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question regarding booking dining reservations

Pittsford, New York
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22 posts
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question regarding booking dining reservations

I recently booked afternoon tea and The Chelsea Teapot. Initially they took the name and number of persons in our party, but yesterday received an e-mail stating that they require a credit card to hold the reservation. When I replied that I have never been asked to do this for a dining reservation they informed me that this was standard practice in London. I cancelled the reservation and booked at the Woseley and they did not ask for a credit card. Could anyone comment on whether this is standard practice? Thank you.

Glasgow, United...
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1. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I have only once had to do this and that was at Xmas for a large party, which I felt was reasonable.

Never happened at any other time.

I would have done the same as you, but perhaps they have been stung a lot recently?

Ipswich, United...
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for Ipswich
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2. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

It's not the norm, though it does happen. I think it may be justified in a small establishment where a party not turning up could mean something like a 10% drop in takings.

London, United...
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3. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

It's not uncommon, especially at some of the upmarket places. I wouldn't say it was standard , but it happens.

4. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

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London, United...
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5. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I think the reverse is true, I wouldn't turn up at a Michelin starred place without a reservation because I wouldn't expect them to have a table. Also, once they have allocated a table it is reserved for the whole evening.

London, United...
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3,538 posts
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6. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I agree that it's not standard practice, but I have noticed it on occasion, particularly for posh afternoon tea venues. I am not familiar with the Chelsea Teapot, but perhaps if it fits this category (or is merely trying to do so), that would explain it.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I agree it's not standard but it is definitely becoming more common.

I have been asked to provide a credit card for afternoon tea bookings for groups. I was also asked to provide a credit card for my solo lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. DbHB also advised me several times I would be charged 50GBP if I was a no-show.

london
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for Nile River Valley
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12,280 posts
248 reviews
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8. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I had to give credit card details recently for a special dinner at Koffmans. I don't object because I always remember a time in the 80s when a senior colleague booked an entire restaurant in Switzerland and then at the last minute decided not to go, can't remember why. He was outraged when the restaurateur asked for compensation equivalent to his profit as he had closed the place to the public for the night. I don't remember what happened in the end. I think many people are even more thoughtless now about letting other people down. It goes with the mobile phone culture.

London
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for London
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9. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

You don't say how many were in your party. Whilst it is not standard practice it is not uncommon for groups esp in smaller venues.

London, United...
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4,281 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: question regarding booking dining reservations

I would say it is relatively common at high end places. I made a recent booking at Pied a Terre which required this, The Fat Duck also takes a large deposit.