PR over integrity ?!?

In this age of celebrity is it right for dining establishments to cash in on their famous patrons ?

Some establishments are known to be regular haunts of celebrities, Nobu (incidentally in the same hotel as The Met Bar), Babbington House, The Ivy, The Embassy Club to name a few. In 2004 The Lloyds TSB banking group actually published a handy nine page guide to where celebrities actually dined : Guide . But with the advent of social networking sites in recent years where hotels & restaurants can inform their followers at a drop of a concierge’s hat who is dining in their restaurant.

Not so long ago, there were just user driven websites like Tripadvisor, Toptable etc which would point out by their users who frequented which bars. But these are open to to abuse (like the former Great British Menu chef who posted a glowing report on his own food, despite not dining actually in the restaurant), rivals can do poor reviews and potentially damage a business. As witnessed by a recent attack on a Michelin starred chef, an alleged rival posted a review on Tripadvisor about dishes that he didn’t even have on the menu. In some ways a new website PostGlow gets around the negative review by only allowing positive ones.

There are all and sundry types of catering establishments on Twitter, and we see them using it in a positive light. The likes of Malmaison & Hotel du Vin brands use the retweet for an opportunity to enter a draw to great effect, along with advertising special offers. Yet some of them are trying to promote themselves in a more tabloid way.

This picture is taken from a link that a central London hotel posted on Twitter:

Singer Kelis leaving The *#*#, London to promote her new single ‘Acapella’

Obviously the internet is always a viper’s nest of gossip concerning celebrities and their eating habits, but surely guests, however famous deserve a level of privacy when dining out. Is it right that members of staff discuss quite openly on forums & chat rooms who they’ve served and their dining requirements?

So a quick flick through the internet and this is what we’ve found:

Holly Hunter—Sweet, charming, straight 20% on the check total.

Jennifer Jason Leigh—An odd duck, but she always leaves at least 20%. If her boyfriend picks up the check, you’re looking at 18%.

Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman—She’s great, he’s kind of an ass, though he did say he was sorry when he snapped his fingers to get a server’s attention. 20% tip.

Christy Turlington and Jason Patric—Regular customers, 18-20% tippers. She EATS.

Another website:

I have cooked for Craig Charles…….Bianca………and the bird from T-Pau.

All D list but well behaved. Although Craig Charles did smoke a dooby in the bogs.

Susan Sarandon would only eat in her room and had the same food 4 nights running.

Yoko Ono ordering meat.  On a only fish restarant summer menu

Surely if staff name and ‘shame’ these celebs they aren’t going to come back & this can potentially harm a restaurant. Hmmm a lack of integrity is actually bad PR.

So if you work in an establishment and have access to the company Twitter or FaceBook account, maybe think twice before you post about the latest flavour of the month dining with you, there are enough websites out there to do it for you.

Ways of sharing your message on the internet

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