp.  

While this restaurant should start taking cc numbers, I still agree with what he did. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Denver Dave ... and if they do show up, on time, and their table isn't ready? ... do they get to hit the restaurant with a financial penalty?

The Sword of Vengeance cuts both ways ...

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@DonkeyHotay @Denver Dave Of course they get to hit the restaurant with a financial penalty.  They can walk out, causing the same hardship that the no-shows did, with no recourse for the restaurant.  Or they can choose to stay and give the restaurant a chance to make it right.


It's a simple financial transaction; both sides are free to do as they please, and nobody is being forced to do anything.  If the restaurant hates the no shows, they can take a CC and charge the no shows.  If someone doesn't like that policy, they can either not make a reservation at all or make one and show up or make one and cancel it.  Or make one and not show up get charged.  This is not really all that complicated or some deep spiritual crisis.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Denver Dave And if they do show up on time and their table isn't ready then the restaurant has the responsibility to make it right - it's called comping drinks, an appetizer, etc. which they can write off as a business expense.  Can't write of 33 vacant seats.  Also, often it is not negligence on the part of a restaurant that a table is not ready at the reserved time but rather the fault of a party who arrived late and are still camped out when the next reservation arrives.

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