Frustrating Dining Note: Kanki Edition

February 25, 2008

My son wanted to go to Kanki for his birthday dinner, which is a pretty normal request for a teenager. So I called the Crabtree Mall location and made reservations for the 9 of us, including additional friends and family. The woman on the other line informed me that they would not seat us until all 9 of us were there, and if our group was not fully assembled within 15 minutes of our slotted time, we’d lose our reservation. Ouch! But I understand, as Kanki is busy and their method of cooking really does require everyone to be seated at once. I can accept that.

So, at our reservation time, we’re missing one person, but he shows up 5 minutes later. I then go to the hostess’ desk and inform her, “Reservations for McCord, please. Our entire party is here” Her response? She looks at her reservations list, looks up at me, and then hands me The Beeper. “It’ll be a few minutes, sir, while we find you a table.”

Huh? Excuse me? There’s a bunch of walk-ins with beepers around me. There are a handful of tables available. And now we just take our place in the queue and wait our turn? Of course, my 7 year old says, “But I thought we had reservations, Daddy?” It’s here where I try not to act like a complete jerk that I can sometimes be. I tell my kids that we’ll just have to wait and acting rudely will only make it worse. And then we wait, as other large groups with beepers (and they were walk-ins) are seated before us. We only had to wait ten minutes or so before we were led to our table, but this situation truly perplexed us. Were these actual reservations, or was this just a method to be placed in line with all the walk-ins? I know how reservations work at regular restaurants, but this seemed to be different, and could just be chalked up to the entire hibachi system.

As for our dinner? Everyone had a great time, as we probably had the best hibachi chef ever. So, the reservation snafu was forgotten and forgiven. Except for me.