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Ferhat Yalcin

When Customers Don't Show Up

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I think of hotel reservations in the same way that I do restaurant reservations.  I am reserving a space, and they are reserving it for me.  Once I do that, I will do whatever I can to not cancel.  On the other hand, there are often more moving parts with hotel reservations, so I occassionally make the hotel reservation before I buy plane tickets or otherwise finish my travel plans to reserve that piece while I fix the rest, and sometimes it doesn't all fit together and I cancel the reservation that I just made.  But this is always within the same day that I make the initial reservation.  And, I don't make the reservation until I know that it is the place that I want to be.  The only other time that I have cancelled a hotel reservation was when a travel doctor told me that I would need to give my (at the time) three year old malaria pills if we stayed there.  Generally I do my research before I make the reservation so there is no reason that I would cancel after the plans are set.  And, when my plans are going to remain in flux (ex., driving and stopping midway or I think I may want to explore and find a place for the remaining time once I arrive at my destination), I don't reserve as I am not ready to make that commitment.  To me, it is like an RSVP - once you say you are going, you should go, unless of course for some reason it becomes impossible.

I'm just wondering, as I really don't get it, in what situation do you find yourself cancelling hotel reservations on a regular basis?

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No. We've all succeeded in beating down one well-meaning person, without even giving him a chance to explain his viewpoint, when this conversation could have been something much more important.

 

I think this thread is important.  I think that it is important that people understand that commitments are commitments and people are hurt if you break them, even if you don't do it in person.  What do you think should have come out of this thread?

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I'm just wondering, as I really don't get it, in what situation do you find yourself cancelling hotel reservations on a regular basis?

Business travel.  I flew to the west coast this week and in the middle of the trip I shortened one hotel reservation, cancelled a second hotel reservation, rebooked my return flight, and dropped my rental car off two days early.  Things happen and plans change.  I thought the only reason that hotels had liberal cancellation policies is because of the business traveler.  They get unexpected cancellations but probably get last minute bookings as well so maybe it balances out.  I doubt leisure travelers meddle with their hotel reservations in the same way as do business travelers.

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Business travel.  I flew to the west coast this week and in the middle of the trip I shortened one hotel reservation, cancelled a second hotel reservation, rebooked my return flight, and dropped my rental car off two days early.  Things happen and plans change.  I thought the only reason that hotels had liberal cancellation policies is because of the business traveler.  They get unexpected cancellations but probably get last minute bookings as well so maybe it balances out.  I doubt leisure travelers meddle with their hotel reservations in the same way as do business travelers.

This makes total sense to me.  You can't use the hotel because you won't be in town.  That is always why I thought they had liberal policies too.  If I am called out of town for business, and I had a dinner reservation, I would cancel that too.  Same situation.  It would be impossible to be someplace when I am required to be elsewhere.

But this isn't the same at all as making 4 different reservations so that you could decide later.

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It's already happening:

"No More Reservations: Exclusive Restaurants Require Ticketing Instead" by Jeff Tyler on npr.org

My brother-in-law's restaurant in SF uses this same ticketing system, and while there were definitely kinks in the beginning (high demand pretty much crashed the system), it is preferable to the no-shows.  If the tickets are transferrable (which they are), what's the real downside?

I'll just leave this here:

French Laundry Adopts Ticket System (and so will Per Se)

Link to Kokonas's Tock restaurant ticketing system, now positioning itself as an OpenTable competitor: http://tocktix.com/

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It's already happening:

"No More Reservations: Exclusive Restaurants Require Ticketing Instead" by Jeff Tyler on npr.org

My brother-in-law's restaurant in SF uses this same ticketing system, and while there were definitely kinks in the beginning (high demand pretty much crashed the system), it is preferable to the no-shows.  If the tickets are transferrable (which they are), what's the real downside?

Is your brother in law's place, Lazy Bear?  (it's mentioned in the French Laundry article above).

Someone on this site knows him (David) - I remember having a small chat about it a few years ago in some thread.  My wife and I sat next to him and his then GF at minibar years ago.

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Is your brother in law's place, Lazy Bear?  (it's mentioned in the French Laundry article above).

Someone on this site knows him (David) - I remember having a small chat about it a few years ago in some thread.  My wife and I sat next to him and his then GF at minibar years ago.

Yep, that's him!  I remember chatting with you about the Minibar connection - and then I told my sister about it, and she remembered the night very fondly.

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That's great!  I remember that night fondly too, and as someone mentioned in the Fishnook thread...."we sat next to the coolest people" (or something like that).....I figure anyone who eats at minibar, Fishnook, Roberto's 4, etc must be pretty adventurous and interesting, and you're likely to have a good time with them.

I'm so happy for David and (oddly) proud of him even though we only sat together for one meal.  I really wish he stayed around here so I could eat his food and grow some for him!  I was growing a lot of "weird" vegetables back then (that are now much more common and not that weird at all) that he hadn't seen and was interested in.

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