Thursday, April 4, 2013

Should a restaurant publicly shame no-shows?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 8:16 AM

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  • Twitter: redmedicinela
I treat restaurant reservations like dinner with my in-laws. I always make sure there's wine on the table when we sit down. But seriously, folks ... If I'm going to be late, I call. If I have to cancel unexpectedly, I call.

I've never been a no-show at a restaurant, leaving some poor maitre d' with his nose pressed up against the window, one tear rolling down his cleanshaven face. As a result, I've never been put on blast by a restaurant using Twitter in an attempt to publicly shame me. One Beverly Hills restaurant, Red Medicine, is making national news by doing just that.

As the Associated Press reports, Red Medicine decided that shame was the best medicine for encouraging patrons (who don't have to leave a credit card for a reservation) to show up. Esquire defended the restaurant's actions, but in this case, I don't think two wrongs resolve the situation. If cancellations are a problem, the restaurant should take just a card and charge offenders. That's a less public, and more effective way, of eliminating this issue.

Does an owner have the right to call out no-shows or is this another example of how Twitter is replacing constructive conversation?

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