Open Table: Can be used for you and against you


September 26, 2012 by Diniquette

There was an article published on 8/16/12, on called: SECRET RESTAURANT LINGO EQUAL PARTS OFFENSIVE AND AMAZING…….restaurants DO use code words, under your reservation name in Open Table, to describe how you behave.  I have seen this with my own eyes, and I have personally typed notes in the system regarding certain guests. The reason that restaurants use code words is in case you, the guest, are standing close enough to the screen to read it.  The words will mean nothing to you, therefore you won’t be offended;(assuming those notes are not flattering).

Example: SCREAMER means you are a guest who talks very loud. So loud that other guests around you have complained.

Now I can’t “out” all the codes we use, (if I did that I fear I would find a fish on my doorstep), however I will tell you the good and the bad of this.

GOOD: if you are a lovely guest. If you were NICE and tipped appropriately and/or generously: that is documented under your reservation name. So the next time you make a reservation we can see that you are a guest we’d be thrilled to have back, due to your past behavior, and sometimes that translates into swag: perhaps a mid-course gift or an extra dessert or even a glass of bubbly.  I will say this over and over: IT PAYS TO BE NICE!

BAD: if you were VILE. If you were 45 minutes late for your reservation. If you have entitlement issues. If you treated the server like a servant. If you didn’t tip…etc, etc…. that WILL be documented.  How does that work against you?  I actually worked in one Michelin Star restaurant where the GM would write in Open Tables, under the reservation name:”a table will NEVER be available to them”.  He actually would try to block guests, who were horrible, from ever getting a table. (I’m sure the owners wouldn’t have been happy about this, but it happened).

Let’s look at it this way: Let’s say it’s a Saturday night and there is only one table available at 7:30pm.  2 different guests are vying for that table.  One has NICE Open Table notes/codes and the other has BAD notes/codes……who do you think gets the table?

REMEMBER: JUST BE NICE, because though all restaurants want your business, your experience will vary greatly depending on those codes!

Thanks for reading.


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