Some Charged For Canceling Dinner Reservations

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s standard practice for a hotel to require a credit card number when you book a room.  Now, some restaurants are asking the same from customers who are reserving a table.

The reasoning is the same.  If the customer cancels at the last minute, the restaurant is left with an open table.  The restaurant will then charge a customer a penalty fee for a late cancellation.

Some restaurants in New York are reportedly charging up to $75 per person to hold a table.

Hospitality Minnesota says it is not aware of any restaurants in the Twin Cities charging such a penalty fee for cancellations.

Dan McElroy is president of Hospitality Minnesota, and he joined Newsradio 830 WCCO’s John Hines to discuss.

More from Adam Carter
  • me

    I understand the reason behind the late cancellation charge but $75.00 to reserve a table? Now thats ludicrous

    • not quite

      Have you not dined in a NY establshment?. $75 is barely the drink tab.

  • Bill P

    And if they fill the table, which is likely for a resturant people feel the need to make a reservation for, do they refund the $75 charge?

    • innkeeper

      They use it for the mandatory tip.

  • Alex V

    I assume that the $75 is a deposit, if you spend that much, you probably get it back.

    • innkeeper

      They use for the mandatory tip.

  • innkeeper

    Eat at mcdonalds

    • Rob Swart

      Name your place so the rest of us can avoid your arrogance.

  • davida

    This story was pointless!

    • Sue

      I agree! If it was going to happen here, then report it. Why does this matter?

  • mark

    And what do I get when I show up at my reserved time and no table is available and none can be given in a reasonable time frame? This happened to me at a rather important occasion and we were still not seated 45 minutes after the reservation time and after showing up 15 minutes before it. The location made no accommodation or apology. They have never received my business since then.

    • steve

      boo hoo .i feel your pain. not.

    • Michael Clark

      Mark, may I ask where this was that it happened to you?

    • Twins Win (72 games max)

      Yeah, Chuck E Cheese sucks, I don’t blame you for taking your business elsewhere

    • teabaghater

      Has it should be.

  • fkafka

    If people don’t like the restaurant’s rules – they shouldn’t eat there unless they just want to &*tch.

  • betty

    If its a damn good restaurant and someone does cancel I’m sure that table won’t be setting for long. How many times have you waited for a table at your favorite place wating for a table and you had a reserrvatiion?

    • steve


  • Shannon

    Seven Steakhouse in Minneapolis charges $50/person for each person that does not show up. My sister tried making reservations for girls night but cancelled when they told her about the charge. So if only 6 of the 8 girls showed up, they would charge her credit card $100. I cannot control who shows up and therefore not willing to take this risk.

    • ebony

      WOW!!! That is Crazy. I would never reserve there.

  • Tinman

    Consumer tip of the day. Simply use a different exp date to make the reservation. Most esablishments that have implemented this practice don’t run the cards before hand. A fraud complaint initiated by the restaurant would be difficult since you didn’t explicitly agree to the service nor received any goods or services. The other thing you can do is simply dispute the charge. It’s very easy online and the restaurant has no record of your consent by which to challenge. In a nutshell, I credit card does not cut it to recoup the costs of cancellation.

  • Rob Swart

    There is one nice thing about being too poor to have a credit card, the greedy can’t steal my money without a fight.

  • Glutton

    I’ve never had this happened, but should I be asked:

    1. I am going to ask them if I can charge them $5 for every minute they make me wait past my reservation as a credit on my bill? Fair is fair right?

    2. Swap some numbers on your CC. “I’m sorry – your front desk person must be dyslexic! I gave her 8785 and she wrote 8758….”

  • BB

    I would just simply take my business elsewhere, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.

  • Dynamo

    Just don’t go to ripoff place like this then!

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