To Reserve or NOT to Reserve...

Co authored by my Maitre D Steve Trauman, we wanted to bring you some "inside baseball" as to how the reservation process works in a restaurant and how YOU can help us to provide the BEST experience for you and your party when you come to our restaurant.

Please give this a quick read below, and sorry for my absence on the blog.

Fellow ChefTonyans,

Recently there has been a trend in the world of reservations; “no-shows”, last minute cancellations, late arrivals, and late calls to reschedule/change party size.

These events can have extreme negative effects on a restaurateur’s business. A restaurant, like an airplane, only has so many seats to fill. Once the time has passed, so is the opportunity to fill those seats.

Let me explain how each of these scenarios can affect our ability to best give you the service you deserve.

  • No-shows – as a courtesy, a restaurant will usually hold a reservation for 15 minutes past the scheduled time. Should it be a busy night, you may be told there is no table for you at the time you would like to dine. When. The party doesn’t arrive, that table might sit empty for the rest of the evening, resulting in disappointed customers, and lost revenue for the restaurant.

  • Last minute cancellations – we understand that unforeseen situations occur that necessitate a .late cancellation. If the restaurant is not sold out, the impact is not as great, mostly the reduction in the number of meals served. Consideration for the business owner should come into play. On traditional busy days, this has the same effect as the no-show.

  • Late arrivals – scheduling table utilization to offer the best customer service is an art not a science. Based on party size, we have been able to closely estimate the dining time. Factor in the extra time for food photos, texting, and emails, we can then schedule the next time that table can be utilized. When people arrive late, and the schedule is pushed back, this may result on your having to wait for your seating; and in your mind, we have overbooked the restaurant, while the situation was not under our control. Folks, the smartphone that performs the above functions, also makes phone calls. Put our number (301-654-3737) in your phone book, thus you can let us know that you’re running late.

  • Rescheduling/change party size – given sufficient notice, changes to party size won’t affect your reservation. However, arriving and saying your party has increased or decreased can cause delays in you seating. This may require reconfiguring tables, waiting for tables to become available, or not being able to honor your special requests. We try to give the best service, but last minute changes like these can put stress on the system. Rescheduling a reservation falls into two categories. Changing to another date usually poses no major challenge. While we try to accommodate same day rescheduling, there may not be available seating at the requested time.

We are entering prom/graduation/engagement/wedding season. We have many large groups making reservations. Please, so that we may better serve you, please call and make a reservation on the traditionally busy nights.

We at Chef Tony’s Fresh Seafood Restaurant appreciate your patronage and strive to give to quality meals at a good value, while continuing to give the best customer service.

Thank you for your consideration.

Chef Tony & Steve Trauman (GEO: Guest Experience Officer) 😀

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(301) 654-3737


During Covid (UPDATED 10/3/20)


Tues - Sat 5 - 8:30 pm
Seating Inside Starting 6/19
50% Capacity


Sunday Dinner

11 AM - 3:00 PM
3 - 8:00 pm


4926 St Elmo Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814


"Promenade" Opening October 2020

The Promenade Building
5775 Pooks Hill Road
Bethesda, Md 20814


No lunch pickup or in house at this time


@ TABLES only

TUES-FRI 5:00 - 6:30