Here’s something you may or may not know: Many of the best restaurants in the world research their guests online prior to a shift, with a view to learning something that will help them give those diners truly personalized, exceptional hospitality.
We were curious how people might feel about that, so we decided to ask U.S. OpenTable members, “When restaurants Google you, is it creepy or cool?” More than 6,000 chimed in with their responses, which led to the following interesting findings:
“Creepy” trumps “cool”
While many people aren’t bothered by the notion of being Googled by restaurant staff, the number of people who consider it “creepy or intrusive” outweighs the number of people who think it’s a good thing.
Many of the 5 percent who answered “other” seemed baffled by the notion. “Not sure about that. What will they really get?” wondered one respondent. “Too much of a ‘Big Brother’ feeling,” commented another. “These must be expensive restaurants!” reasoned a third.
Diners in some cities are more creeped out than others
When we looked at the data by metro area, we saw a fair amount of variation. The most relaxed about this practice were our diners in Dallas, which was, in fact, the only city where those who think it’s a good thing (34 percent) outweighed those who consider it creepy (23 percent).
Meanwhile, respondents from cities farther north (think Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis) were a lot more suspicious of being researched by a restaurant at which they were about to dine.Continue Reading