Raleigh Restaurant Requires Credit Card For Reservation, Then Charges $20 Per Person Who Doesn't Show

It’s common for restaurants to not seat a party until everyone has arrived, but here’s something we’ve never seen before: requiring a credit card to make the reservation, then charging $20 per person who doesn’t show up—but still refusing to seat an incomplete party. When Matthew tried to get his party of ten seated without two of the people—basically saying he’d pay the $40 to get out of the bar and at a table—management refused. We think this restaurant doesn’t like its patrons very much.

This Saturday night a friend of mine was turning 30 and one of our group of friends made reservations for 12 at a new Sushi restaurant in Raleigh called Sono.
 
I had not been there before – but in the email that let everyone one know where and when to meet we were told that everyone had to be there before they could seat us all. I understand this policy (sort of). When we arrived there was one couple missing and thus there were ten of us at the small bar waiting. We received a call from the missing couple saying that they were having trouble parking but they were on their way.
 
While we were waiting I talked to my friend who had made there reservations and said we should be asked to be seated since we are taking up room at this small bar (which was and also badly managed since only about 4 of us got served a drink) and blocking the way for people who were being seated since the bar was between the door and the dinning area. My friend said that when she made the reservations she was asked to give her credit card number and that she would be charged $20 for every person who did not show up. This seemed like a contradiction.
 
So I went up to the front of house and asked that we be seated – I explained that 10 out of the 12 were there and that the other couple where on their way. The bored response I received was “this is not our policy” – you must have the total number of people to be present before we could be seated.I pointed out that we were talking up valuable bar real estate and blocking the way for the rest of the customers and it would make more sense to have up seated out the empty table that was set up for us. Again the same bored response. I then suggested that they follow their other policy which was to charge my credit card $40 if the couple did not show up, I was willing to risk it. They said they could not do that either. I asked them if that made sense – I was hoping they would answer that it was not their policy. But instead I was told that again I would have to wait for all members of our party to show up etc etc… There is really nothing to say after that and so I went back to our party, the couple arrived and eventually we were seated.
 
My wife wrote on their feedback ticket this issue – but I just found the issue funny and annoying – especially in this economy and especially if you are a restaurant – when you are new you are busy but 4 months down the road it will only be repeat business that keeps these places open and I will not visit there again.

Comments

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  1. Pro-Pain says:

    Scumbag tactics.

  2. eightfifteen says:

    Gotta love the mindless drones. What’s worse is that you had to wait to get mercury poisoning.

  3. BoC says:

    Seinfeld, four!

  4. winstonthorne says:

    “Get your punk ass out of my sushi bar!!!” – G.Fresh, from

  5. scoobydoo says:

    Poor restaurant will now have to learn the hard way that it’s not right to screw around with customers like this.

    Hello Sono, welcome to the Internet.

  6. evilinkblot says:

    Cartwright? Cartwright!

  7. MeOhMy says:

    This “no partial parties” policy seems particularly senseless if you have a reservation since if the restaurant had any intentions of honoring your reservation in a timely manner, they already had a table for 12 people sitting unused.

    They do it at whackadoo places like Cheesecake Factory, but when you’ve got a 2+ hour wait and no reservations/call-ahead available, they don’t want a small placeholder party to waste the table space while they wait for everyone else to show up.

  8. ARP says:

    So, under their dual polices of charging $20 for no-shows and not seating until all are present, could they have charged you $240 since you couldn’t be seated and therefore were technically a “no-show?”

  9. Traveshamockery says:

    Was this a manager you were speaking to, or just the name-taking drone at the host/hostess desk?

    If it was the drone, you should have escalated to a decision maker. Either way, it’s foolish of the restaurant to act like that.

  10. Coder4Life says:

    didn’t this happen in Curb Your Enthusiam too… Sounds too familiar..

  11. Blackneto says:

    I’ve never heard of asking for a CC for a reservation.
    Is this common?
    most places i know will just void your reservation if your party doesn’t show up within a specified period of time.

