Public shaming on Twitter: the answer to restaurant no-shows?
For a restauranteur, it must be frustrating when reservations don’t show. For places that aren’t blessed with lineups out the door every night, it can mean a boatload of lost cash. In the fight to get customers to commit, Montreal has been testing out a new solution to the phantom-diner problem: social-media shaming. An active Twitter account, @NoShowsMontreal, was recently created after a popular downtown restaurant, Tapeo, had 28 no-shows in a single night. The account calls out parties who fail to show up by listing their name and partial phone number.
No-show 5: LECLERC. 514-5*0-6**3 (8 personnes).
— No-Shows Montréal (@NoShowsMontreal) March 21, 2014
Montreal isn’t the only city whose restauranteurs have taken to Twitter to gripe about rude foodies. Just last weekend, chef Chris McDonald from Cava at Yonge and St. Clair took to Twitter to complain about 14 no-shows.
14 no shows last night after confirming all the reservations. Makes me want to sell tickets for Saturday nights. Beyond rude.
— Chris McDonald (@CavaChef) March 23, 2014
A dedicated “No-show” account in Toronto could give bitter restauranteurs an outlet to express their annoyance (and avenge themselves against customers who don’t show up) without risking personal backlash. Other possible solutions to the problem, like blacklisting no-shows or insisting on credit-card deposits, only seem to exacerbate the tension between customers and restaurants.
The only caveat to the Twitter-shaming method? We suspect that people who blow off restaurant reservations might not care too much about being outed on a Twitter account they probably don’t follow.