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777: Delicious group meal, shame about the small print

| 6 Comments

777-2We’ve reviewed 777 Mexican restaurant here before, so I didn’t have a review in mind when I went for  a group meal there on Saturday last. One of my dearest and oldest friends Clare had her hen party there, and the food turned out to be so tremendous I wanted to quickly post about it here.  When you go in a group of six or more (there were about 14 of us), you get given the group menu which is about €35 per head.

The advantage of the group meal is that you get brought platters of lots of different dishes and so get to try a wide variety of their food. We got chips with guacamole and hot sauce; tacos and tostadas with chicken, prawn or beef; incredibly delicious grilled corn on the cob; platters of steak, chicken and ribs; and a dessert each.  Huge amounts of food, all very very tasty, and none of the tragic food envy you get when your friends’ dishes look better than yours.

The disadvantage of the 777 group meal however, is that 777 ask for a cancellation fee of €30 per head if people cancel less than 24 hours in advance.  As one Broadsheet.ie reader found out, their Christmas bookings have an even more punitive rule applying this charge for anything cancelled less than five days in advance.

What do you think? Do you think it’s too extreme, or fair enough given that cancellations cause problems for restaurants? Would you make a group booking with terms like this, knowing that if something goes wrong you could be hundreds of euro in a hole?

6 Comments

  1. The cancellation fee is pretty standard to be honest. I just booked a large drinks party into the VCC and they had to take my credit card in case of on the day cancellation in which case I would be charged €100. Presumably the cancellation fee only applies if all the party cancels rather than a small drop in numbers?

    While the 5 day policy coming up to Christmas is harsh, a restaurant that tiny has to rely on filling itself to the brim in order to keep in profit. Even with restaurants as busy as 777, it’s a tightrope walk and at th end of the day, making enough to pay costs and labour isn’t enough.

  2. If they are upfront about it, no problem.

  3. I can’t believe people are accepting this. It’s outrageous! Yes restaurants have to look after their profits but charging people not to eat is scalping.

  4. Whatever about having a cancellation fee, which is fairly normal for restaurants around Christmas time (they would often ask for a €10 per person deposit when the booking is taken), having an 86% cancellation fee is insane! Bad enough when they’re given 24 hours notice, but with 5 days notice – no way would I go for that!

  5. I never give correct card details when making reservations anyway. Having been a waitress I know that they are usually written on a piece of paper and I don’t want my cc information lying around. If the number is being keyed into the terminal at the time then that’s fine, the number will be rejected and I will give my correct number.

  6. We booked our team Christmas lunch in 777 last year and the same policy existed then. I have no real issue with the policy to be honest as long as it is judiciously applied. As Naomi said, margins (and space in 777) are tight and not maximising profits during the busy Christmas period could be potentially fatal for a restaurant.

    As it happens, last year one of our party came down sick on the day of the booking and didn’t make it along and we were not charged.

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