  12. RDU has a surprisingly sophisticated dining scene, which frequently made for spectacular food at non-big-city prices (when I lived there), but also made for some highly amusing “big city” attitudes that didn’t fly so well in a smaller southern place like RDU.

    We went to the Magnolia Grill in Durham which was super-famous at the time and like the maitre d’ could NOT have been trying harder to ape a bad charicature of an NYC maitre d’, down to snubbing patrons he felt were not fancily dressed enough. We were giggling into our food the whole evening from his antics. There was this aura of desperation because the maitre d’ was trying soooooooo hard to be hip.

    After that we stuck to restaurants that were just as tasty but not nearly as famous, that were friendly to all their customers and not trying to be so hip it hurt.

    Sounds like this place would suit that maitre d’ just fine. :P

  13. Geekybiker says:

    Wait, so if you have a huge party, and just one person cancels out. They not only charge you $20 for that person, they won’t seat you so they can try and charge you $20 each when you leave in frustration?

  14. mac-phisto says:

    if this is hibachi, i can understand why they won’t seat partial parties. the chef cooks all the meals at once, so it’s rather impossible to serve latecomers.

    was the OP’s intention to pay the $40 & then have the late couple join the festivities? or did he intend on telling the late couple to find somewhere else to eat?

    i don’t agree with the $20 no-show policy, but i do agree with a restaurant’s refusal to seat an incomplete party. at a restaurant, the most valuable real estate is large party tables, not the tiny bar wairing area.

  15. qwickone says:

    @eightfifteen: I just tell them my whole party is there. If they ask anything when we get to the table, I say theyre in the bathroom. Never had a problem!

  16. APFPilot says:

    @Blackneto: very common

  17. AlexSea says:

    I’m an intern at an event planning company and deal with a lot of reservations at restaurants. It isn’t uncommon to require a credit card upon reservations, especially with a larger party. I believe the cut off at most places is 8. Since they’re losing a lot of money of lost space, it’s not uncommon to levy a fee for missed reservations.

  18. Wimpkins says:

    I’d like the charge back roll please.

  19. AlexSea says:

    So yeah, all in all, this isn’t really a big deal.

  20. oakie says:

    meh. you’re not missing out on anything anyways… their sushi is sub-par. you’d never see a Japanese person there unless he had white friends who insisted on it… and even then, he’d order a noodle dish instead.

    always follow Japanese people to sushi restaurants… it’s like asking a fat guy where to get the best burger in town. me being Japanese, I only go to Japanese restaurants where the majority of the patrons are Japanese… it ensures the food is more authentic.

  21. This has become very common amongst popular LA restaurants. I supposed the logic is that if an incomplete party is seated then the rest might not show –the restaurant could have filled those seats– or the others arrive after the orders been placed and inconvenience the wait-staff.

    Having worked in several restaurants in my youth, I can admit that seating partial parties are annoying for those reasons. However, a skilled waiter knows how to make lemons out of lemonade. ;-)

  22. Ausoleil says:

    “smaller southern place like RDU.”

    Where is this RDU you speak of? It’s the airport.

    Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are usually called “The Research Triangle Area.”

  23. timmus says:

    It’s the Comcast of the restaurant world!

  24. BigElectricCat says:

    I won’t give a CC# for a restaurant rez. Ever.

  25. r081984 says:

    @mac-phisto:
    They could have sit the party and waited until the 2 other people showed up before the chef came to the table to make their food.

    If the table is just sitting there empty why not seat them and let them wait at the table?

  26. BigElectricCat says:

    @Ausoleil:

    Frequent travelers often use airport codes as shorthand. Non-frequent travelers get tripped up by airport codes like ORD, MSY, MCO and MDT. And don’t get me started on Canadian airport codes.

