- a blog about food and value


  1. I totally agree Rebecca. Restaurants should be thanking me for my custom and ensuring I have an enjoyable experience, not dishing out time limitations and practically ushering me out the door at the end of an allocated time slot. I would second your point that the restaurant itself inadvertently dictates the duration of your meal with speed of service etc and a well managed restaurant should subtly utilise this.

  2. That is awful!!! We probably would have walked out 😉 even in the US they won’t hassle you in words to leave… they pester you about buying more and if the answer is no then the check is promptly put in front of you!

  3. I agree completely. I haven’t rented a table, I’ve booked, in advance, to enjoy a meal and the ambiance. It’s very annoying an makes me feel rushed.

  4. Urgh, I hate that as well for the same reasons you mention.

    I really don’t think they can expect to get a tip then if they’re so keen on getting you out of there. That isn’t service, is it? Because it has already pissed you off and you’re already thinking about how much time you’ve got left to eat. You’re less likely to order more than 1, max 2 courses and a drink. How much would it have cost you per minute at that table?

    And yet they’re slow enough in getting you the bill when they’ve specifically told you to be off by a certain time, non? 🙂

    You sure you don’t want to name and shame? 🙂

  5. I absolutely hate this and if I’m told when booking that I have to leave by a certain time I say “Thanks but no thanks” and tell them I’ll book elsewhere. Restaurants should be glad of business especially at the moment and be thankful that people would want to stay longer and spend more. As I go out less and less these days, I try to enjoy it more and more so I definitely don’t want to be shooed out the door.
    Please name and shame!!!

  6. I think they could say this, just once however, not more than once. Absolutely not five or six times!

  7. And the most infuriating is when they put you under pressure beforehand but then take ages to bring you the menus, take your orders, bring you the food. Then rush you towards the end. It happened to us once, and the place was half empty. We gave them a ‘great’ review with everyone we know

  8. Firstly I plan on stalking you to find out which restaurant this is but secondly nope to the US doing this. They don’t. In fact they have tables booked every 15mins, generally from 5pm,and everyone (and I mean everyone) utilises OpenTable, which incidentally is genius.

    I’m all for eating late but sometimes 9pm is too late and 7pm too late.

    HATE set sittings!

  9. You have got to be thankful when these types of things are your problems in life. Praise the lord!!!

  10. Thanks for all the responses so far. Good to know that it isn’t just me who takes issue with this carry on, I’ll put the meditation aside for another day. There’ll be no naming and shaming I’m afraid as apart from this practice there was absolutely nothing else negative about the place so it’d feel very mean-spirited, and besides this is something that many restaurants are guilty of so it’s good to generate discussion!

  11. Totally agree Rebecca. If you book, you should have the table for as long as you like. No booking a second seating. If you leave with enough time for a second seating for a walk-in, great for them.

  12. While I’m sure it was annoying to be pestered like that, I can see it from the other point of view also.

    Imagine arriving with a group for a booking for the late sitting, and before being seated you had to wait around while three people who were in the middle of the restaurant nursed the dregs of their wine, so that your table can be put together.

    I have had this happen to me, and I’ve worked in a restaurant where they didn’t put time limits on tables, which led to long waits after the time of the booking before groups could be seated.

  13. I’m an American who has lived in Dublin for almost a year now. I’ve NEVER had this happen in America, but have had it at least 3 different times at 3 different restaurants here in Dublin. However, once, when I was booked in with a large group of American women at 7pm and told we needed to leave by 9pm they kindly lifted that restriction when they saw how much wine we were drinking and what we were spending on appetizers alone. Hmmm, I guess the quality of customer service depends on how much you’re willing to spend?

  14. This practice of telling us how much time we have to eat our food and drink our wine has been a pet hate of mine for many years. Eating out should be a relaxing sociable occasion as well as a culinary experience. Personally I like to eat early and more often than not I am happy to head home around 9.30 but please don’t tell me I must !! I am not renting space I am paying for a meal and wine, which I should be allowed to enjoy in my own time.
    I no longer book at Restaurants that tell me I must eat at 7pm … not 7.30 and need to have paid the bill and vacated the table by 9pm. It is downright rude when you think about it and I have never had this experience in any other country.