Ouch! Los Angeles restaurant uses Twitter to shame no-shows

If you have a reservation at Red Medicine in Los Angeles, you might want to consider showing up. Over the weekend, the top restaurant took to Twitter to out no-shows.

Red Medicine managing partner Noah Ellis shared his frustration with Eater:

The assholes who decide to no-show, or cancel 20 minutes before their reservation (because one of their friends made a reservation somewhere else) ruin restaurants (as a whole) for the people who make a reservation and do their best to honor it. Either restaurants are forced to overbook and make the guests (that actually showed up) wait, or they do what we do, turn away guests for some prime-time slots because they’re booked, and then have empty tables.

One of the no-shows told Grub Street, “I got a call from my mom saying my uncle had passed away and it was the last thing on my mind to call and cancel our reservation.”

So, was it the right thing to publicly call people out for rudeness or was this an unprofessional social media blunder? The tweets drew both cheers and jeers on Twitter.

Did Red Medicine open itself up to a prime trolling opportunity?

  • disqus_e2F2oUH6C7

    Did it ever occur to the restaurant, to try to contact the party who made the reservation? Here’s another, give the party who made the reservation, 15 min. after the time, then give the table to customers who are waiting for the table. Embarassing people is not good business, you really don’t know their circumstances.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brett.mcmicken Brett McMicken

      how long before they are flooded with reservations by people whose sole intention is getting called out for it on twitter? people who post pix of themselves making duck-lips will do anything for attention.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brett.mcmicken Brett McMicken

      how long before they are flooded with reservations by people whose sole intention is getting called out for it on twitter? people who post pix of themselves making duck-lips will do anything for attention.

    • stellatruman

      I agree…if customer doesn’t show within 15 min window, give the table to waiting customers or don’t take reservations. People should make a courtesy call , but as proven over and over, courtesy and manners are becoming overcome by rudeness and inconsideration .

      • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind

        Heck, you could cut that down to 5 minutes and most customers who are running late would probably understand, especially if they get there and the lobby is full of people.

      • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind

        Heck, you could cut that down to 5 minutes and most customers who are running late would probably understand, especially if they get there and the lobby is full of people.

  • http://apostrophejones.com/ Gloves Donahue, Jr.

    “Red Medicine?”
    What is that ,mercurochrome?
    That may be the worst name for a restaurant since “Ptomaine Sally’s.”.

    • CatHerder

      Worse than Security First Federal Bar & Grill?

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      I was thinking of the old Vick’s Formula 44 that had codeine. I’ll bet they’d have fewer no-shows if that was on the bar.

    • TexSizzle

      How about Salmonella’s from the Blondie comic strip?

    • TexSizzle

      How about Salmonella’s from the Blondie comic strip?

  • PeterP

    They did this for publicity and it worked! Genius marketing strategy. Twitchy should be paid a commission.

  • PeterP

    They did this for publicity and it worked! Genius marketing strategy. Twitchy should be paid a commission.

  • Jack Deth

    Memo to Red Medicine:

    Do you really want to upset the egos of a city that is ego personified?

    I can think of no quicker and efficient way of destroying your business than publicly calling out your guest listings. Especially in a city where any form of eatery has the lifespan of a Mayfly.

  • Jack Deth

    Memo to Red Medicine:

    Do you really want to upset the egos of a city that is ego personified?

    I can think of no quicker and efficient way of destroying your business than publicly calling out your guest listings. Especially in a city where any form of eatery has the lifespan of a Mayfly.

  • NeoKong

    ‘I’ll take the Dijon Salmon please…hold the attitude.”

    This is obviously somebody drunk tweeting after sitting at the bar hours after the restaurant has closed.

    Calling your customers “assholes” is never a good idea.
    All it does is show the way that they really think behind all those phony smiles.
    What if I am dining have to send my order back to the kitchen?
    Do I need to worry that the Sous chef isn’t in there having a tantrum over it..?

  • NeoKong

    ‘I’ll take the Dijon Salmon please…hold the attitude.”

    This is obviously somebody drunk tweeting after sitting at the bar hours after the restaurant has closed.

    Calling your customers “assholes” is never a good idea.
    All it does is show the way that they really think behind all those phony smiles.
    What if I am dining have to send my order back to the kitchen?
    Do I need to worry that the Sous chef isn’t in there having a tantrum over it..?

  • Zule

    All I know for certain is that I sure as hell don’t want to make a reservation with these vindictive jerks.

    Does anybody think they treat people who complain about service or problems at the restaurant with any less contempt?

    The service industry has gone downhill. Now a customer is expected to thank a server profusely for simply doing their job.

  • Zule

    All I know for certain is that I sure as hell don’t want to make a reservation with these vindictive jerks.

    Does anybody think they treat people who complain about service or problems at the restaurant with any less contempt?

    The service industry has gone downhill. Now a customer is expected to thank a server profusely for simply doing their job.

  • Wroemance

    Seymore Butts and Jim Shorts will be making reservations shortly.

    • Andy Rigo

      Imagine the tweets if Mike Hunt is a no-show!