  27. henwy says:

    It seems to make a lot of sense to me why they wouldn’t just charge him the $40 and seat the incomplete party. After all, he just told them the couple would be arriving soon. He would no doubt want that $40 back when they got there. That would then just mean that they got seated as an incomplete party. Seems like simple reasoning to me.

    Frankly, I think the idea of charging for people missing a reservation is assinine but then again, we should let the punishment fit the crime. You want to dine somewhere fru-fru, you deal with their stupid rules.

  28. hi says:

    so… no. I won’t eat there.

  29. 3ZKL says:

    @Ausoleil: actually, we usually just say raleigh. durham. or chapel hill. since its rare you are actually in all three at once.

    RDU & ‘The Triangle’ are both acceptable for douchebags and otherwise.

  30. pegr says:

    @BigElectricCat: YYZ, baby!

    (It’s not just a Rush instrumental…)

  31. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Yes because white people don’t know sushi right? Give me a break doakie.

  32. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Actually, just forget I said anything. Since your comment was not written in Japanese, you probably don’t know what you’re talking about. Since Japanese people don’t know english. It’s like asking a skinny guy what the best burger in town is right?

  33. mackattack says:

    @oakie: STFU

  34. huadpe says:

    @pegr: Je vais bilingually use YUL. Take that Ontario!

  35. outphase says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: That’s taking it a little too far.

  36. sleze69 says:

    So long, Sono Raleigh! The Internets is gonna get you! (and put you out of business)

  37. humphrmi says:

    The restaurant run by losers.

  38. mac-phisto says:

    @r081984: the table probably isn’t just sitting there empty – that’s the point. if your party is not ready, but another large party comes in that is, who deserves to be seated first?

    esp. with hibachi, the table is filled with multiple parties, so an “empty table” is simply one that hasn’t had sufficient customers assigned to it. the OP may have mistaken an empty table for their empty table.

  39. bohemian says:

    If the restaurant does some sort of table side meal preparation I could see why they would want everyone there before they seat them. But the person at the front desk could have easily explained this and solved the entire problem.

    I have a major issue with so many restaurants not taking reservations any longer. If the wait is more than 15 minutes they should be taking reservations.

    Don’t get me started on the pretentious customer abuse that some restaurants seem to think is part of the experience.

  40. BigElectricCat says:

    @pegr:

    Beauty, eh? :)

  41. ClayS says:

    So you make a reservation for 12, and 2 haven’t yet arrived. They will seat the 10 if you pay a $40 fee for the missing diners.

    Or you can wait until all 12 are present and then be seated. They will hold the table for how long?

    Or the 10 of you can just leave and they lose all the business.

    I’ve never heard of this sort of policy. Normally, the 10 would be seated and they would start selling you drinks and appys until the others arrive.

    I worked for a company based out of RTP from 1981 through 2001 and although there was clearly a upward trend in sophistication, I never felt there was that sort of snootiness. Certainly not in Raleigh. Maybe in Cary (Concentrated Area for Relocated Yankees).

    Favorite restaurant in Raleigh…Peddler Steak House.

  42. mac-phisto says:

    @bohemian:

    I have a major issue with so many restaurants not taking reservations any longer. If the wait is more than 15 minutes they should be taking reservations.

    you’re not kidding. i stopped eating at places that would rather hand me a vibrating garage clicker when i walk in than take a freaking reservation over the phone.

    usually i don’t even make reservations, but if i’m going to a classy joint on a weekend, i’ll have them put my name in the book.

  43. afw says:

    I live in Raleigh – my husband and I ate at particular small tapas restaurant in the Glenwood South district about a year ago. Great food – terrible hostess. She seated us at 7:30 (our reserved time), and leaned in and said, “Your table is reserved for another couple at 9pm, so we will need you to be finished up before then.” I nearly fell out of my chair. When our server arrived, we told her what we’d been told, and the couple at the next table overheard and said they’d been told the same thing. To the server’s and restaurant’s credit, she was horrified and said she’d tell the manager. I’m not sure what happened after that. Hopefully the hostess lost her job.

