Are upscale restaurants the new Big Brother?

It’s 2010. Almost 40 percent of people are okay with restaurants googling them if it means special treatment, and about 4 percent hope restaurants would research them. Sixteen percent find it a little strange and another 15 find it creepy, according to a CNN Poll. That was then. 4 years later the fact that restaurant staff is turning into stalkeratti is hardly news. But with software and website like OpenTable and Venga, taking notes on restaurant patrons is easier now than ever before. And our debate-loving alter ego can’t resist shedding light and evoking a response.

While our celebs may be wary of the stalker syndrome, even they can’t help bask in personalized service so why should the average Joe? Especially if the average Joe loves to take selfies and post them online besides a whole lot of other info! Because it is that info a maître d’ sifts through to find anything that can help make a customer feel special and at home. Take Justin Roller of Eleven Madison Park, par example. “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together.” He’d even go to the lengths of discovering which anniversary it is in order to serve a couple better, according to reports.

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The trend doesn’t stop in New York though. It even applies to Alinea, Next, Moto and iNG from Chicago. And hundreds of other restaurants! Which brings us some soul-searching questions. How close do our cyber selves really come to the real ones? Or what about good old hospitality that built genuine relationships, not today’s skewed results of recon? And don’t even get me started on the alarming levels of “invasion of privacy” in my Chicken Cordon Bleu, which leaves an aftertaste no amount of Pinot Noir can wash off. So, it’s really up to you decide what good service means to you and how much of your public info you’d like used by restaurants.

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[Via – Huffingtonpost]