Etiquette Tuesday: Cancellation Policy

[ 1 ] August 30, 2011 |


After hearing for almost a week that our town would be turned upside down, Hurricane Irene came and went luckily leaving with minor damages.  For many of us, most of our plans were disposable and could be postponed until the next weekend or week after but what about those of us who could not alter our plans so easily??  This Etiquette Tuesday comes from one of my fave foodies.  A restaurant should know better than this but I’ll be the one to say it:  think before you cancel.

Scenario: This is the story of a Bride who was scheduled to get married this weekend (Saturday) and follow up with a reception to remember.  After the flowers were ordered, bridesmaids were flown in, Hurricane Irene’s reality set in.  Unfortunately, many businesses decided they were shutting their doors for the safety of their patrons and staffs.  The restaurant that was set to host this Bride’s reception decided to cancel but that’s not the problem.  Why did the restaurant wait to tell her it was cancelling on the day of the wedding? And they had the audacity to try and keep the payment?!?  Now there was a clause in the contract stating that in cases of forces of nature, events may be cancelled but why would a restaurant think it is proper to keep the funds especially after they notified the party the day of the wedding?!

Now I understand there was a bit of panic once we heard about Irene coming to the area but coif and consideration should never be extinguished in the restaurant business.  The restaurant should have notified the bridal party at least 48 hours in advance to allow them time to make other arrangements.  This was their wedding day.  A wedding day is a day that will hopefully only happen once and you will remember it for the rest of your life so why would someone be so inconsiderate in their dealings for this day?

On the other side, I understand why the restaurant wanted to cancel.  With all the warnings for Irene, it would have been too much of a risk for the restaurant staff, guests, etc. I, however, feel they handled the situation improperly.  Two top ways to salvage this situation would have been to put the staff up in hotels in hopes that Irene would not prevail and they could carry on business as usual without the worry of the staff having to travel on these roads back home.  Another resolution would have been to cancel 24-48 hours in advance, refund the money and even offer to host another event at a later day.  I am not an expert in the hospitality industry so I really do not know how they work around issues such as these BUT I do know how I would have wanted to be treated on my wedding day.

Scenario ending:  Lucky for the bride, they had a wonderful ceremony and the church offered to host a small, short reception in their basement for the party.  One of the violinist hired for the wedding played “At Last” and the bride and groom had their first dance.  They will live happily ever after, The End.

*Update* When this post was published, I should have added in the fact that the restaurant tried to get her to cancel a few days before so she would have to pay. *eyebrow raise*

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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  1. PLS says:

    Very good!

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