Scary/Fascinating NYT dining article


September 5, 2012 by Emily Pergament

God I love Wednesdays. That’s when the NTY dining section is updated. Today, there is an interesting (<–great adjective) article called What Restaurants Know (About You). Basically, some high-end restaurants keep a file on diners preferences, from what they want in their bread basket, to what they want that the restaurant doesn’t serve; from where they live, to who they know.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. God only knows what info about me is floating around the internet; I guess I shouldn’t mind that my favorite restaurant knows my anniversary and wine preference (it doesn’t, at least I can’t imagine any of our little neighborhood joints keeping track). But it still seems kinda icky when you think of some of the acronyms they use (for example “HSM” = “heavyset man.” Nice, right?).

Do you want your info kept on file? Are you surprised that restaurants do this?



6 thoughts on “Scary/Fascinating NYT dining article

  1. Rob says:

    This is great news – I hope Leng ( is tracking me so that they always have my Teow Tom Yom when we go

  2. Becky says:

    I would hope they wouldn’t assume that I want a particular item just because I had ordered it once or twice before. I might want something different this time. They could ask, and I would probably be impressed that they knew something about me that I didn’t think they’d remember. For example, fresh garlic doesn’t always sit well with me, and I like my salad dressing on the side. I would think this would have to be a pretty pricey restaurant, or I would have to dine there quite often.

  3. Mark says:

    Benihana sends me birthday coupons every year…

    You of all people shouldn’t be surprised about the acronyms Emily, you’re identified as “glasses” at bars!

  4. missk0504 says:

    New follower from Weddingbee–I definitely don’t think any of the places I go to are upscale enough to do this (I live in the fairly rural Midwest!) but I know if I was a regular, that would be kind of cool: of course, I’d kind of hope my servers would just remember, not have to write it down (especially not with some sort of degrading acronym like ATW–annoying tall woman or whatever :P)


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