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Reservations Limits at the Vintner’s Knoll

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 and chefs 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, and 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.  For us, at the Vintner’s Knoll, we have determined that we are able to accommodate 20 people every 15 minutes at 6 tables. We have also determined that our kitchen is not able to prepare more than 12 food orders on a single ticket so we have developed an option for a private event for more than 12 people where food is preordered from a limited menu. 

The reservation system that we use is set to accept up to six reservations every 15 minutes with a maximum of 12people.  If a table of 12 is booked then it will only allow a table for 8 more people to be seated at the same time.  If an additional with 6 guests are booked at the same time at a reservation for 12 people, the system will only allow one additional reservation for up to 2 people.  

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 it is your responsibility to 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 a Winery

Also, appreciate that restaurants limit the size of reservations to maintain a certain order or 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 manage the experiences for everyone by 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.

One the same topic, booking multiple tables is not allowed as it circumvents all of the reasons noted above for limiting the size of reservations.  It is even more unfair when people ignore our operating decisions and then contact us to request that we put multiple tables together.  We would like to believe that we have rules that are respected and applied equally to everyone.  Please help us make your visit enjoyable.

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