Increasingly, restaurants are recording whether you are a regular, a first-timer, someone who lives close by or a friend of the owner or manager. They archive where you like to sit, when you will celebrate a special occasion and whether you prefer your butter soft or hard, Pepsi over Coca-Cola or sparkling over still water. In many cases, they can trace your past performance as a diner; how much you ordered, tipped and whether you were a “camper” who lingered at the table long after dessert…Much of this information is discreetly embedded in an alphabet soup of acronyms that pops up on the computer screen when a restaurant employee checks you in, managers and employees at a number of high-end New York restaurants said in interviews. The wine whale may show up as WW. If a free appetizer lands on your table at Osteria Morini in SoHo, chances are your file says SFN — something for nothing…At Marea, Michael White’s Italian restaurant on Central Park South, for instance, the hedge fund manager William A. Ackman is a regular and one of many customers who rates an NR, never refuse. What the computer does not say (but the general manager, Rocky Cirino, knows) is that servers can never seat Mr. Ackman next to Carl C. Icahn, another big Wall Street name. The two have sued each other. [NYT]

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Comments (67)

  1. Posted by Cliff Asness | September 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Clothed Superman from Planet of Sybians? I don't get this.

  2. Posted by InfiniteGuest | September 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Culturally Sophisticated Man, Friend, Person of Substance .

  3. Posted by Randy Marsh | September 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I know it but I'm not sure if I should say it

  4. Posted by Lowly Assistant | September 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    You're a pal and a confidant.

  5. Posted by Sean | September 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    GFY

  6. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Crank, Slurps Margs, Feigns Poverty, Overly Sensitive

  7. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    JSEO = Jews Suing Each Other? A freaking common designation, I'm guessing.

    – Deplorable Motives

  8. Posted by Excel Monkey | September 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    SFN? Single French Nun?

    CNT?

  9. Posted by Incitatus | September 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    One of the more elaborate systems assigns each diner a single shape from the game "Tetris."

  10. Posted by güest | September 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Wait, did Bess just call Icahn a cunt slob mother fucker piece of shit?

  11. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Are there any Jews in NYC that haven't sued each other?

    – curious goy

  12. Posted by Deleveraging | September 5, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    These systems only work if you have a staff that is smart enough to understand it and capable of being motivates by such a treasure trove of information. The fact of the matter is, if you have a service staff that cares, they don't need a computer to tell them who's the asshole and who's the sport.

    – Guy who will intentionally reduces the size of the tip when a waiter makes it a point of telling me how many drinks he did not charge me for.

  13. Posted by Foghorn Leghorn | September 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I think the "S" is for suck.

  14. Posted by pazzo83 | September 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I'd hate to see what I rate at the diner around the corner…

  15. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    WW = 'weally wittle' – ordering by price to compensate for other inadequacies, from the Asian pronunciation

    e.g. 'Yes, sir, the Chateau Petrus with the sea bass would be my choice as well.'

    Often followed by 'I can see you and your daughter are going to have an exceptional evening.'

  16. Posted by guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Is your acronym BFA?

  17. Posted by Pissedoff&gated | September 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Matt Levine TLDR
    *
    **

  18. Posted by I Bet This Exists | September 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Matt Levine and the roughly 58% of the people on his "people to sue/take advantage of via informational disparities baked into complex derivative product/bore to death with charts" spreadsheet.

  19. Posted by I Bet This Exists | September 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    That are Jewish I meant to have at the end there, god that was so Falcone-ish of me.

    -Guy who used to be referred to as Piper-Jaffrayish by his friends, even though he didn't work there.

  20. Posted by guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    BTSH2NA = "Brought the Same Hooker 2 Nights Ago" is a very popular one amongst the hedgie and PE crowd

  21. Posted by guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    now we understand. except for every word you wrote.

  22. Posted by Nick Lachey | September 5, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    All right, let's go over the signals. If I tug the bill of my cap like so, it means the signal is a fake. However, I can take that off by dusting my hands thusly. If I want you to bunt, I will touch my belt buckle not once, not twice, but thrice.

  23. Posted by guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    My computer is telling me you're an asshole. Mostly because I'm using it to read your insufferable thoughts on how to punish waiters who displease you.

  24. Posted by Jim Lahey | September 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    First person to make a dorsia joke gets smacked.

    -Guy who doesn't follow his own rules

  25. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Stiffing a waiter an extra $1.50 for allowing you free Pepsi refills to go with the all you can eat salad and bread sticks is very harsh.

  26. Posted by E. Cartman | September 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Impossible. Bachelors of Fine Arts cannot afford to be discerning with gratuities.

    – UBS Higher-Ed Quant

  27. Posted by güest | September 5, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    BFA<CFA

  28. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    don't forget the Attorney General crowd

  29. Posted by Linestepper | September 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    No one goes there anymore

  30. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Too crowded?

  31. Posted by guest | September 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    governors…

  32. Posted by Fatandhappy | September 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Signal for me: BO

  33. Posted by G Costanza | September 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I have to go return some video tapes…

  34. Posted by Guest | September 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    So when Durpi walks in they have "HTFHBF"? ( here to find her baby's father )

  35. Posted by G Costanza | September 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    im sure there are a few, anti-semite.

  36. Posted by Nutless Monkey | September 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Cock sucking, mother fucking piece of shit

  37. Posted by Confuzzled | September 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Or…Cock Sucking Mother Fucking Piece of Shit?

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    You should make an appointment for him

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