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A Post-Christmas Treat: Charleston and Folly Beach

A Post-Christmas Treat: Charleston and Folly Beach

Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:13 PM
  #21  
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"...if the problem was too many tourists, the last time I was in Vienna I could not believe how many tourists were there, at least inside the Ringstrasse. I was nearly trampled in the Stephansdom."

Wholeheartedly concur, thursdaysd. Just like we generally avoided D.C. during the summer months when we lived there; and Vienna's Inner Stadt whilst there, as well, we try, not always successfully, to avoid tourist crushes when we travel. But it wasn't so much the tourist crush, it was their behavior. Crowding around private houses for that "perfect" Instagram shot, schlumping through the Charleston Market (akin to Naschmarkt, which I also generally avoided between April and November) with no intention of purchasing anything and taking prohibited photos, things like that.

"You're not making a deposit, you're providing a guarantee that either you will show up, or the restaurant won't take a loss on the booking. Do you also object to hotels wanting your credit card when you check in, even though you have paid for accommodation, in case you charge something during your stay?"

Apples and oranges. If I make a cancellable hotel reservation and fail to cancel by the appointed time I agree with the charge for accommodation, by default. I have already agreed to the hotel's terms of service when I check into a hotel and am requested to present a card for anything I may charge, so I do not object to the hotel policy, also by default. I asked our friends in Lexington about Peninsula's policy, and they suggested that it might be something the restaurant does during the holidays or high season, as they have never been asked to submit a card in the off season. Whatever Peninsula's policy may be, I doubt the restaurant was taking a loss on any canceled reservations on the week between Christmas and New Year's.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 03:11 AM
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I doubt the restaurant was taking a loss on any canceled reservations on the week between Christmas and New Yea

Are you kidding! A restaurant (not a diner) is pledging to you a kind of service when you make a reservation--instead of waiting in line (which you won't do) for a table. They have the amount of servers hired to serve that table and others AT THE TIME of your reservation and the kitchen capabilities for the same.
And in the high season with the crush of tourists AND residents who are making reservations in a town of countless good places, it is really a very small thing to ask.
You have a very cavalier opinion of how others conduct business and earn money, IMO.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 03:39 AM
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"You have a very cavalier opinion of how others conduct business and earn money, IMO."

That might be one interpretation. Alternatively, my statement was based on the filled outdoor tables and queues for inside tables that we observed up and down Bay Street. Luck was on our side when we happened into Magnolia's without a reservation, as a group of 6 were preparing to leave when our group of 5 arrived. If we hadn't, the table would have been given to the people queued behind us.

In the end, this is little more than our dining style. DH and I eat pretty much every cuisine and at every up and down on the price list. However, we do not queue; we will not be "buzzed" when our table is ready; and we will not place a deposit for a dining seat, either.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 05:08 AM
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Gretchen +1
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 05:26 AM
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Gretchen and starrs, why are you both defending the "significant increase in the number of people making reservations and then neither keeping nor canceling them" who lack the common courtesy to ring a restaurant when they decide to cancel? Is this new lower travel standard really something to defend or, as travelers and tourists, be proud of?
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 07:47 AM
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"Defending"? What in the world?!

I don't understand how/why this is a new concept to you.

It's perfectly fine if you don't want at a restaurant with that policy. You don't even want to eat at a restaurant that gives you a buzzer when your table is ready. Personally, I think the buzzer thing is weird as heck. The buzzer is certainly a lot better than hanging around the hostess stand, waiting for your name to be called. If it's a 40 minute wait, you can wander around nearby for a while or at least go outside to talk and then return when the buzzer goes off. I hated in the old days when one waited for those 40 minutes and then checked and you didn't hear your name called earlier and you missed your table. What's wrong with a buzzer?

Anyway, this is not new to me. For at least 20 years, I've had to leave a cc deposit when making a group reservation at one of Savannah's most popular restaurants. What is wrong with that? If our plans changed, I called to cancel the reservation. But if I leave the restaurant hanging and am a no show for a group, why should they eat that loss? Honor the system - or don't use it.