  44. TWSS says:

    A lot of the smaller, more popular restaurants here in Portland don’t take reservations because they’d go out of business in a month if they did. If you’ve got less than 50 seats, you can’t turn enough covers to make your nut if you’re holding tables for reservations. Even taking CC info and charging for no shows isn’t as lucrative as making people wait.

    Fortunately, there’s this thing called choice, where you can choose not to patronize restos with a no reservations policy. One place here (Lauro, I think) recently started taking reservations after a remodel.

  45. chilled says:

    I lived in raleigh for twenty years and hardly ever went to durham or chapel hill..bunch of crime in one and a bunch of hairy legged granolas in the other.

  46. jurisenpai says:

    The website looks painfully trendy, as does the fusion-laden menu. I don’t think I’d ever consider going to “Sono,” but this definitely seals the deal.

    FWIW, the best authentic Japanese food in Raleigh is at Waraji.

  47. Chi says:

    @mac-phisto:

    Dead on about the Hibachi style grills, it’s pretty much standard policy for the reasons he mentions.

    @qwickone & r081984:

    Think about what your lie is costing not just you and your party but the momentum of the establishment. Once they start seating people at a Hibachi style grill, they’ve got around 15 minutes to finish seating before they close off the table so that the meal can get started. If they held the table open so that a late couple could arrive, then it delays the chef which then delays the entire table and it’ll also mess up the rotation for the remaining chefs (e.g., chef A has to wait an extra 10 minutes for the first table to finish seating so his turnaround after cooking puts him 1~2 tables behind the other chefs, less tables served equals less tips equals less potential pay). Talk about screwing over a business because people can’t be punctual.

    @ceejeemcbeegee:

    I suppose that’s true for LA and it would hold up well if a resturant was going to seat incomplete parties and not fill the missing seats. As an alternative practice, some places try to arrange/direct customers to “fill out” tables so there isn’t potential renuve lost. And as a practical matter, it may work out if the consumer wants to pay more for privacy… but utlimately the problem will come down to general satisfaction of the folks left in the waiting area… folks might get upset that rich elite get a table all to themselves while the rest have to “share”.

    P.S.: My opinions may be jaded as I’ve worked for one of these Hibachi-style places…just my $.02

  48. Mr. Gunn says:

    BigElectricCat:

    Me neither. If some place asked me for one, all they’d get is a dialtone.

  49. Preppy6917 says:

    Was this reservation for a private room? I work in a fine dining restaurant in Baton Rouge, and we have designated minimums for each private room. The philosophy behind it is that we are turning away business to allow a group to have one. Drug reps are NOTORIOUS for this…

  50. Chi says:

    @bohemian: I concur completely. I would have expected the host/hostess to explain (or at least attempt to explain) the situation or company policy. Failing that, it would have been prudent to inform supervisor/management to speak with the upset customer.

    @r081984: Additionally, there is momentum problem with the suggestion you offered.

    Most hibachi-style restaurants have a time frame for the approximate use time of a table. Typically, it’s something like from the first party being seated at a table, there is a 15 minute window where the host/hostess can seat that table. After which, the servers descend to take final orders (drinks/appetizers may have been taken before hand) and submit it all to the chef. At which point, chefs have a limited time frame to assemble the required ingredients for the table’s meal during which soup and salad are served. Once the chef gets to the table he/she has about 35~40 minutes to finish his show before heading back in to prep. for the next table (usually assigned by a rotation).

    So what’s the momentum problem? Say the restaurant seats but doesn’t close the table and starts seating a different table. The chef who is on standby for the first table may be delayed enough that he/she misses out on a rotation (equals less potential tips/pay). Next, there’s the issue of the complications in timing. It’s easier to work with an established system (seated, table closed, orders taken, etc.) then to try to have tables up in the air with different (table A is seated but waiting for 2 more, B is ready to go but needs chef from table E which was started late because they were waiting for 1 latecomer, etc.).

