Are You OK With A Restaurant Googling You If It Improves Customer Service?

If you apply for a job, you can rest assured that someone will Google your name or look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere before hiring you. If you meet someone via an online dating service, he or she has probably (and wisely) made repeated efforts to look you up on publicly available social media sources in order to make sure you’re not a suspected serial killer. But when you make a reservation at a restaurant, you probably don’t expect anyone there to do any research about you.

But the maitre d’ at Manhattan’s swanky Eleven Madison Park tells Grub Street he does his due diligence about every guest who makes a reservation. But he says this research isn’t about e-stalking or scoping out good-looking/wealthy customers. Instead, he claims he’s trying to learn about the guests in order to improve customer service.

For instance, if he sees that it’s a particular visitor’s birthday, he’ll greet them with a “Happy Birthday” when they arrive. The same goes for anniversaries.

He also will pair diners with servers and sommeliers who may have similar or shared interests and backgrounds.

“If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together,” he explains.

At the same time, the maitre d’ says that if his research determines that the customer would rather keep a low profile while visiting the restaurant, he’ll respect that.

This is the kind of service that some may expect when visiting a restaurant like Eleven Madison Park, which has three Michelin stars, and where you could spend a good chunk of your annual salary over dinner. But it may be off-putting to some people.

That’s why we wanted to ask y’all your opinion:

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