Reader: Charging a penalty would cut down on restaurant no-shows

Categories: Cafe Society

Mark Manger
If you show up at Oak at Fourteenth, you'll be rewarded with great food.
Oak at Fourteenth is a very good restaurant, and it earned raves from Gretchen Kurtz in her review this week. But even a very good restaurant can have very big problems with no-shows, as co-owner Bryan Dayton learned last month when several large parties failed to arrive on a weekend so busy that they even opened Oak early, and were turning people away. Dayton was so peeved that he tweeted the names of the scofflaws, but soon had reservations about that tactic. What should restaurants do to combat no-shows?

See also:
- Bryan Dayton now has reservations about busting no-shows on Twitter
- Photos: Behind the scenes at Oak at Fourteenth
- Review: Oak at Fourteenth rises from the ashes

Says Denver Dave:

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 (especially in small venues) so 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!

Would charging a penalty for no-shows work? Would you object if you were charged for a no-show?

Location Info

Oak at Fourteenth

1400 Pearl St., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Gordon Cresswell
Gordon Cresswell

You can't charge someone for missing a reservation, it happens that's why I give them twenty minutes after their reservation, then call and if no reply than they lose their reservation.

Samir Aniba
Samir Aniba

I entirely concur....waited an extra hour last night for a 12 top no-show booked for the end of service. Those of us in the industry have a name for the massively inconsiderate. Hint: begins with "d", ends with"g".

Kris Call
Kris Call

I have no problem giving my credit card for a reservations, like Holly said, some restaurants in Denver request it.

Holly Elkins
Holly Elkins

I've had a couple in Denver request my credit card. I have no problem with that. If you can't make it give them a call even if it's last minute. Then at least they can seat walk ins. It's just so inconsiderate of the restaurant and other people that could have had your table.

Filippo Broggini
Filippo Broggini

Only if I get a discount for waiting 1 hour for a table.


@Gordon Cresswell You absolutely can.  If people do not like it, they don't have to go to that establishment.  Hell, if Disney can do it for some of their in park restaurants, why not a place like this?

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