1. Never try to make a reservation at 7/730, especially not on a friday or saturday
1.a) If you are making a reservation and you say your time is "flexible" then actually be flexible with your timing. A request for a reservation between "7 or 8" is NOT flexible. That's prime time at a restaurant and most likely SMACK DAB in the middle of the two seating times.
2. Be nice if you try to make a same-day reservation (same goes for 1 day in advance) and if doing so, don't expect that it will be easy to get a reservation, especially at your desired time.
3. Most restaurants have a table turn-around time. They try to fit in at least two seatings (if not three) at every table in the restaurant a night. If you have a 6 or 630 reservation and take 2.5 hours to finish a starter and main because you are lingering over your meal and conversation (and not due to slow service or food delivery) you're pretty damn rude, especially at a really really busy restaurant. Seriously, the restaurant doesn't want to kick you out, they want you to enjoy yourself but chances are they have that table booked for another seating and if no other table is freeing up chances are they are as politely as possible going to ask you to hurry it up so that they can seat their other guests. Please don't act surprised and offended. Restaurants don't normally tell guests at what time they have to be finished their meal unless the turn-around time is tight-TWO AND A HALF HOURS FOR TWO PEOPLE TO EAT DINNER IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME! If you wanted a 3-4 hour seating you should go to a restaurant that isn't busy, book for a late seating (ie. 9pm or later) or drink a lot of alcohol.
4. Calling and leaving a message for a time and date DOES NOT equal a reservation. It's a reservation request.
5. FYI: As crazy as it sounds (and as a diner i think it's pretty insane) 15%-20% is actually industry standard these days. If you think that you are leaving a CRAZY AMAZING tip, 20% isn't it.
5. When you are actually being gracious, accommodating, understanding and generous we notice and we appreciate it!