I was taken aback when I was asked for a cash deposit of $20 for each diner in my party, when I called to make a dinner reservation for seven people at a restaurant.
I said I was happy to guarantee my reservation with my credit card, and offered my credit card number. However, the staff member insisted on cash, and said that he couldn't accept my reservation without the deposit. So I made a reservation at another restaurant, which was quite happy to accommodate me with just my name and mobile number, like most other restaurants I've dined at.
I do understand that in these days of social distancing and groups being limited to eight people, tables at restaurants may be in short supply, and restaurants need to ensure that customers who make reservations do actually turn up.
Hotels and car hire companies have worked out the solution to the same problem for years now. Restaurants just need to work with the credit card companies to introduce a similar solution to meet their specific need.
Will the Restaurant Association of Singapore be able to help?