Ken Friedman Explains Why So Many Restaurants Don’t Take Reservations

The Spotted Pig restauranteur explains the upside of a no reservations policy.

Photo:

Photo: The Spotted Pig

In a recent write up for Food & Wine, restauranteur Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig explains the upside of a no reservations policy. Friedman points out that diners must go to the bar and hang out while they wait for a table, which generates revenue for the restaurant. Friedman explains,

As every restaurateur knows, you make much more money selling a drink than you do selling a plate of food. You buy bottles of booze, open them, pour them and sell them for many times more than what you bought them for. You also eliminate another big problem: no shows, which there’s no good way around.”

When Friedman opened the Spotted Pig in 2004, he aimed to create a spot that “feels like a bar, but is run like a restaurant.” Friedman knew he would cash in on his restaurant’s bustling bar scene.

The downside to restaurants not taking reservations? On a recent visit to Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Friedman waited over two hours. Of the experience, he says, “We waited for over two hours. It was torture—my legs hurt, my back hurt, I’m starving, I start to feel faint. It was a taste of my own medicine.

[via Food & Wine]

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