    • johncunningham

      not to forget Dr. Jack Mehoff, Ms. Fonda Cox, etc

  • Wroemance

    Seymore Butts and Jim Shorts will be making reservations shortly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.white.16 Joseph A White

    The same thing happens with airline reservations and DMV reservations. Al;l of you no-shows are the reason that “reservations” are now worthless. Businesses are forced to over book their resources. Y’all have only yourselves to blame when you are forced to wait. Even WITH your reservation.

    • AaronHarrisinAlaska

      That’s why some places now have reservation deadlines. If you don’t show up with in fifteen minutes to half an hour of your reservation they give your table to the next people waiting in line.

      There’s a Red Lobster in Reno that asks you show up five minutes before your reservation. Will call you if you don’t show on the hour, and then give your table if you don’t show with in five minutes

      • yestradamous

        That’s smart. Because if you are heading the the restaurant and you are delayed, you can always call and tell them you’ll be late.

    • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind

      You are not publicly shamed if you don’t show up for DMV or airline reservations.

      And by the way one of the publicly outed no-shows had a death in the family. http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2013/03/red-medicine-no-show-responds.html

      Is he or she really supposed to drop everything and make sure to call the restaurant? Seriously?

    • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind

      You are not publicly shamed if you don’t show up for DMV or airline reservations.

      And by the way one of the publicly outed no-shows had a death in the family. http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2013/03/red-medicine-no-show-responds.html

      Is he or she really supposed to drop everything and make sure to call the restaurant? Seriously?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.white.16 Joseph A White

    The same thing happens with airline reservations and DMV reservations. Al;l of you no-shows are the reason that “reservations” are now worthless. Businesses are forced to over book their resources. Y’all have only yourselves to blame when you are forced to wait. Even WITH your reservation.

  • JR48

    The restaurant business has taken a hit in this economy and I don’t think that it’s wise to call your clientele, assholes.

    The guy is free to run his business as he sees fit, but if I were faced with two restaurants, both with great food, and one had impeccable customer relations and some owner that calls his guests assholes, I’ll pick the former.

    Sometimes people are rude, and sometimes crap happens and to immediately assume that all people are being flippantly rude is ridiculous. I would also add that although to the owner this may be his business, to any of his clientele, this is merely dinner. Yes, it’s poor form to not call and cancel a reservation, but it’s not a crime that you need to be outed for. At least not unless you live in an alternate universe.

    Once you started slinging obscenities, you’ve lost your moral high ground. File this under ‘restaurants that I won’t be going to when i’m in the LA area’…

  • Baba Ghanoush

    Why do I get this feeling that their rate of no-shows is going to increase?

  • Baba Ghanoush

    Why do I get this feeling that their rate of no-shows is going to increase?

  • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind
    • Thomas D

      To be precise: At least one of the prospective customers claims to have had a death in the family.

      (And should have called the restaurant to cancel anyway.)

      • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind

        To be precise, one of the customers claims to have had a death in the family: “I won’t be back at their establishment anytime soon…”

        But if you have a death in the family, you be sure to take time out from your grieving loved ones to complete the all-important task of saving the restaurant 5 seconds work giving away your table, k? Let the grandchildren cry; the strangers at the restaurant are who you should worry about.

    • Thomas D

      To be precise: At least one of the prospective customers claims to have had a death in the family.

      (And should have called the restaurant to cancel anyway.)

  • https://twitter.com/thehiredmind Hired Mind
  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    The Phil McCrackin party of 12…right this way.

  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    The Phil McCrackin party of 12…right this way.

  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    Hello, I’d like to reserve a table for 8….names Jack Mehoff.

  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    Hello, I’d like to reserve a table for 8….names Jack Mehoff.

  • Malishious Intent

    Ha, can I haz more public shaming plz?

  • Malishious Intent

    Ha, can I haz more public shaming plz?

  • Right Wired

    My buddy Hugh Jas is never allowed to make reservations.

  • Right Wired

    My buddy Hugh Jas is never allowed to make reservations.

  • aegean1

    Good for them! I’m paid by commission, so when a customer doesn’t show up and doesn’t have the decency to call, I lose money. I have to turn other customers away because as far as I know, the appointment is filled. If there isn’t an emergency, not calling and cancelling is incredibly disrespectful.

    I don’t think I’d want to call them out on Twitter though. Just take down their names and refuse future service (or charge a fee for the past no show).

  • JTHC75

    They’re free to do it, but what a terrible business move. Do they really lose much? Isn’t there a waiting list for walk-ins? In any case, the last few tweets show why this is a terrible idea–they’re going to get trolled. so. hard.

  • Dantes

    snobby LA restaurant disses customers…this is a story?

  • yestradamous

    I’ll be interested to see how this plays out for them.
    We ARE becoming a less considerate population, but certain restaurants act like if you sign up to eat there you better spend a certain amount of dough including drinks, dessert and coffees to inflate the bill or don’t even waste their time.
    So the public figures they are just cash cows and act that way, I guess.

  • bobby_b

    Take a credit card number with a reservation. Explain that no-shows will incur a $20 (or $50 or whatever) fee.

    End of problem.

  • bobby_b

    Take a credit card number with a reservation. Explain that no-shows will incur a $20 (or $50 or whatever) fee.

    End of problem.

  • grichens

    It leaves a person to wonder what their staff might do, when no-one’s looking, to the food of a patron with whom they hold a grudge.