Food & Drink

The Reverse Yelp: Restaurants Can Now Review Customers, Too


Your restaurant is watching you. Or if it isn’t yet, it probably will be soon. The Sydney-based restaurant reservation system Dimmi ResDiary, Australia’s version of OpenTable (OPEN), allows participating restaurants to track and rate customers’ dining “performance”—what they ordered, how much they tipped, whether they made any demanding requests (take note, dressing-on-the-side people), and anything else that might prepare waiters for their arrival.  “Diners will behave better, tip better, treat staff better. It will help improve the industry and may help the diner get that all important upgrade next time,” Dimmi Chief Executive Officer Stevan Premutico told the Australian website GoodFood. Think of it as a reverse Yelp (YELP)—the restaurants’ way of reviewing you.

Dimmi allows any of its 2,500 member restaurants to inform the others about you—if you prefer to have a drink before you order, if you like to sit in booths more often than chairs, if you’re allergic to cashews. There’s nothing to stop a restaurant from writing other things about you—including what you do for a living and whether or not you’re attractive.

This is, of course, in addition to the old fashioned Google (GOOG) search that some restaurant hosts already employ. According to Grubstreet, the maître d’ of New York’s Eleven Madison Park does a Web search of all guests before they arrive so he can recognize faces and congratulate them if they’re coming in for a special occasion such as a birthday. (He also checks to make sure guests aren’t fellow chefs in disguise.)

What does this mean for customers? Assuming you’re well behaved and you tip appropriately, you may not notice anything different. If you look like Miranda Kerr, you might suddenly get much better service. But if you’re too picky or too difficult, the only table available to you might be next to a bathroom.

Suddath is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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  • YELP
    (Yelp Inc)
    • $54.59 USD
    • 2.10
    • 3.85%
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