Restaurants Should Punish People Who Don't Show Up for Their Reservations

restaurantWhen you make a reservation at a restaurant, you're not only securing your own table and timeframe to dine but preventing someone else from enjoying that table and timeframe. That's how one restaurant in L.A. feels about their patrons, and I don't blame 'em. The owner/general manager, Noah Ellis, of Red Medicine was so peeved by recent no-shows that he called out several reservation ditchers out on Twitter, writing, "All the nice guests who wonder why restaurants overbook and they sometimes have to wait for their res should thank people like those below." Oooh, burn!

Now, punishing people who don't show up for their reservations isn't exactly a new concept. Some restaurants require a credit card when you make the reservation and charge you if you fail to cancel 24 to 48 hours ahead of time. But this whole idea of public shaming via social media? Yeah, definitely unexpected -- and perhaps even crossing the line. But I still can't help but defend Ellis.


Because Red Medicine doesn't overbook their tables like some restaurants, his no-shows translate to no-dough. So, I can understand why he's outraged. But aside from that, I'm sure there are some people who would have liked to actually dine the night the no-shows didn't show. And it's simply not right that they were prevented from doing so because someone was too lazy to call up the restaurant and say, "Sorry, I can't make it in tonight. You can give our table away." 

Barring an emergency or completely kooky circumstances, I just can't see why someone wouldn't call and cancel their reservation. Even to call and tell the host you're running late for your reservation, so they're not wondering if you're a no-show. It doesn't matter if it's the hottest, trendiest, hardest-to-snag table in Beverly Hills or your neighborhood pizza joint. It's common courtesy when dining out. 

That said, not sure if Ellis' tweet-shaming is really going to teach anyone a lesson. But I'm still all for restaurants continuing to give these non-patrons a hard time. Because nine times out of ten, there's really no excuse for being a no-show.

What do you think about no-shows being publicly shamed on Twitter? Do you make a point to call and cancel restaurant reservations if you can't make it?


Image via Klearchos/Flickr

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