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Hartsyard's Blog


By November 27, 2012 3 Comments

Last night I had a bit of a whinge on twitter. A twhinge if you will.

I am a twhinger.

It’s so satisfying.

And people seem to like it.

Truly, I’ve twhinged about this particular topic a couple of times (I should admit, that apart from the occasional food shot, it’s really the only time I manage a tweet) and every time I have, my cyber friends – and strangers – have reached out with a supportive reply, an affirming retweet, or best of all the comment retweet, where you get validated and retweeted.

Now that can really turn your day around. You start off twhinging, and end up swapping metaphoric back-slaps with your empathisers and sympathisers, the people you chose to follow based on their 160 character description. Your besties. The ones who’ve got your back, or your handle at the very least.

And it’s instant. Or just about. Twitter-ers are fast. I’m not. It takes me ages just to compose the bloody thing – I worry about grammar. Does anyone worry about grammar anymore? Or is that the mathematical comparison of using an abacus to do your sums?

Speaking of things old fashioned brings me back to my original topic – the twhinge. You see, I was twhinging about that restaurant concept from yesteryear, the humble reservation. You know the thing, where you ring up, ask for a time and a table, your time and table are granted, and then you turn up to enjoy your experience on the given date and time.

Or you used to.

These days you book a table at any number of restaurants still dumb enough to take them, then decide on the night which one takes your fancy and fail to call the losers.

Or you change your plans entirely and go and see the new Bond movie. Fine, but you could have called the restaurant you no longer wish to attend while you were standing in the queue to purchase your popcorn.

Maybe you’re sick. Or in labour. Or your dog ate your phone. Except it can’t have, because often you answer when I call, and respond to my enquiry about your absence with a slightly sheepish, slightly stupid sounding ‘oh, I guess I should have called.’

No shit Sherlock.

The worst part?

My feelings get hurt. I think it’s mean. Can you believe it? Complete strangers can upset my equilibrium. I don’t even know 160 characters about them. Why does it hurt that they failed to keep their commitment?  We’re not dating. (Tell you right now, if we were, no-showing at a restaurant would be a deal-breaker for sure).

My friends on twitter have suggested we take credit card details, a deposit, that we block them from future bookings, that we name and shame them in a public forum. All good suggestions friends, but each one requiring more work on my part.

And just quietly, I’m trying to decrease my workload. If I don’t there may be no end to my twhinging.

Other restaurateurs just shake their heads and wonder why we ever took bookings in the first place.

Because we wanted to offer that service. Because we’re parents too and it can really change the feel of your precious night out if you leave the house at 7 but don’t eat till 10. Because we think it attracts a wider demographic than just the hipsters we’re accused of serving. (That topic is another blog entirely folks, which I might get to one of these days if I don’t have to devote so much energy to no-shows…told you I could twhinge).

So why am I telling you this?

Because I’d like to enlist your help.



If you know a no-shower, would you be so kind as to release a box of bed bugs under their sheets then tell them that they’re rude, self-absorbed and suffering from delusions of entitlement. If you’re part of a party that has a restaurant reservation, would you be so kind as to take it upon yourself to confirm the booking? And if you’re neither of those and you stumbled on this blog because you put in the search word ‘twhinge’…well, I don’t know what to say to you because twhinge is not a real word. I made it up.

Right, I’d best be off. Surely I’ve expended my quota of whinging in a public forum.

Thanks for listening folks. As satisfying as a twhinge is, venting my pain in 140 characters or less might give some immediate relief, but it isn’t actually changing anything. And really, isn’t that the reason I twhinged in the first place?




Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Amy says:

    Personal 2c: you have built a following. Stop taking reservations, and it will add to the hype, you are turning away folks almost every night. Tell folks to txt in advance for the wait and have someone respond whether its short/long or in between. Your regulars will keep coming back. Sounds like more work to keep the res system in and as if its not working out so would change it! Love you, Aim

  • Sean says:

    I completely agree with the sentiments here but I think you might be letting the bastards get to you. I once had a dinner party guest not show up (and I put quite a bit of effort into dinner parties); when I texted 45 mins after the invite time to see if he needed directions, he replied that he’d gone to the pub in the afternoon, had a few too many drinks and picked up,so no he wouldn’t be coming. The evening was rescued when I invited a neighbour over on spec and we had a great time after all. So I guess the moral is don’t let rudeness and incivility get to you or impinge on your good grace. And certainly don’t let it ruin an otherwise good night.

    I for one really appreciate being able to book and to be honest I don’t go to restaurants where I have to queue. So thanks for your civil booking policy and double thanks for the duck rillettes.

  • Alison says:

    Personally, I love that you guys take bookings. I’ve come in on a whim and eaten at the bar, but I’ve also booked with you for a special occasion (and sometimes just to show you off to friends), and I love that you have a this mix two options.

    Perhaps one solution is to implement a strict holding time of 15 minutes before you give away a table. You always seem to have plenty of walk-ins happy to sit at bar, so I’m sure you could fill the table – plus no extra work for you. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to chastise these rude people for you.