Everyone knows it’s uncool to be a no-show when it comes to restaurant reservations. But should neglecting to call and cancel make you a public pariah? Apparently, according to Noah Ellis, owner of acclaimed Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine, who spent the weekend tweeting the names of folks who didn’t show for dinner during prime time.
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To the no-show who either is or just shares a name with UCLA Bruins guard Kyle Anderson:
And to a list of others:
Why were there so many no-shows in one weekend? We were unable to reach any of the publicly shamed non-diners to find out. But, Ellis, who did not return a call from Yahoo! Shine seeking comment, told Eater LA, it’s always been a problem.
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“Invariably, the a**holes 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 said. “Either restaurants are forced to overbook and make the guests (that actually showed up) wait, or they do what we do, turn away guests for some prime-time slots because they're booked, and then have empty tables.”
Red Medicine—a Vietnamese fusion eatery offering items like Indian eggplant with coriander and morning glory, and Akaushi beef with pistachio and mustard juice—used to overbook, he explained. But they stopped because it caused them to run behind and make people wait a long time for their booked tables. They also tried taking a credit card for every business, but felt it hurt business. Doing walk-in only, Ellis added, “sucks” for people who want to have a special night out and don’t know when they’ll get a table.
“So, long story short, on Saturday, we lost a bunch of prime tables, which (besides hurting our business, obviously) really wasn't fair to the guests who took a 6:15 or 9:30 reservation instead of the 7:30 or 8:00 they wanted,” he continued. “I was frustrated, so I blew them up. 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’s tweets drew mixed reactions.
Another tweeter noted that the restaurant will feel awful if they find out the folks who didn't show up were in an accident. To which Ellis replied:
This is not the first time Ellis has caused controversy via social media. In 2010, he revealed the identity of L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila by snapping a photo of her without permission when she showed up at Red Medicine, then kicking her out of the joint and posting the image on Tumblr. Ellis told the Times he was intentionally trying to take away Virbila’s anonymity because he didn’t like her reviews.
What do you think? Was Ellis justified in calling no-shows out on Twitter?
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