Do you know when the best time is to call a restaurant?

Ever wondered whether there’s specific etiquette to follow when dealing with front-of-house staff? When’s the right time to call? What’s the best way to lay a complaint? When is it actually necessary to ask for the manager?

The colourful interior at The Chef’s Table. Photo supplied.

Though there’s no real rule book, there are guidelines, the most important of which is always to approach the situation with respect. But what’s the most respectful timing for calling restaurants?

The first tip is to avoid peak service time. That’s from around 1pm to 3pm for lunch, and from 6pm to 8pm for dinner. “Call before or after meal times. It can be very difficult to take down details in a busy, noisy restaurant!” says Katy Rose, former manager of Foxcroft Restaurant.

The beautiful interior at Foxcroft in Constantia. Photo supplied.

What you share during the call is as important as when you call. “Restaurants rely on reservations in advance to plan the smooth operation of their business,” says Katy. “So the more information you can share with them before your visit, the better your experience will be.”

That being said, a phone call isn’t always your best bet: “If you have special requirements and other details (such as allergies, corkage, birthdays), it is much better to put it in writing, such as by emailing. And please, never ever give your credit card details over the phone or in an email – it is a huge fraud risk! If the restaurant requires any kind of pre-payment, it should be through a secure payment website.”

A variety of dishes from Chefs Warehouse at Maison. Photo supplied.

Want to do all those things in one place, or just hate phone calls in general? Use our free app. It allows you to find a restaurant near you, book a table, and add any extra information to your booking, such as dietary requirements. You can also pay a deposit and, after your meal, review your experience to let the restaurant know what you loved and how they can improve. Download it for free now.

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