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September 28, 2022

Bad weather restaurant etiquette

Don’t let bad weather spur these bad manners


When bad weather hits, many Charlotteans stay home — whether it’s a summer thunderstorm, winter snowflakes, or the remnants of a hurricane. If you’re planning to go out — or if you have a change of plans — it’s important to remember that bad weather can really shift a restaurant’s operation. Restaurants run on a small profit margin, and will often do all they can to stay open — if they’re closed, the owners have too many concerns for the safety of their staff to bring them into the restaurant. Employees who do head to work to welcome guests deserve extra cheers. Here’s how to be a better guest during inclement weather.

Honor your reservations

If you make a reservation knowing the weather is going to be bad, be confident you’re willing to make it. If you have to cancel, call as far in advance as possible to do so. Restaurants not only need to staff appropriately for the number of reservations they have, they need to have time to rebook tables. No-showing basically means the restaurant loses out on your whole table’s worth of revenue. Did your dinnermates bail? Call and let the restaurant know that, too, so they can move you to a smaller table and open up more reservations.

Be patient

Just like the rest of us, hospitality workers have emergencies, too. Maybe a tree’s down in their yard, or their sitter couldn’t make it because of the weather — which means they can’t make it in to work. Restaurants might be short-staffed because of this — more short staffed than usual, that is.

Things might be sold out

The supply chain has been bad enough already without throwing a catastrophic hurricane in the mix. Much of the nation’s produce comes from Florida, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see supply chain issues become temporarily even worse in the coming days. If the dish you want is sold out, take the chance to try something new with grace.

Check operating hours in advance

Recently, we wrote about what it means for a restaurant to lose power. With so many above ground lines in Charlotte, it’s likely several restaurants will have to close due to power loss this weekend. Call ahead to make sure all’s clear — and if no one answers, try social media. Many restaurants post emergency notices on Instagram and Facebook.

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