Be upfront to turn tables

Be upfront to turn tables

The dining scene in Singapore is so hot these days that some popular restaurants have to offer more than one seating at meal times.

This means that restaurants turn tables to accommodate more diners. It is also good for the restaurant's bottom line.

But how restaurateurs handle this is an art, and those who do not practise it well can leave diners fuming.

An incident at The Big Sheila in the Siglap area last Saturday left three patrons feeling upset about being "chased out" because they were not warned in advance about having to make way for another seating.

The diner who made the booking says she was not told about the restaurant's three-seatings policy.

She declined to be named but showed SundayLife! the e-mail she received in response to her reservation request. It said nothing about the restaurant's multiple seatings practice.

When she called to confirm the booking subsequently, the policy was also not mentioned, she says. It was not indicated in the text message that the restaurant sent to confirm her reservation on the day she was to dine there.

The three diners also maintain that there were ample opportunities for staff to tell them on the day of their booking - perhaps at the start of their meal or when they were placing orders - that they would be required to vacate their table by a certain time.

While they were in the middle of their main courses, a staff member informed them that they would have to leave in 10 minutes as their table was needed for another reservation. They were then asked if they had finished, after which their unfinished plates were taken away.

They left feeling disgruntled.

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