Dear restaurants who don't take reservations,
I hate you.
Okay. Hate is a strong word, and my Mum told me not to use it frivolously. So what I mean is that I dislike you and you make me feel frustrated and ranty enough to write this blog.
I hate, er, dislike you because I am an organised person. I want to make a reservation two weeks beforehand because it's next to impossible to make plans without knowing what time dinner is, especially when there are six of us.
I want to make a reservation because I know that to seat three couples without a wait would mean that we would have to arrive at 5.45 pm, and we're not pensioners eating at the local RSL. We're punctual people who are trying to give you our business and therefore our money. Why won't you lock in the fact that I'm going to give you my money?
And before you offer, I don't want to wait at your crowded bar and drink a hip cocktail (or four) while I wait for our table. By the time the table is ready I'll be hammered and have to refinance my house just to pay for the overpriced drinks I was basically forced into having.
Why am I made to feel as though I should think myself privileged to be in your establishment?
And to the restaurants who force groups into a set menu, I don't really like you much either.
For groups of six or more to be forced to have a banquet makes me want to flip tables. Sure, I get it if there are 20 people. But six or eight? That is not a group, it's merely people who have a few friends.
A banquet is generally more expensive, not to mention often too much food -- so essentially we're paying more money for heaps of stuff we won't finish and that we didn't actually get to choose. Seriously, how is that considered the norm?
What I don't get is, your restaurant holds a certain number of patrons, so why does it matter if we're a 'group' of eight or four tables of two? Is it because it's easier for your kitchen? It seems backward that paying customers are stopped from ordering what they actually want because they (inconveniently) want to sit together.
And lastly, to the waitstaff who turn their noses up when we say "tap water will be fine", please politely get lost. We can see you judging us on our water choice, pigeonholing us as the type who will have an extra serving of bread and won't leave a tip.
I'm not ordering the sparkling San Pellegrino, because paying $12 a bottle for what essentially comes free from nature is sodomy of the wallet.
Here's your tip: Just let me reserve a table, order what I actually want to eat and drink my tap water, free from judgement and really, really long wait times.