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J’s – Maximum Reservation Size

Why we limit the size of Reservations at J's

There are a lot of decisions a restaurant makes in determining how to provide great food and service while maintaining the ambiance of the restaurant. The ultimate goal is to be able to provide an exceptional experience to all customers, which translates into great food and drinks at every table in a timely manner.

The Pace of Reservations

To accomplish these goals, it is imperative for a restaurant to establish a pace so that servers are not overwhelmed by surges in customers being seated and the kitchen is not backed up with 20 orders waiting to be prepared. In establishing a pace, the restaurant considers the staff available to serve and cook, as well as the design of the kitchen. The equipment determines the number of meals that can be professionally prepared. Imagine trying to produce 20 different meals in your kitchen at home every 15 minutes! Impossible, unless you modify the process to allow 4 people to be seated every 15 minutes or you serve everyone the same meal.

Restaurant owners have to make hard decisions and establish a pace that works.  On Saturday, we have determined that we are able to accommodate 6 people every 15 minutes at 3 tables. The reservation system that we use is set to accept up to three reservations every 15 minutes with a maximum of 6 people. If a table of 4 is booked, then it will only allow 1 table for 2 to be seated at the same time. If two tables with 2 guests are booked at a certain time, the system will only allow one additional reservation for up to 2 people. On Thursday and Friday evenings, we allow a table of 8 and a table of 6, while on Saturday, we limit larger reservations to 2 tables of 6.  We believe that it is part of the reservation agreement for us to have a table available for you when you arrive on time and ask that our guests arrive on time. When people show up early or late for their reservation, pacing becomes disrupted and it is likely that someone is going to have their experience altered. I wish that every customer could experience how a restaurant runs when everyone shows up on time, as compared with a day when everyone is late or early. The impact on staff and the kitchen is amazing.

The Ambiance of the Room.

In addition to the pace that we can accommodate, small restaurants like J’s, which only seat 50 people, try to maintain a certain ambiance. When you go to a restaurant, how often have you seen a table of 18 set up in the middle of a dining room? Probably seldom, as most restaurants do not offer events or large gatherings because of the impact that such reservations would have on other customers. Consider the customer that comes to a restaurant with a friend to have a nice experience and ends up seated next to a table of 10 people. When the person at one end talks to the person at the other end, what happens to the experience of the customers seated next to the large reservation? Restaurants need to manage the experiences for everyone, and for us, managing the experience means limiting the size of reservations they will accommodate. Some restaurants have the luxury of private rooms to accommodate larger reservations and kitchens that can accommodate large groups, but unfortunately, we do not have this option.

On the same topic, we do not allow customers to book multiple tables, as this would circumvent the logic of our approach. We would like to believe that we have rules that are intended to respect the experience that our guests expect, and we take the responsibility of applying our rules equally to each and every guest. Please help us make your visit enjoyable.

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