- Employees at a high-end Manhattan restaurant told the New York Post that they Google anyone who makes a reservation to make sure they’re rich.
- The Post said it obtained a document that confirmed there’s a “reservation protocol” at the 20-seat Fleming by Le Bilboquet.
- “We want to keep the restaurant for special people only,” one waiter told the Post.
- A representative for the restaurant told the Post that it does Google its guests but that it doesn’t accept only people who are rich and famous.
- “What the staff is claiming is absolutely not true and whoever said it is making it up,” the representative, Josh Vlasto, told the Post.
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It’s easy for anyone to feel insecure at a high-end restaurant. It’s even easier if you know the staff Googled you before you arrived.
According to the New York Post, Fleming by Le Bilboquet, a 20-seat restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, asks its staff to Google guests who try to make a reservation to make sure they’re fabulous and wealthy enough to eat there.
The Post said it talked to employees and obtained a document, titled the “Fleming Hostess Reservation Protocol,” confirming that the restaurant has a strict policy for staff members to track emailed reservation requests and “pull up each unknown guest on google.”
The document also said requests for a reservation at the restaurant have to be discussed with a manager named Alex, according to the Post.
A waiter at the restaurant, which is owned by the billionaire Ronald Perelman and the restaurateur Philippe Delgrange, told the publication: “Yes, we Google people. We want to keep the restaurant for special people only.”
The waiter added: “There are more rich than famous people coming in but we get Robert De Niro, Paul McCartney, Ivanka Trump. We want to maintain a certain environment for our customers, rich people, even if it means we’re slow.”
Another employee told the Post that anyone who doesn’t pass the Google screening doesn’t get a response to their reservation request – and that to be accepted, they have to be “rich.”
Josh Vlasto, a representative for Fleming by Le Bilboquet, told the Post that while the restaurant does Google its guests, it’s untrue that it denies seats to people who aren’t rich and famous.
“What the staff is claiming is absolutely not true and whoever said it is making it up,” he said
Fleming isn’t the only restaurant that Googles its guests before they arrive.
Eleven Madison Park has long used information it finds online to tailor a guest’s visit, like celebrating birthdays and anniversaries to pairing diners from a certain state with a server from that state, according to Grub Street.
In 2014, a staff member at Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s Manhattan restaurant, told ABC News that employees use Google every time a guest makes a reservation “just to see if they’re in the business, maybe if they’re a chef or work in the industry.”
An employee at Babbo added that employees there Google a guest to find out if they’re an entertainer or a TV personality so that they can seat them in a private area and ensure the service is outstanding.
Fleming by Le Bilboquet did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.