As Gretchen pointed out, the cc hold during the holidays was probably because it was the holidays. I certainly don't know. But if you don't like it, don't do it. I just don't see how/why the restaurant is doing thing anything "wrong". As Gretchen said, they are staffed for the evening for the numbers who have reservations. Your no show may mean someone who is there for a visit and really wants to eat at the restaurant can't ... AND the restaurant is out for the loss of the revenue for both of your meals.

Truly, I see nothing controversial about this at all.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fourfortravel
Gretchen and starrs, why are you both defending the "significant increase in the number of people making reservations and then neither keeping nor canceling them" who lack the common courtesy to ring a restaurant when they decide to cancel? Is this new lower travel standard really something to defend or, as travelers and tourists, be proud of?
I have NO idea what you are asking/saying, but yes, people DO make 3 reservations for a night and maybe choose a 4th (like you finding Magnolia suddenly available) and do NOT bother to cancel because maybe, they think the same as you--they won't miss the business at this busy time. It is NOT a well kept secret.
I have some personal knowledge with children owning restaurants or having been managing partner of a 5 star restaurant you might recognize the name of or managing other restaurants and the pressures they have daily. When you go to these places they have a definite expectation of the service they will provide IF you are in a seat at a table in their establishment and EXTENSIVE preparation for it. It's a kind of contract for value received. Peninsula Grill asked you to enter into it and you declined. I'll bet Husk, the Ordinary, etc. might have asked you for a similar guarantee that you really wanted to be there that night. They didn't know you would be one of the responsible citizens who would cancel.
So, maybe, now you know how some things are in the US since you have just returned. ;o)
I might add that when I make reservations for my party of 5-8 (as you had), I never mind guaranteeing a reservation at a high season/holiday time at a very highly recognized restaurant in a high volume tourist/foodie area. It is also true in the restaurant business that tables of more that 4 require an extra level of service behind the scenes.

Last edited by Gretchen; Jan 10th, 2020 at 08:00 AM.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 08:49 AM
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"I don't understand how/why this is a new concept to you."

In our 20 years living in D.C.(until summer 2012) not once were were required to place a deposit at any of the higher end restaurants at which we dined. At the time those would have included Old Ebbitt Grill and 1789 and perhaps Occidental, typically after a holiday performance (with our family of 4 and sometimes the grandparents, too) at either the Kennedy Center or the National Theater. On the handful of home leave trips to D.C. our dining out only required reservations once, and not at a place that would request a deposit. So, yes, this is a new concept to me upon our return to the U.S.

Thanks to those overbookers and no-shows and their lack of etiquette, we will simply eat elsewhere. There is nothing controversial at all about this; it is just our dining preference.



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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 09:05 AM
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You really seem to have this backwards. Of course I am not "defending the "significant increase in the number of people making reservations and then neither keeping nor canceling them"". What I am defending is the restaurants' right to respond to the problem caused by these clueless/inconsiderate people. A little checking on the internet also suggests that this problem, and the response, is not unique to the US.

This is one take on the situation:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/d...edit-card.html. I found this comment from someone directly affected worth reading:
"
As a 25 year veteran of NYC's restaurant industry, I strongly believe reservation cancellation fees are a neccesary evil. Although when a party for 2 doesn't show, a restaurant can easily adjust. If a large party is a no show, not only is the restauranteur hurt but their is even greater harm to server whose livelihood depends on tips and whose station assignment for the evening was based on the expectation of those large parties. There were evenings when a single large party was my entire station. When they neither showed up or cancelled, unlike the owner, I made no money that evening. Aside from carelessness there is a very deplorable habit of some customers and their administrative assistants to make multiple reservations in busy restaurants in advance so they can make a last minute choice of which they will dine at with no intention of honoring all but one reservation or canceling. Most all of my employers rarely if ever have charged a customer for a reservation no-show. Though all say that when they collect a credit card number for parties larger than 6 thew rate of no-shows drastically drops."
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 11:11 AM
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"What I am defending is the restaurants' right to respond to the problem caused by these clueless/inconsiderate people."

And I defend my dining right to not be presumed one of these clueless/inconsiderate no-show people by not dining at restaurants that request a deposit. I "free" a table for you and we both enjoy our meals. It's a win all around.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 12:59 PM
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"And I defend my dining right..."
Lord have mercy on my soul, what's with all of the "defend" malarkey?
If you don't want to leave a cc deposit, okay. Who cares? Certainly not the restaurant. They have plenty of people behind you who want to eat there.


