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Writer seeking serious foodies for article

Writer seeking serious foodies for article
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  • Writer seeking serious foodies for article

    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2013, 8:10 am
    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2013, 8:10 am Post #1 - May 2nd, 2013, 8:10 am
    Hey everybody,

    I'm a Chicago writer and editor working on a story for a local publication about high-end restaurants who research their clientele in advance of their visit via Google or social media. If you're someone who has had this done to you, please respond and let's get in touch. Serious replies only please.
  • Post #2 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:02 am
    Post #2 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:02 am Post #2 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:02 am
    CityFanatic wrote:Hey everybody,

    I'm a Chicago writer and editor working on a story for a local publication about high-end restaurants who research their clientele in advance of their visit via Google or social media. If you're someone who has had this done to you, please respond and let's get in touch. Serious replies only please.


    I would like to know which restaurants research their clientele ~ so I make sure I never go there.
  • Post #3 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:24 am
    Post #3 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:24 am Post #3 - May 2nd, 2013, 11:24 am
    I agree - that's just odd.
  • Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 9:12 pm
    Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 9:12 pm Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 9:12 pm
    I wouldn't call it "research" but we definitely Google names that seem familiar for whatever reason, whether they are names in a reservations book or on a credit card. It's nice to know who you are dealing with :wink: In my experience this type of quick query is pretty widespread.
  • Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 10:26 pm
    Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 10:26 pm Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 10:26 pm
    NeroW wrote:I wouldn't call it "research" but we definitely Google names that seem familiar for whatever reason, whether they are names in a reservations book or on a credit card. It's nice to know who you are dealing with :wink: In my experience this type of quick query is pretty widespread.


    and how would a restaurant use such information; to give preferential treatment to some guests, but not others? this gives me the creeps. i would definitely avoid visiting such places. and i think false names should be used by everyone from now on when making reservations at 'high-end' restaurants to foil this.
  • Post #6 - May 7th, 2013, 6:59 am
    Post #6 - May 7th, 2013, 6:59 am Post #6 - May 7th, 2013, 6:59 am
    justjoan wrote:
    NeroW wrote:I wouldn't call it "research" but we definitely Google names that seem familiar for whatever reason, whether they are names in a reservations book or on a credit card. It's nice to know who you are dealing with :wink: In my experience this type of quick query is pretty widespread.


    and how would a restaurant use such information; to give preferential treatment to some guests, but not others? this gives me the creeps. i would definitely avoid visiting such places. and i think false names should be used by everyone from now on when making reservations at 'high-end' restaurants to foil this.


    I don't think preferential. I guess it would be to see if there is anything they can find to make a better guest experience so that any customer would want to come back. That would be good for both parties.

    A couple of sales companies I've worked at recommended the same and it didn't matter if it was the receptionist, purchasing manager or dept head. Where many places compete for the same dollars service and experience are more important than ever. This is good for the customer IMO.

    If you can find information that will help you relate to and serve them better than the competition why would you not use it in any business?
  • Post #7 - May 7th, 2013, 7:02 am
    Post #7 - May 7th, 2013, 7:02 am Post #7 - May 7th, 2013, 7:02 am
    I'm not that surprised this is done, but I'm curious what kind of information a restaurant can typically get. Sure, for some people, you can out a lot about them through a simple google search. But for most people, you're lucky if you can find anything. I'd love to hear a simple example of what you might find and how you use it.
  • Post #8 - May 7th, 2013, 8:19 am
    Post #8 - May 7th, 2013, 8:19 am Post #8 - May 7th, 2013, 8:19 am
    Darren72 wrote:I'm not that surprised this is done, but I'm curious what kind of information a restaurant can typically get. Sure, for some people, you can out a lot about them through a simple google search. But for most people, you're lucky if you can find anything. I'd love to hear a simple example of what you might find and how you use it.


