Restaurant Uses Social Media on Patrons Who Blew Off Reservations

Restaurant posts names and telephone numbers of no-shows

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red medicine los angelesThe days of making reservations and not showing up may be over, if more restaurants follow the trend started by one L.A. eatery.

Eater L.A. has an interview with Noah Ellis, the owner of Red Medicine, a restaurant which has been using its Twitter account to publicly shame customers who make reservations but don’t show up or call to cancel.

Using the restaurant’s twitter feed, Ellis tweets out the name and time of patrons who made reservations but did not call to cancel. He says frustration led him to this policy, because too often his restaurant is full of customers but he’s unable to seat them due to tables held for reservations.

The restaurant used to require a credit card to make a reservation but many people refuse to give out a credit card regardless if they plan to show up or not.

“Invariably, the [people] who decide to no-show, or cancel 20 minutes before their reservation (because one of their friends made a reservation somewhere else) ruin restaurants (as a whole) for the people who make a reservation and do their best to honor it,” he says.

While this system has its benefits, some would question the logic of such a strict policy. Customers may shy away from frequenting a restaurant where there’s a chance they’ll be publicly shamed, even if they have every intention of making the date. Also, the restaurant has no idea why patrons did not make it to the restaurant, in which case this policy seems excessive.

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  • Tisk

    Moronic approach to customer service. Instead of figuring out the reason for customers being continuous no shows, you rail them on social media. Good luck keeping the lights on. Instead the approach would be to reach out to them, find out the reason for cancelation. For instance, lets say they their friends made reservations elsewhere because the drinks are better. Offer an incentive like a happy hour for the group, this not only gets them in the door, but also gets them to realize that you will go above and beyond for all of your customers.

    Would you rather have people saying “do you know xyz restaurant reached out to us personally and offered us free drinks, theyre amazing” or “do you know xyz restaurant blasted my information out to the world because we didnt come to a reservation. Dont ever go there.”

    Big difference. This owner seems to think his business is the center of his customers lives. How dare anyone not take time out of whatever it is theyre doing to call and cancel a reservation. Sir, who are you? You need them more than they need you. Especially if this is consistently happening to you. Maybe its time to retool your reservation services. if youre running a business, the last thing you want to do is become emotional wavepool. Those ripples are sometimes larger than you think.