Should Restaurants Ban Customers Who Skip Out on Reservations?

 Originally posted on by Christopher Osburn

We’ve all done it: You make reservations at a swanky restaurant for a late dinner on Friday. You need to call ahead days (or weeks) in advance to get a spot. But the day comes and you have better things to do. Maybe you’re immersed in a Netflix Binge or ordering a pizza seems like a better option than getting dressed up for a 10pm reservation that you were only able to talk yourself into by lying about being a diplomat from some small foreign nation.

So you don’t show up to the restaurant and they’re left wondering where you are and why they’re reserving a table for someone who isn’t coming. When you make a doctor’s appointment and don’t show up, they charge you for wasting their time. Maybe, some people think, there should be a similar penalty in the restaurant business.

Well, there is. It’s not happening in the US yet, but if you live in Australia and you decide dinner at your in-laws is a better option than showing up for your restaurant reservation, you could be blacklisted from making reservations in the future. If that’s not a rough penalty, we don’t know what is. Keep it up and Little Caesars won’t even accept your orders. No more Hot-N-Ready Crazy Bread for you because you can’t keep your word.

One of the most popular online restaurant booking apps, Dimmi, started blacklisting flaky customers last year. Currently, 38,000 people are on this not-so-enviable list. If you don’t think that’s a lot of people, you should know that there were just over 3,000 people on the list last year. That’s a pretty big leap in careless customers in only one year.

“The industry is better without this customer,” Dimmi founder Stevan Premutico told Australian site Broadsheet. “They are the guys who cripple the profitability of these restaurants, who make them charge more for the rest of us.”

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About VSheree

V. Sheree Williams is the publisher of Cuisine Noir Magazine, the country's first digital and print culinary magazine that connects the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. For more, in-depth stories, visit
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