Grace Dent: A restaurant that checks me out before arriving? No thanks

It’s a trend that must be destroyed before it crosses the Pond

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The Independent Online

“If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together,” explains Justin Roller, the maître d’ of the New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

Justin is speaking about using Facebook for research to give his clientele the best possible experience. Birthdays, anniversaries, professions, likes and dislikes – all this info is now fair game for cheery schmoozing in what is, to my mind, a sinister hospitality trend. And it’s a trend that must be destroyed before it crosses the Pond, gets into the wrong hands and ruins our lives here.

“Ah, Mr Smith, another girlfriend from the one in your holiday photos, I see! No wonder your relationship status is ‘complicated’,” the chipper berk at your local Italian will soon be shouting. “By the way, don’t worry, sir, we’ve taken clams off the tasting menu as we saw they gave you the squits in 2007. You wrote it on Big Tez’s wall just before chucking a sheep. Classic bantz!”

Diners of Britain: it’s time to re-examine your security settings.

Twitter: @gracedent