    To some this may not be a big problem, but it’s a headache that restaurants deal with all the time because at the end of the day, customer satisfaction equals repeat/referral business.

  51. Andy S. says:

    Enh. With plenty of other wonderful sushi places in Raleigh, and plenty of fantastic dining options in general in the Fayetteville St. area, I would have told them to take a hike the moment they asked for my credit card number.

  52. milknhoney55 says:

    Asking for a credit card for reservations, especially for parties over 8 is not uncommon. This is especially true when the restaurant is popular and/or small. I work at a cozy restaurant now, and the seating of complete parties makes sense as each reservation has an allotted time to eat (and no we would never tell the guest they have only a certain amount of time to eat), but when you seat incomplete parties, and it never takes the 5 or 10 minutes for the missing people to show up, then you have kitchen confusion, server confusion, and spillage over onto your later reservations. It takes up extra time for all parties, remember you aren’t the only people dining in the restaurant.

    I do believe that the hostess should have attempted to explain the restaurant’s policy better.

  53. @Ausoleil: Yes, but I figured out-of-towners could deal with RDU better than RTP and I wasn’t typing either one out. :D

    Anyhoo, since we’re doing it, favorite spendy food in Durham was @ Four Square. (Also that little French place down near 40, towards the new mall, that’s in a building that used to be a McDonald’s. Cannot for the life of me remember the name. Don’t know if it’s still there or not.)

    Favorite bar, Tir na nOg, on the square in Raleigh. Had my rehearsal dinner there, even. (Also fond of Rum Runners, but mostly when I’d been pre-drinking.)

  54. morganlh85 says:

    Why can’t people ever spell “DINING” correctly?

  55. The Bambino says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    You still use a landline? Weird.
    Lol:)

  56. Byzantine says:

    Serves you right for trying to patronize some crappy trendy place.

    It’s just like at the trendy bars and clubs in NYC. If you try to get in with a group of all guys, good freakin’ luck. If you show up with some women in your group, watch as your female friends get let in and you get refused entry.

    It’s the consumers that put certain places up on pedastals that allows those places to get away with crap. You don’t see your neighborhood diner or Applebee’s doing this, because they wouldn’t be able to get away with it. They would lose too much business. But everyone’s dying to get into the trendy place.

  57. kamikasee says:

    I’m not sure if this would work, but I’m just going to throw this out there.

    With my Mastercard, you can go online and generate a different credit card number — the number maps back to your account, but it can only be used by one merchant and you can set a low limit on it (like $20).

    So I’m wondering what would happen if you gave this number to the restaurant when you made the reservation. Probably get you thrown out if they figured out what you were up to.

    It might be easier just to go to someplace that likes their customers.

  58. Ass_Cobra says:

    I think the hostess handled it poorly but the point is if you have a reservation be on time. If you can’t be on time, don’t be annoyed when things do not go your way. Scheduling tables in a restaurant is difficult enough when things go smoothly. Throw in a couple of people that don’t realize reservations expire (or should) and it gets really dicey.

    I was at a Morrocan restaurant for a friend’s birthday. We had reservations for 10 at 8:30. Everyone from our party arrived on time (namely because we went for drinks at another bar prior) but we couldn’t be seated because a party of 24 (I kid you not) had about 8 people still coming but had already been seated.

    The one 6 top that was originally intended as ours was also occupied by people that really liked to draw out their meal. I’m talking 40 minutes for coffee and dessert. We finally were seated about half an hour late. The manager and owner was completely clueless as to why we were so annoyed with him.

  59. alstein says:

    Those guys should hit Sushi Tsune instead on Hillsborough. Better place and better price. Just don’t hit it around Memorial Day weekend unless you like weirdos.

