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No, Las Iguanas, you shall not have my hundreds of pounds

11 April 2011 by superlative

In two weeks and five days I shall have matured to the plump old age of 30. Hooray for me.

As part of my celebration of not having died for 30 years and of generally being awesome, I thought I would have a small dinner out with some friends. The restaurant I chose for this honour was Las Iguanas, because I’ve been there quite a lot of times before, I like Mexican food, and it generally has quite a good atmosphere with nice carnivally music and cocktails and whatnot.

However, their group bookings policy is absolutely retarded, and as a consequence I am taking my business elsewhere instead.

Look how demanding they are:

  • You have to pay a deposit of £5 per person. Given I’m hoping to have 15 people, that would mean me shelling out £75 in advance, which they would refund on the night, but which means any cancelled places would cost me £5.
  • You don’t get to pick what time you come, they do. For weekend groups, they impose two sittings: one at 6.30pm, and one at 9.30pm. I don’t really want either of those times, nor do I want to be told by the restaurant that’s supposed to be providing a service what time I may humbly come and give them money.
  • Everyone has to choose their food in advance. How much of a pain would that be, trying to arrange it all in advance with friends? And it completely saps half the atmosphere out of it, as the meal is reduced (along with the above demands) to a streamlined money-extraction process where they get you in and out at a time that suits them as fast as possible.
    I should point out that if you don’t want to order in advance, they graciously allow you to choose the Fiesta Menu. The Fiesta Menu is a reduced selection of items that costs £18.20 per person. However, if you add up the individual prices of many of those items, quite a lot of combinations don’t actually cost £18.20. I’m not including the nachos they give you on arrival, because as we all know those are practically valueless. So basically if you don’t want to order in advance, you can pay more and choose from less.

No, Las Iguanas. NO NO NO. This meal was meant to be about me, not you. I’m the one who is turning 30. You are not 30, and it’s not your party. I’m sure my group would have easily spent £20 per person, quite possibly more once you add on drinks, so this booking was worth £300-£400 to you, but now you shall not have it. YOU SHALL NOT PASS.

I’m going to Café Rouge instead. The woman on the phone was very nice, they don’t need a deposit, they didn’t bat an eyelid at a group size of 15 on a Friday night, and they don’t make you choose in advance. And I subtly slipped in that it’s my birthday, so I’m fairly sure they’ll have tied some balloons to my chair before I arrive. The only thing they wanted to know was how long we thought we’d stay, so they could get an idea of if they could book the table for someone else afterwards or not.

MUCH MORE REASONABLE. And much more about the needs of the customer than the needs of the restaurant.

Stupid Las Iguanas can return to its iguana-hole.


  1. Ben G says:

    You clearly don’t eat out much.

    Cafe Rouge will not ask for your money in advance because they are quiet as a brand.

    May be the fact that Las Iguanas are a busy restaurant that anticipates being very busy on a friday is the reason for the deposit request and their pre order system is aimed at making your evening run smoother.

    Try KFC for your 31st

  2. superlative says:

    Wow, you really must have a lot of time on your hands if you can be bothered to leave stupid comments on a blog post from a year and a half ago. You must be fascinating and delightful company.

    I’ve already had my 31st and it was lovely, thank you for asking.

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