Whale? Double fire? Camper? What does it all mean?


‘That Customer Is a Whale!’ Restaurant Industry Code Words Revealed

OpenTable published data that reveals exactly what restaurants know (and whisper) about you before you arrive

Just as teachers talk about their students in the faculty room, restaurant workers talk about their customers behind the swinging doors. But don’t worry: It’s usually in an effort to guarantee smooth sailing service and customer satisfaction. OpenTable sifted through data available through the Guest Notes section of its business app to take a look at the most common notes (and names!) given to customers.

“Diners don’t often think about how the magic happens behind the scenes at restaurants,” said Amanda Botelho, Marketing Director, Restaurant Industry Relations at OpenTable. “It used to be that the maître d' catalogued guest preferences and habits on note cards or in their impressive memory banks, but it’s now technology that is playing a key role in helping restaurants deliver next-level hospitality for guests and is making them feel like VIPs, whether they are visiting from out of town or are local regulars.”

Here are some of the code names used for customers:

!!!! = See manager

Camper = A guest that like to linger

Double Fire = Restaurant critic

FOC = Friend of the chef

HWC = Handle with care

Inv = Investor

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PX = Person extraordinaire Whale = Guest likely to spend a lot of money on liquor