Have you ever thought about how dinner reservations work?
Restaurants are businesses: They are in the business of making money by serving food. When making reservations, everyone wants to eat at 7:30 on a Friday or Saturday night.
But the average Toronto restaurant is open for dinner between 5:30 and 10 p.m. Torontonians will not, by nature, eat before 6 unless they are going to a show, or after 10 unless they are Spanish.
With such a small window of operation, a restaurant needs to maximize that time period. Empty seats are holes in their gas tank, draining fuel. If a table is booked for 7:30, it’s next to impossible to use that table earlier or later. This is called a single seating.
When we call and ask for a 7:30 reservation and the manager says, “I’ve got a 6:15,” what they’re saying is, “I would prefer not to lose hundreds of dollars. Please come earlier.”