Mail regarding restaurant reservations

WE GET MAIL: First of all I wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. I enjoy reading your Bati-Blekis and since you mentioned that you have an international audience I would like to share the following in your popular blog: We just experience a hectic, joyous holiday season as many people enjoyed the island and its restaurants. The dark-side of the island’s dining experience is the number of guests making dinner reservations and then either no-show or cancel last minute. From my days at a high-rise timeshare resort I remember many of our guests making multiple restaurant reservations through the hotel concierge and then select one last minute as they stand in the lobby with their friends. This obviously results in empty seats at restaurants holding tables for guests who changed their plans last minute, and on the flip side disappointed guests who were denied access to that same place.  Now that I am partially involved in a restaurant I am experiencing this first hand and I am flabbergasted with the ease and thoughtlessness with which guests make reservations, just to cancel them last minute, my apology for the strong language! But as they no-show without the courtesy of a call, or a timely cancelation, I now fully understand why airlines have non-refundable tickets, and why hotels charge penalties for no-shows. Yes, the answer is to secure reservations with credit cards, but even that does not deter savvy guests who know they can easily dispute the restaurant charge. If that does not work there is always Trip Advisor, used as a weapon, where the threat of an anonymous negative review, has the restaurant thinking twice before chagrining no-show fees.

In several fine dining restaurants in the US patrons pay a reservation up front with their credit card and will not get reimbursed when they no-show.  Aruba is still that one happy Island where we prefer doing business taking guests at their word, only carrots, no sticks, hoping our guests will simply comply with the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Thank you Rona for perhaps bringing some conscious to your international audience.