  60. loadedthorn says:

    Yeah the college staples in Raleigh are so much better than the fancy places. Of all the $30+ dinners I’ve had with my girlfriend in those trendy restaurants downtown, I’ve always hated the service. Always. That makes it Cookout FTW.

  61. aquanetta says:

    The Palm restaurant in San Diego charges $50/person for every no-show. And it’s not a hibachi place. It was really lame.

  62. snowmentality says:

    @afw: The only time that happened to me was a tiny Italian restaurant in Boston’s North End. We figured it was reserved for the Mafia afterwards and it was important. If that ever happened to me here, I’d laugh.

    @arstal: I would also recommend Waraji off Duraleigh, and Sushi-Thai, either in Cary or off Lake Boone Trail. Waraji is better but Sushi-Thai is still good and cheaper.

    Even Tyler’s Taproom (damn good pub in Durham) won’t seat incomplete parties, but that’s because they’re always packed. They don’t take your credit card number and charge you $20 if people don’t show up, though. You just have to wait longer. Jeez.

    Damn, there are a lot of Triangleites on Consumerist! Let’s go for dinner! Not at Sono!

  63. brosnan6 says:

    @Blackneto: @BigElectricCat: Many high-end restaurants require a credit card for a reservation and strictly enforce the no-show fee, either for the entire party or for certain guests (like in this case). However, this restaurant seems unique (read: fucked up) because they want to charge you for the no-shows AND still not seat you. In my experience, restaurants will charge the no-show and then seat the rest of the party.

  64. aquanetta says:

    The comments mentioned that the restaurant in question might a hibachi restaurant. I used to be a hostess at a hibachi restaurant, and we never had those policies. I mean, we often didn’t fill all 12 seats at every hibachi table. We just seated as many people as we could accommodate, and then let the chef do his thing. If business was slow, the chef could be cooking for much less than a table of 12.

    If it’s really a party of 12 with 2 people missing, usually the group doesn’t necessarily mind waiting for the other 2 at the bar; even if they were seated, they wouldn’t necessarily get served until someone at the table tells us to start. When you have chefs flicking things around with the smell of hibachi wafting over from other tables, they don’t generally wait very long.

  65. greghayden70 says:

    At the the point they got all squinky I would of just left. Let them try to charge the credit card for the missing guests (240.00 Dollars), then just file a complaint in small claims, they would totally settle before it went before the judge.

  66. loadedthorn says:

    @snowmentality:

    I fear for any restaurant that took on a group of Consumeristos!

  67. Wess says:

    just dont sign the check and their for, not agreeing to the bill.

  68. spinachdip says:

    @Ausoleil: THREADJACK!!

    I went to high school and college in the area and I have never heard anyone use the term “the Research Triangle area”. If I’d heard that, I’d assume you’re referring to that big patch of grass between Raleigh and Durham with all the shiny buildings. “The Triangle” or “the Triangle area”, maybe, but never “research triangle”.

    And I can understand out of towners referring to it as RDU, since that’s the airport code and all. FWIW, I use DFW to refer to that area in Texas with all the strip joints.

    BTW, I’m perfectly okay with a no-show penalty, though obviously not so heavyhandedly enforced. I know it’s a common-ish practice in NYC to book reservations at multiple restaurants.

  69. Snarkysnake says:

    @humphrmi:

    Actually , it’s more like a restaurant run by an airline…

  70. chrisjames says:

    If you plan on paying their “no-show fee,” try this instead: Find two people waiting in the bar and offer to pay them each $10 (or buy them drinks) to act as the last two of the party. When you get seated, they leave, and you tell the waiters that the other two people are in the restroom or taking phone calls outside.

  71. This place sounds like the owner thinks it’s Nobu and s/he can get away with silly policies like this. The restaurant biz is tough, and if there are enough dissatisfied customers, the place will go down in a ball of epic fail.

    @BigElectricCat: YYZ? YOW? YVR?

  72. soifranc says:

    The recently opened Water Bar in San Francisco has the same policy. Too bad… their oysters were good but i can’t patronize this type of practice.

