Cities with the Most and Least Punctual Diners in America

In today’s age of traffic jams and overscheduling, OpenTable reviewed data from the past year to find the cities with the most and least punctual diners across the U.S. Dallas-Fort Worth came in first place for the city with the most punctual diners, while New York City came in as the city where diners are most likely to be more than 20 minutes late for their reservation. 

According to OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer Caroline Potter, “Being on time for your reservation isn’t just about showing consideration to a restaurant’s staff; it’s also about being considerate of your fellow diners so that their dining experiences begin and end on time. While most restaurants will hold your reservation for 15 minutes, some may not!” 

OpenTable also found that in addition to New York City, diners in other big cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Atlanta were among those most likely to arrive over 20 minutes late for a reservation, while residents in medium-sized cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, and Minneapolis, were the most likely to arrive on time or early for their reservation. 

The top 10 cities/metros where diners are most likely to arrive on time or early to their reservation are:

  1. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Seattle, Washington 
  4. Denver, Colorado 
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota 
  6. Hawaii 
  7. Boston, Massachusetts
  8. Orange County, California
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. San Diego, California

The top 10 cities where diners are most likely to arrive 20+ minutes late for their reservation are:

  1. New York, New York
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Miami, Florida
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Atlanta, Georgia
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Orange County, California
  9. Chicago, Illinois
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

Do you live in one of the cities with the tardiest diners? Want to help change your town’s rep? Use these tips from Potter to avoid being late for your reservation.

  • Look before you book. When you’re booking a reservation on OpenTable, give consideration to timing with regard to your location, traffic, and more. If you’re coming straight from work, be sure to block your calendar to be sure a last-minute meeting doesn’t derail your plans. Consider using a traffic or public transportation app ahead of time to plot out precise travel times.
  • Early is the new on-time. Buffer in 15 extra minutes of travel time to account for any obstacles. Even if you’re arriving alone, getting to a spot early is a great excuse to check out the restaurant’s bar and cocktail offerings.
  • Save your reservations to your favorite calendar app. Add a custom alert for however long it will take you to arrive at the restaurant to allow for any potential travel delays.
  • Invite others right in the OpenTable app. If you’re dining with others, use the “Invite guests” feature to seamlessly text your fellow guests an invitation. The hive mind is probably more likely to be on time.
  • Manage THAT friend. We all have a friend (or even a relative) who is constantly tardy to things. Stay in close contact with them as your reservation time approaches to be sure they’ll be on time. Many restaurants will not seat you until your whole party has arrived.

Are you located in a city with tardy or on-time diners? Let us know here in the comments or over on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter. Also, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.

Photo credit: Kamil Bialous.