    I'm not in the restaurant business but will take a guess...
    Just ways to relate or find common ground to serve the customer better. Linkedin, facebook, twitter etc show schools, hometown, interests and what people are talking about in real time. Any of that can be good info. If I saw you relocated or were visiting from somewhere I could offer a special cocktail or a dish you might relate to differently than someone else and so forth.
  • Post #9 - May 7th, 2013, 9:12 am
    Post #9 - May 7th, 2013, 9:12 am Post #9 - May 7th, 2013, 9:12 am
    How would we know if they had done this? If they say "oh yes, we googled you and found out you love sour beers" or whatever, that would be just weird. And we might not notice if the place says "here's our drinks list, we are featuring sour beers this month"
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #10 - May 7th, 2013, 9:23 am
    Post #10 - May 7th, 2013, 9:23 am Post #10 - May 7th, 2013, 9:23 am
    leek wrote:How would we know if they had done this? If they say "oh yes, we googled you and found out you love sour beers" or whatever, that would be just weird. And we might not notice if the place says "here's our drinks list, we are featuring sour beers this month"


    I agree and If done with tact you shouldn't know.
  • Post #11 - May 7th, 2013, 9:32 am
    Post #11 - May 7th, 2013, 9:32 am Post #11 - May 7th, 2013, 9:32 am
    This is done all the time by high end restaurants. Eleven Madison Park is on record stating they do this.
  • Post #12 - May 7th, 2013, 9:35 am
    Post #12 - May 7th, 2013, 9:35 am Post #12 - May 7th, 2013, 9:35 am
    When we went to Grace, they had seen from my Twitter posts that I had a cold at the time. When we were brought back into the kitchen after dinner they gave me a huge container of chicken noodle soup and told me to feel better.

    It was easily the coolest thing that has ever happened to me in a restaurant.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #13 - May 7th, 2013, 11:25 am
    Post #13 - May 7th, 2013, 11:25 am Post #13 - May 7th, 2013, 11:25 am
    jesteinf wrote:When we went to Grace, they had seen from my Twitter posts that I had a cold at the time. When we were brought back into the kitchen after dinner they gave me a huge container of chicken noodle soup and told me to feel better.

    It was easily the coolest thing that has ever happened to me in a restaurant.


    That is indeed cool.

    I don't really see how this is any different than being a frequent visitor or customer.

    I just walked in to Little Goat & the host I usually see wasn't at the stand. I told a nice gent I was alone and he asked if I wanted to sit at the counter. I said yes and as he scooped up the menus there was the regular host and the the first words out of her mouth to the gent seating me were, "This is Ava." She asked how I was doing and that was it.

    Many of us like going where at least somebody knows our name. I don't think my service experience is better than anyone else's, but you can bet it is little things like that which encourage me to revisit a place where I already like the food.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #14 - May 7th, 2013, 12:21 pm
    Post #14 - May 7th, 2013, 12:21 pm Post #14 - May 7th, 2013, 12:21 pm
    Don't hate the player, hate the game. If you're worried about privacy invasions, best not to post any personal details on social media outlets or websites like this one. Once you put the information out there, you have to expect anyone out there may use it as they so desire.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #15 - May 7th, 2013, 12:41 pm
    Post #15 - May 7th, 2013, 12:41 pm Post #15 - May 7th, 2013, 12:41 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Don't hate the player, hate the game. If you're worried about privacy invasions, best not to post any personal details on social media outlets or websites like this one. Once you put the information out there, you have to expect anyone out there may use it as they so desire.

    =R=


    Exactly. Between linking accounts to Facebook, loyalty cards, OpenTable histories, and who knows what else you're already putting tons of information out there for restaurants and other businesses to mine. You basically have to withdraw from society at this point to maintain any sort of privacy or anonymity.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #16 - May 8th, 2013, 9:13 am
    Post #16 - May 8th, 2013, 9:13 am Post #16 - May 8th, 2013, 9:13 am
    I believe Charlie Trotter's used to keep an informal database of patrons preferences etc. If done with tact, it's a great extension of service. Although I have to say, no one has noted my dislike of edible goldleaf. I am served it all the time.
    MJN "AKA" Michael Nagrant
    http://www.michaelnagrant.com
  • Post #17 - May 8th, 2013, 9:37 am
    Post #17 - May 8th, 2013, 9:37 am Post #17 - May 8th, 2013, 9:37 am
    MJN wrote:Although I have to say, no one has noted my dislike of edible goldleaf. I am served it all the time.
    Brother I feel your pain! The other night at Two Way Grill I had to practically wrestle with the grill man to keep gold leaf off my burgers.