    How about a list of places doing the same?

  73. daveybaker says:

    Common practice here in San Francisco – reservations at places like Zuni are hard to come by and serious customers don’t make them if they don’t plan on showing up.

  74. Johann says:

    So, the rest of the party was outside parking and Matthew is ticked off because they didn’t seat the rest of his party immediately? He got into an argument with the hostess because he didn’t want to wait for the rest of his party to park and come inside before they were seated? Sounds like he’s overreacting to me.

  75. STrRedWolf says:

    I’m with a few people — if you got charged the $40, charge back.

  76. butcept says:

    What I can’t figure out is: they had ten people to sit — a large party ALREADY that would bring them income…especially when most places will charge the 15-18% gratuity automatically. Idiots!

  77. badmatthewbad says:

    Just to clarify

    1. It was not a hibachi restaurant – there was no ‘at table service’.
    2. I was offering to pay the $40 only if the other two did not show up – this makes sense right? if they show up in fifteen minutes they are still going to order dinner and drinks and probably get a whole other round of drinks out of us and if they don’t then charge me.
    3. The table was empty and in the middle of the room.
    4. I would have been happy to wait at the bar except for three reasons 1. No one could get served at the bar – the bar staff seemed overwhelmed/not paying attention 2. It was an awful space to mingle since we were effectively blocking the entrance from door/ waiting area to the dinning room thus we had to move/reconfigure every time the hostesses were showing people to their seats. So my suggestion would have been helpful to all – I felt bad for the other customers and staff squeezing to get past us. 3. Their double bind of no seating without the reservation and threatening to charge us if we did not have the full tally of the reservations seemed offensive as did their attitude.

    The funny thing that I found was that we actually ended up with a table for 14 with two free chairs since people sat at the ends – I would have been interested to see their reaction if we invited more friends to join us…

  78. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    What a darned shame. Especially since the concierge of a well established Triangle area business hotel reads this and will now not recommend this restaurant to any hotel guests.

  79. nicoledapostrophe says:

    Oh, in NYC, Tortilla Flats does this too, for large parties. I’ve totally heard of it, and it’s a shitty rule for people who have flaky friends.

  80. mammalpants says:

    i never have to worry about crap like this happening at biscuitville!

    stick to sushi blues on glenwood for casual or än in cary if you want an elegant experience. snooty sono wont be there for more than 2 years if douchebags are running it. we have other, better options.

    support southern hospitality!

  81. RobL123 says:

    I’ve been to SONO. The place is new, the space is very small, and the hostess was a little overwhelmed the night I was there too. However, the people were nice and the food was awesome. I worked as a waiter for a long time and the worst thing is people making reservations for big parties, so the waiter has to hand their tables off to other staff and then the party either doesn’t show or comes with half of what they reserved. If you can’t get everyone there on time then you should wait like the rest of us. Reservations are for people who want to reserve a table and have solid plans. Again hate to see people bully this place, its really small and 12 seats is probably about one section for a waiter so I understand.

  82. sonorestaurant says:

    I am the operator of SONO. I frequently visit review sites in order to keep up with customers opinions so that we can serve our customers better. I apologize for any problems that might have occured but I specifically remember that evening. I actually remember the gentlemens face for that matter. We have changed our reservation policy and do not require a credit card number to make one any longer. We will do whatever we can to satisfy our customers. But I would like to clear something up. We have NEVER charged any customers any amount ever for not showing up. Nor did we tell anyone that we would charge $20 each for who ever did not show up. Our previous policy was that we “could” charge $20 per person in the event of “no call no show” and that is exactly how we explained it. I apologize and have changed the policy to not require a credit card to make a reservation, but I don’t think making false accusations is fair to us or the consumers. If I am wrong and someone did charge Mr.Matthew, we will pay back 100 times the amount we charged as an apology. Once again I apologize for any inconvenience and will strive to better our service.