There's no need to "defend" anything - you nor Gretchen/starrs. Plenty of great places to eat.

This reminds me of Lewis Grizzard and his refusal to eat anywhere that had a salad bar! LOL
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 01:27 PM
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"If you don't want to leave a cc deposit, okay. Who cares? Certainly not the restaurant. They have plenty of people behind you who want to eat there."

Perhaps not if restaurants are requiring deposits with reservations.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 01:31 PM
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Take Gretchen's word for it - the restaurant is not hurting because of their policy.
The policy is helpful to all. Or, at least most.

I'm glad you found other restaurant(s) that did not require something you find offensive.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 02:19 PM
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I posted from the restaurant's POV but really appreciated Thursday's post about the server, which I should have "known" about also since all these kids also started as servers. Holding a table for a no show, especially a large one, is a loss to all.
I wonder if our OP has been living "on the economy" too long.
I haven't been to the Peninsula Grill, and took a look at their website, looking for the CC requirement (not there). It is a special dining experience--not that there aren't many others in Charleston of all kinds. But to be offended by asking to guarantee your reservation is really so above it all when you are going to actually go there for dinner. It wasn't a "deposit" for heaven's sake. You wouldn't see it on your final bill as a deduction. How is dining in Knowxville!
We put up with a LOT of things in our present lives because of bad actors--
"Perhaps not if restaurants are requiring deposits with reservations. "--really? really?

Last edited by Gretchen; Jan 10th, 2020 at 02:31 PM.
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Old Jan 10th, 2020, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
We put up with a LOT of things in our present lives because of bad actors--
Tangent, totally off subject... but that reminded me of it...
In 1978 I was waiting tables during the summer, waiting for my "real job" to start. It was a fine dining restaurant, out in the boonies. At least a couple of decades before its time. But it was good. We had people who would fly into the tiny municipal airport to dine there. Large antebellum home. Nice setting. Not the Peninsula, but really good for that time and place.

We were about to lock the doors, just before 10pm and a film crew appeared. They asked if they could eat there. ALL of us wanted to go home. We were ready to close up and if we served them it would be three hours before we could leave. The owner said "yes". If looks could kill...

They wanted to be all together in the same room. The tables were moved into a U shape, with the U hugging the walls. There was literally no room to get behind the tables. I was fuming as were most of us. I didn't look at faces, didn't care who was cast or crew. When serving the entrees, I handed a plate to a woman and asked her to pass it down to her friend. She was greatly offended. She asked me, "Young lady, do you KNOW who I AM?!" No, ma'am. "I am Barbara Barrie". Nice to meet you. Now will you pass this plate to your friend next to you?

Evidently she wasn't a "bad actor" but she was an actor on my bad list!
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Old Jan 11th, 2020, 12:44 PM
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Big wow. My copy of Garden and Gun just arrived and it has Charleston NAILED. Many places I have just not heard about==hotels, things to do. It is a beautiful issue and has lots of other southern "things to do" also. HOtels--the Dewberry and One George. Not so much on restos.
AND the most comprehensive article about grits I have ever seen!! It is a fun issue.

And mentions a place on Folly Beach called the Low Life. What could be better than that!!! LOL

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Old Jan 11th, 2020, 02:32 PM
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I adore that magazine. Can't wait to see the issue!
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 03:35 AM
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This is a particularly beautiful issue--I'd be interested to see if you think so also. Almost like they have geared up a notch both in content and advertising.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:43 AM
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Well, a REALLY new wrinkle has turned up in Charlotte--actually paying for a reservation. This is a restaurant that our son in law helped develop the menu for and is very popular. I personally have had spotty service there but haven't been recently. As with many things in the restaurant industry there are pressures for servers to be paid and customers to understand the pressures.
I know the OP will not dine here, but as mentioned, it is happening in many places. And another touchy point--charging for bread!! LOL

https://www.charlottemagazine.com/wh...-reservations/
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 05:53 AM
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Just checked the mailbox (I only do it weekly...) and no magazine! Guess the Pony Express to Knoxville is stalled out somewhere.

I think DS and Girlfriend dropped by Lowlife and thought the drinks were overpriced, especially given that we had taken down some of what remains of our Slovenian wine that they could indulge in for free.
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