Restaurant Workers Are Begging You To Include This In Your Reservation

Although many of us visit fast-food restaurants far more often than we visit fine dining establishments, there will come a time in each of our lives when we have to make a restaurant reservation. Maybe the reservation is for a birthday, a graduation dinner, or you're about to pop the question to your significant other.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not quite, per The Polite Society. Although you'd expect it to be widely understood that reservations reserve a table for a certain time, many diners think a reservation holds a table for whenever they show up. Restaurants only have so many tables; they can't just make more appear out of thin air if you arrive to a full house.

On the other end of the spectrum, "Chopped" host Ted Allen says it's important to call if you aren't going to show up for your reserved table. This allows your unused table to go to someone else. While arriving on time and calling to cancel are both bare minimum considerate, Redditors from the food service industry have a third (and perhaps more important) reservation rule for you.

Count everyone who needs to be seated

When you walk into a sit-down restaurant, you're asked how many people are in your group. In case it needs to be said, this is so the staff can ensure they have enough seating. One Reddit user begged people to include children in the count. In another Reddit thread, a user shared a general rule of thumb for making reservations: If someone is going to take up space, they need to be part of the count.

Similarly, the number you make the reservation for should reflect everyone who needs to be seated, including latecomers. Serious Eats noted that many restaurants have a policy requiring all guests to be present before the group is seated. This might seem unreasonable, but if a couple members of your party don't show up, that's a couple seats that could've been given to someone else.

On the other end of the spectrum, your server isn't going to be happy if you made a reservation for three guests but show up with nine. It might feel like a hassle, but please confirm with your guests and reach out to the restaurant if you have to make changes to your reservation.