Unexpected Reasons Your Favorite Restaurant Might Blacklist You

It can be tough getting a restaurant reservation sometimes. Maybe it's a Michelin-starred restaurant, or maybe it's the buzziest restaurant in town. Or maybe it's because you're on the restaurant's blacklist. It's probably not surprising that bad behavior, like "swearing at staff or other guests, racism, physical violence and sexual exhibitionism," can get you blacklisted by a restaurant, reports The Guardian. According to Grub Street, other actions that could land you on the blacklist include cruelty towards staff or guests, theft, extreme drunkenness to the point of obnoxiousness, propositioning the staff, and multiple occasions where you spend a lot of time but not a lot of money at a table, where the majority of the party is more than an hour late, or you don't show up at all.

The issue of no-shows is a big one, and even one no-show could get you blacklisted from a restaurant. Dimmi, the largest restaurant booking service in Australia, decided to tackle the problem (which costs restaurants in Australia $75 million annually) by instituting a blacklist, and allowing restaurants on its platform to bar patrons for up to a year for no shows — in just one year of operation, the number of people on the blacklist swelled from 3,159 to 38,000, which then caused no-shows to decline by 25 percent, according to Broadsheet Australia.

You could get blacklisted from a restaurant before ever dining there

Dimmi may have formalized the no-show blacklist, but it's a principle that restaurants have already used on an informal basis in the past. A restaurant worker in Amsterdam spoke to Vice about how there was a dedicated WhatApp group of restaurant workers who shared the names and phone numbers of no-shows. There's also the No-show website in Australia, which shares a database of no-show diners with its restaurant subscribers, which means that you might get blacklisted from a restaurant before you've even had a chance to be a no show or exhibit any bad behavior.

In an extreme example, controversial chef Michael Jones researches potential diners ahead of time, and will cancel reservations or add them to his blacklist if he spots red flags, like a serial negative reviewer or someone who is frequently rude to restaurant staff, he explained to Bon Appétit. If that doesn't sound like you, then you probably don't have to worry about being on the blacklist of your favorite restaurant. Be respectful, and if you need to cancel your reservation, make sure you give the restaurant enough notice.