    Two Way Grill
    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 12:21 am
    Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 12:21 am Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 12:21 am
    If you are visiting a restaurant that employs people to Google you, it would seem to me that you need to consider their prices. If they can afford to pay for this in depth knowledge of their customer, hopefully, you can as well.
  • Post #19 - July 2nd, 2013, 11:41 am
    Post #19 - July 2nd, 2013, 11:41 am Post #19 - July 2nd, 2013, 11:41 am
    This looks like CityFanatic's story, very nice. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... on-appetit
    I do have to confess I once googled a customer's name after he paid with a premium credit card, but only because we had been having a really interesting conversation and I had snippets of information I could not piece together. He told me he was a professor in the Boston area, but teaching a summer class at Northwestern in something that was not his genre, mystery writing. We also had a discussion about our Lake Shore Drive seasoning, which someone in his family turned him onto. He ended up being Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha. I think we could have had a much more interesting conversation had I known that at the time, so I can kind of see how restaurants might consider this like doing their homework. As a business owner, the more levels you can connect on with a customer, the more likely they are to stay a customer.
  • Post #20 - July 2nd, 2013, 1:33 pm
    Post #20 - July 2nd, 2013, 1:33 pm Post #20 - July 2nd, 2013, 1:33 pm
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:This looks like CityFanatic's story, very nice. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... on-appetit
    I do have to confess I once googled a customer's name after he paid with a premium credit card, but only because we had been having a really interesting conversation and I had snippets of information I could not piece together. He told me he was a professor in the Boston area, but teaching a summer class at Northwestern in something that was not his genre, mystery writing. We also had a discussion about our Lake Shore Drive seasoning, which someone in his family turned him onto. He ended up being Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha. I think we could have had a much more interesting conversation had I known that at the time, so I can kind of see how restaurants might consider this like doing their homework. As a business owner, the more levels you can connect on with a customer, the more likely they are to stay a customer.

    He used my quote!
  • Post #21 - July 2nd, 2013, 4:32 pm
    Post #21 - July 2nd, 2013, 4:32 pm Post #21 - July 2nd, 2013, 4:32 pm
    Interesting article; interesting concept. And I have absolutely no problem with a restaurant researching prospective customers. We all conduct these type searches, every day. For instance, we may be preparing for a business meeting and want to learn about a company or the people we'll be meeting with, sometimes in order to tailor a presentation to that particular company or their personnel. It shows you care about how well you perform your services, and that you tailor your services to each particular client. We also research people to find out how to find common ground when we do meet. I think it's ridiculous to assume that restaurants should be different, i.e., that they should be one size fits all. It just doesn't make sense. And I think Josh's statements show how a restaurant's research can result in an even more positive visit for a guest. So instead of thinking big brother is watching you, think of why the restaurant would want this information . . . I'm confident it's not because they want to poison or threaten you. That would probably be bad for business.
  • Post #22 - August 7th, 2013, 7:42 am
    Post #22 - August 7th, 2013, 7:42 am Post #22 - August 7th, 2013, 7:42 am
    justjoan wrote: and i think false names should be used by everyone from now on when making reservations at 'high-end' restaurants to foil this.


    I dunno, no one seems to want to give "Oliver Clothesoff" or "Ivana Tinkle", which are pretty much the only names I can come up with, a table at Brindille.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #23 - August 7th, 2013, 9:15 am
    Post #23 - August 7th, 2013, 9:15 am Post #23 - August 7th, 2013, 9:15 am
    At a recent meal here in the city (at a place we'd been to a few times), for the first course my wife and I were presented with a single spoon: mine was placed on the right side, hers on her left.

    Yes, she's left handed.

    That blew my mind.
    "This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn." Bernard DeVoto, The Hour.
  • Post #24 - August 7th, 2013, 11:55 pm
    Post #24 - August 7th, 2013, 11:55 pm Post #24 - August 7th, 2013, 11:55 pm
    ReddiWhipSmart wrote:At a recent meal here in the city (at a place we'd been to a few times), for the first course my wife and I were presented with a single spoon: mine was placed on the right side, hers on her left.

    Yes, she's left handed.

    That blew my mind.


    I read that Next, so one can assume Alinea, uses left-handedness as one of their notations on a tables' card (VIP status was another, I can't remember the rest). Alas, I'm a lefty, have been to every season of Next, always make sure to sit on the left/outside of the table as to not hit hands with the person next to me, and staff has never made the adjustment. Oh well, they've also never given special gifts, like an extra course from the Kitchen Table menu, despite our repeat business. Good thing I'm comfortable as a lefty in a righty world, and my not so VIP status.

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