No, not the government. Well, okay, yes, the government. But also the restaurants:
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.
“We will write if the person is kosher or can’t eat shellfish,” said Ed Schoenfeld, who owns RedFarm in the West Village. “And we take note of the people who sat for six and a half hours last time, so next time we are sure to give them an uncomfortable seat.”
I long for the day when every restaurant in the land just knows that I want a pitcher of water delivered to my table so I never have to worry about my glass sitting dry. I essentially take a drink between every bite and so need either a really attentive server or a pitcher. Few follow through with the pitcher even though I try to warn them I’ll be driving them crazy (or frustrated the whole meal) if they don’t.