Your Love is Like Red Medicine
If you have been trolling the internet I am sure you have at least seen the headline involving one of L.A.’s buzz worthy restaurants, Red Medicine. If you haven’t yet heard about this, you can read an article here. In short, the managing partner of Red Medicine, Noah Ellis, decided after having a frustrating weekend of no-shows (people not showing up for a reservation, or canceling at the last minute), he would publicly shame them by posting the names of the inconsiderate on Twitter with what some might call smart-alec comments. Some social media circles have dubbed it a Twitter tantrum. While some are applauding Ellis’ behavior towards rude non-customers. People from the L.A. restaurant world have also responded. Responses by restaurateurs are mixed. Quite honestly, I agree with the school of thought saying that this is a little too much. Yes, he is an accomplished “professional” in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He is a rising star! However, I hardly think that makes you bigger than the game. There are bigger names who have been in the game a lot longer who show more comportment than Ellis.
I understand that for smaller restaurants that depend on reservations rather than walk-in customers, a canceled 6-top or several 2-tops can be frustrating and can also severely cut into any profit for the night. However, if someone is that dependant on destination seeking clientele, would it behoove a manager to alienate said clientele? What kind of example does this set for the rest of his staff? Does it show his employees that it is OK to berate or otherwise treat customers however they see fit? It would definitely make me think twice about making a reservation at such a place that would have no problem airing dirty laundry regarding potential, current, or former customers. Heaven forbid that there was an emergency, someone fell ill, or someone got in an accident on the way to the restaurant to honor their reservation.
Maybe Ellis should manage an Ed Debevic’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the lack of consideration and respect for a restaurant and its employees when there is a no-show reservation or a last minute cancellation. I understand the frustration a small restaurant may feel. Yes, technically, Ellis has a basic First Amendment right to speak his mind. However, does he have a right to make diners a pariah in the gastro-munity or in the Twitter community? I don’t think he does.
This is not his first time using social media as a tool to air his, possibly unwanted, opinion. As stated in the Yahoo! article above, in 2010, Ellis infamously revealed the identity of restaurant critic, S. Irene Virbila by posting a picture of her on the internet before he kicked her out of his restaurant because he didn’t like her reviews. This guy may be just a little egotistical. I wonder what her review was after that night!
What do you think? Do you applaud Ellis’ behavior and remarks? Would you eat at one of his restaurants if you knew you may be a social media target? Do you think he is burning bridges? Leave comments below!