Restaurants Are Googling You!

Service

Before you go to a restaurant, you probably look it up online for some reason or another. Maybe you’re making a reservation through the website or maybe you’re checking the menu. You might look at photos to see how fancy the place is or maybe you just need to look up the address. What if a restaurant were doing this to you?

Restaurants google the names of patrons who’ve made reservations more often than you might think. In 2010 the subject surfaced to the surprise, amusement and horror of restaurant goers and chefs alike. People were understandably alarmed, but most people didn’t seem to care. In a poll conducted by CNN, almost 40 percent of people were okay with restaurants googling them if it meant special treatment, and about 4 percent hoped restaurants would research them. Sixteen percent thought it was a little strange but could live with it, and 15 percent thought it was creepy. Four years later, the practice has grown further in the name of  offering bespoke and differentiated services. Justin Roller, the maître d’ at New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park googles every single patron that visits Eleven Madison Park. He looks for anything that can help make a customer feel special and at home. “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together,” Roller told Grubstreet. He doesn’t stop at cursory information either. “If, for example, Roller discovers it’s a couple’s anniversary, he’ll then try to figure out which anniversary,” Grubstreet reports.

Restaurants also take notes on customers after they’ve dined, to track preferences and habits, like if someone is a good or bad tipper. According to the New York Times, hundreds of restaurants record traits and preferences about their customers, like allergies, favorite foods and even if a customer likes to linger at the table.

Read more here.

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