Our restaurant consultant talk and article abstracts focus on reservations from an owner and operator standpoint. The first surrounds the policies and procedures that foodservice businesses use to maximize seating. The other is who really wins when using an automated system, such as OpenTable®. Here is the article in the New York Times and an in-house restaurant management practices excerpt we find important and this particular establishment’s dilemma – “A 6 o’clock cancellation is a quarter-step above no call at all. Sorry. But what can a restaurant do with the late-breaking news at 6 p.m.? Too late to call the wait list, too late to cut down the waitstaff or the kitchen help, too late to unpurchase the produce. “How many covers?” is the question that echoes throughout the dining room all day. The answer dictates mood and staff and preparation and table assignments and maybe room redesign. In a business of constant befuddlement, the number of diners is the answer to many questions. So each cancellation is a monkey wrench.” The other article is who really wins from another restaurant consultant perspective when subscribing to a third party service – “Mark Pastore, a former tech entrepreneur who now owns Italian restaurant Incanto and cured meat shop Boccalone, believes that OpenTable does nothing to increase the total number of people going out on any given night — all it does is shift the dining audience around to restaurants who participate in the system.” Need other resources on the restaurant operations business. Please visit our bookstore that features publications from other food service consultants. Have ideas and thoughts to share on this week’s restaurant consultant talk about your reservation experiences? Please post your comments here to enlighten our readers.