The popular upscale restaurant Red Medicine in Beverly Hills, has come up with a new way to deal with reservation no-shows: publicly embarrass the offenders on the restaurant’s heavily used Twitter account. The restaurant, which was just named number 48 of the “Top 100 U.S. Restaurants” by Opinionated About Dining, lost a “bunch of prime tables” during last Saturday night’s service. Red Medicine doesn’t require a credit card for a reservation, and doesn’t overbook time slots, so just a few empty tables can seriously effect the restaurant’s bottom line.
“Invariably, the assholes 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,” Ellis wrote to Eater LA.
“They probably don’t know, and if they know, they probably don’t care (or they would have come or called in the first place), but such is life,” Ellis conceded about the no-shows he named.
While I of course get how this impacts the bottom line, it’s also another element of why the restaurant biz is a volatile one. Thoroughly unprofessional. Get a credit card, book a little more heavily or have your host or management staff do their jobs and reconfirm you reservations.
This is thoroughly unprofessional and I now know where I never want to go in LA
Leslie R. says
Yup, I agree completely. While I can imagine how frustrating it is for these no-shows, there are other ways around that problem without resorting to this. This is completely uncalled-for, and I can’t imagine it’s winning any goodwill. If you want people to show up, get a credit card – that will at least prompt them to call with notice they’re cancelling!
I’m okay with this. Every tom, dick, or harry can and will spout all sorts of nonsense about restaurants and chefs on the internet and complain endlessly on twitter. Turnaround is fair play here. You can bet that if these same customers had been seated 5 minutes late for their reservation they would have been all over yelp complaining and causing a ruckus.
Again, that’s a chance they take by being a business. As it is, this is generating far more negative word of mouth than any bad Yelp review ever could
I am reminded of the movie Short Cuts when Llyle Lovetts bakers charactor stalks the mans family over his kids birthday cake that they never picked up…..the kid died.
Wow. This is one of many problems with taking yourself way too seriously. We’re all human and shit happens. “Thanks, Grandma, for falling and breaking your wrist. You’re such an asshole!” Right…
I am not saying there aren’t plenty of inconsiderate folks out there. This just isn’t the way to handle it, nor is that an acceptable way to talk about customers. With such fine advertising, they could not pay me to eat there.
Food Dude says
except that if they had so many no-shows in an evening. With odds like that, we’d be building hospitals like so many starbucks.
Again, I am not saying there aren’t plenty of inconsiderate folks out there. But one need not end up in the hospital to have a good, “non-asshole” reason for missing a reservation. The point is we have no idea why people aren’t showing up, and it is neither right nor professional for the owner to judge them so harshly.
There are many good reasons to miss a reservation. There are very few good reasons not to notify the restaurant you won’t show.
It’s a truism that gets truer all the time that a few apples spoil the whole barrel. In this case, a few assholes will probably make life worse for both the restaurant and their more considerate customers. The restaurant will spend more time and money securing and double-checking reservations, which will result in higher prices for customers, plus more headaches for customers as they get charged for not making a reservation for a legitimate reason or lose their reservation because they miss a confirmation call, etc.
While it may not be the most prudent approach that the restaurant took, that’s only because society today is always ready to make excuses for people as long as it’s a business they’re screwing over. It’s short-sighted and unprincipled. An employee or customer complains publicly about a business and they’re lauded. A business complains about an employee or customer and they’re “unprofessional”. Right is right. These people were jerks and they got called out for it. It may not be the most savvy response PR-wise, but only because of an ass-backwards sense of entitlement in modern society. It doesn’t make it wrong. And if customers were really looking after their long-term self-interested, they’d join in the shaming of these few idiots.
Yes, please tell us about how businesses suffer oh so deeply. Because all the people unemployed in this country whose jobs were outsourced or eliminated would know nothing of financial pain.
Also, I’m pretty sure people regularly no showed for reservations 50 years ago, too. This isn’t an “entitlement generation” thing. And again, is part the business we’re in
I agree that there are almost no excuses for not notifying the restaurant if you can’t make it. Under pretty well any circumstances, we’ll call as far in advance as possible for the few times that we have to be “no shows”. That said, there are steps a restaurant can take to minimize the outfall, including requiring a credit card number, particularly on very busy nights. Calling to confirm reservations is a pain and labor intensive, but also can help avoid this. What this restaurant did is over the top and unacceptable IMHO, and frankly I doubt that we would patronize a place that does this. (So, Extramsg, PLEASE don’t adopt this policy and put us in the very difficult position of having to make that decision).
I’m well into middle age and I’ve NEVER been a no-show. Especially with cell phones these days, 98% of the time there’s no valid excuse for not calling except for a true crisis or emergency.
If you have a credit card and you have a stellar credit rating and high limit you can contact credit card company and dispute a charge as unauthorized. They will more than likely refuse that charge. Not saying that you should do that in lieu of contacting with reasonable notice to cancel to avoid charge in the first place. Credit card companies, as vicious as they can be, usually side with a good customer.
You don’t even need a good rating or to be a stellar customer. They’ll still side with the customer on this. It’s part of how they do business. In fact, you can do this over minibar charges and premium TV channels when you stay in a hotel. However, most people don’t realize this (clearly, since you thought only “good” customers received this special treatment).
But even if they can’t charge the credit card, again, part of this is just a risk that you take by doing business. Ironically, I’m sure these same owners give their waiters “take the good with the bad” lectures when they get stiffed by a table.
I want to tell people alot of things every single night. But I dont. Its part of being a professional. It sucks. Its fustrating but you gotta deal.Anyway, Having worked in L.A.,where almost everyone is an asshole, I doubt the chef is any better than his guests.
I find their completely over the top ridiculous menu to be nearly as disturbing as their abusive tweets.
A Fish says
I just checked out their dinner menu. I didn’t know whether to spit up laughing or gag. How pretentious. Oh well, Beverley Hills…
BTW, on the subject – if they are offended by no-shows and want to take action, they should request a CC number on busy nights. Else they’re no different than the folks who list names of Johns in newspapers for public humiliation.
Been there….great food…menu is similiar in style to Castagnia and Restaurant Beck….my how we eat our own! Probably tweeting is silly but let’s not play PDX vs LA here.