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Check out Gordon Ramsay's cancellation policy

Check out Gordon Ramsay's cancellation policy

Jan 24th, 2011, 12:05 PM
  #1  
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Check out Gordon Ramsay's cancellation policy

Wow. I just cancelled our lunch reservation for our birthday as since we arrive the night before very late.. if ANYTHING were to go wrong with the low cost flight, we definitely would not even arrive til late the next day .. so.. when asked for our credit card, I had them send me the cancellation policy.

First of all, we were going for lunch which has a fixed price menu under 50GBP.

I still hope we arrive timely the night before and when I call, they have an opening for us, but I thought it a bit extreme for LUNCH and of course didn't want to chance it.

..."Where guests wish to make a reservation, it is the restaurant's policy to secure the booking with their credit card details. In the event that the booking is not honoured in whole or in part by you, or is cancelled by you with less than 48 hours notice it will be at the discretion of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to charge £150 per person to your credit card."
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:18 PM
  #2  
 
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That is NOT what I would call customer-friendly. Is business so bad that that someone else wouldn't want the reservation?
Underhill is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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I think that restaurant is very trendy and popular and you have to book long in advance. So they know that and are instituting measures so people don't book a lot and not show up, keeps out the riff-raff, I'm sure. I think the policy is not meant to be detailed to cover possible prices at different times of day, that's all. I think it's meant to be severe and probably occurred due to experience, but that's just a guess. They do say it is at their discretion, not absolute.
Christina is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:44 PM
  #4  
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Will let you know if we were able to get in after all, last minute. A shame,as I was looking forward to it.

Strangely when I booked online no mention was made of this policy.

But I just got a confirmation email asking for the credit card.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:56 PM
  #5  
 
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Lots and lots of trendy restaurants have had to do this to prevent people/jerks from making several reservations, then deciding where they will go at the last minute when they meet their friends. Apparently being rich enough to eat at a trendy restaurant goes along with feeling entitled.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where you can't be seated even though there are empty tables? You weren't happy, were you? That's what they are trying to prevent.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 01:04 PM
  #6  
 
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lin - i looked at the website, and see that the highest priced lunch menu is £135 pp, plus 12.5% "discretionary gratuity", which bumps the price up to about £150. but there are menus for £45 and £90 at lunch-time. I suppose that a cancellation charge of £50 pp might be thought reasonable, to include drinks, but £150!!!

Incidentally, when we had lunch at le cinq in Paris, all they wanted was the name of our hotel in Paris, and a confirmation 48 hours before our booking.

I think I might try somewhere else, Lin. After all, there is supposed to be a recession on, and there must be some decent restaurants out there who want your custom enough not to try to sting you if you can't get there.

I wonder how much business they lose because of this policy.
annhig is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 01:05 PM
  #7  
 
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I just checked the website again - they ask for credit card details on booking, but no mention of £150pp cancellation fees.

that's a surprise.
annhig is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 01:24 PM
  #8  
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I still want to go, but.. if there's no room, there's no room . I understand WHY there is SOME cancellation fee, however, I think it is outrageously high. Makes you wonder how many times his place was shafted by jerks to put something like this in place.

Hey.. maybe I am just not used to all this high filooten(sp?) stuff..
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 01:34 PM
  #9  
 
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I've had to give my credit card many times when making a restaurant reservation in the US and they weren't of the level of Gordon Ramsay.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 01:39 PM
  #10  
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Yea.. but.. how much would they have charged you if you had to cancel? Hey.. those are the rules.. so.. that's how it is. I am just playing it safe. If I weren't flying on 12 hours earlier I wouldn't be worried about it.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 02:15 PM
  #11  
 
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It is sad that restaurants have to do this, but they have been forced to do it by jerks that take advantage of liberal cancellation policies.

At the end of the day, these places rely on people sticking to their reservations. They can't simply replace you if you don't show up. It is a lot like tickets to a concert or other event. If you have to abandon your plans to go to the ballet at the last minute, you don't get your money back. These policies are not dissimilar.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jan 24th, 2011, 03:01 PM
  #12  
 
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I think if you go to that type of restaurant, you should expect it. If you don't like it, don't go to Gordon Ramsey. You are only going there because he is known to be a jerk to begin with, right? well, it's part of his fame
Christina is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 11:50 PM
  #13  
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I am not going because he is a jerk. I ASSUMED the food/dining experience would be special as he gets good reviews.

I wanted to go when we were elsewhere a few years ago, and now had this special opportunity. I didn't even know about his TV program until recently. ( We just started getting it in Spain, and I had seen a couple in the USA last year).
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 12:25 AM
  #14  
 
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You are only going there because he is known to be a jerk to begin with, right?

He is a jerk, but he is a talented jerk. His restaurant(s) receives very good reviews.

Besides, I think one needs to keep things in the proper context. Professional kitchens can be incredibly macho places and heavy drinking, profanity, and intimidation are pretty darn common. By some accounts Ramsay is a saint compared to Marco Pierre White.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jan 25th, 2011, 12:34 AM
  #15  
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I also have reservations at Luyten and The Ledbury and UNTIL now have had no email about a 150GBP cancellation fee. Time will tell, maybe they are still to come.

Those two are no problem as I will already have arrived by at least 36 hours so it doesn't worry me.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 03:17 AM
  #16  
 
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It's HIS restaurant and HE gets to make the rules. As for him being a "jerk", I have found the Restaurant Nightmare series on TV to be revelatory of a very interesting and talented person, both in cuisine and understanding people and their foibles in running (or NOT being able to run) a successful restaurant. His first restaurant failed. He does have some experience.
Gretchen is online now  
Jan 25th, 2011, 03:21 AM
  #17  
 
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I'm assuming that they wouldn't be saying this if they hadn't been messed about a lot. Anyway, it does say 'discretion' so am guessing it's not always applied
alihutch is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 03:30 AM
  #18  
 
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But did you cancel less than 48 hours in advance ? If so I'm not really surprised as they proabably won't fill the vacancy, since nobody would phone up expecting to get in at 1 or 2 days' notice (would they ?).

When we went for dinner, I started calling to book at 9am, 2 calendar months in advance - as soon as the date we wanted was available - and by the time I got through at c.9.15 there were only very early or very late slots left. So I can quite see why they try to deter people from booking then cancelling at the last minute.

I can't watch GR any more on TV but the dinner we had was one of the best we've ever had and worth the cost.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 03:34 AM
  #19  
 
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If the cancellation fee is not specifically mentioned at time of booking, or on the website, I would seriously doubt it is enforcable in law.
willit is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 03:38 AM
  #20  
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I guess I am just lucky they finally advised me ( in case my flight were late I would NOT be very happy about something I didn't know about ahead of time).
lincasanova is offline  

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