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"Thank You For Screwing Over My Restaurant And My Staff": This Restaurant Owner's Response To A Customer Canceling His Reservation Has Garnered Over 24 Million Views, And A Lot Of Backlash

"The decision to reach out to a customer with such a scolding and disparaging message is, frankly, astounding."

In today's food news, a Boston restaurant is currently facing backlash online for its response to a customer's canceled reservation. Jen Royle, owner of Table, located in Boston's North End, became entangled in a heated exchange with a prospective customer, Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro, after he canceled his reservation on Jan. 6 because of an alleged hospitalization.

Jen Royle standing in front of Table's entrance with hands on hips, smiling, wearing a denim dress and red headband

Over the past week, the story has garnered national attention, with creators on TikTok dissecting the exchange. One user, Nikki Mack (@nikki_mackk), has already created a multipart series on the interaction, which has received hundreds of thousands of views. Dave Cullinane (@playthehitslive) has also posted multiple videos about the heated exchange, including screenshots of now seemingly deleted tweets and story posts.

Thousands of commenters have weighed in on the situation, with one user commenting on Dave's video, "I am unreasonably invested in this mess."

Here's what happened: In a thread posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) last Thursday, Trevor showed screenshots of his back-and-forth messages with Table's account on Instagram, seemingly initiated by Jen. The conversation started with Jen sarcastically thanking Trevor for "screwing over my restaurant and staff" after Trevor used his credit card's travel insurance to get reimbursed for the restaurant's $250 reservation cancellation fee. "I really hope in the future you have more respect for restaurants, especially small businesses such as mine. Pathetic," Jen concluded in her message. The thread has now been viewed over 24 million times.

Wild story incoming. Last month, we had to cancel our Boston trip after I was hospitallized. As a result I had to use travel insurance to get my money back on our hotel, train, and restaurant reservations. Today I got this message from @tableboston pic.twitter.com/d7jc84rllJ

— ghostface stuck on the subway (@trevorshowvan) February 22, 2024
Twitter: @trevorshowvan

On Resy, the app that Table uses to collect reservations, the restaurant mentions its policy of 72-hour notice for cancellations and state that same-day cancellations and no-shows are charged full price for the $125-per-person prix fixe meal.

Image summarizes a restaurant's 72-hour cancellation policy, charging full price for late cancellations, with an emphasis on no exceptions

Trevor proceeded to respond to Jen, stating that his decision to use his credit card's travel insurance was "not made lightly" or "to 'screw over'" the restaurant or staff but that he needed to cancel the reservation because he was in the ER.

Screenshot of Trevor's message to Jen stating that the decision to use his insurance was not made lightly and was done due to being hospitalized, which is covered by his credit card's travel insurance

According to Trevor, his husband allegedly tried to call the restaurant to explain the situation to the staff before disputing the fee, but Trevor said that he was told to "take it up" with his credit card if he was "so butt hurt."

A message from Trevor to Jen detailing that his husband had called the restaurant and expressing shock at the tone of Jen's "scolding and disparaging" response

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Table staff claimed never to have received a call from Trevor or his husband on Jan. 6 regarding their reservation, stating that the restaurant was not open at the time. According to Table's attorney, Michael Ford, Jen allegedly attempted to email Trevor when they were notified of the disputed charge approximately one month after the original reservation date, but she did not receive a response.

In subsequent messages to Trevor and through Instagram story posts, Jen seemingly doubled down on her frustration over the credit card dispute and continued to claim that neither she nor her staff received a call on the date in question.

Text exchange between Jen and Trevor, with Jen saying he should have contacted the restaurant before disputing the charge through his credit card, and she hopes he has "more respect for restaurants in the future"

Trevor denied her claim and reiterated that his husband had called and spoken to staff.

Trevor reiterates that he did call the restaurant to explain his situation

In their statement, Table also claimed that Trevor did not request reimbursement through his travel insurance but instead disputed the charges. Jen highlighted this in yet another message to Trevor, accusing him of insurance fraud.

A message from Jen to Trevor accusing him of insurance fraud because he used his credit card travel insurance and then disputed the fee, and saying he never spoke to staff

Trevor responded that after following the standard procedure of contacting the restaurant first, to no avail, he made "a claim for the situation at hand, after which the credit card company handles the matter according to their policies." "My role in this process ends upon submission of the claim," he continued. "The actions taken by the credit card company thereafter, including any disputes, are conducted under their discretion and authority, not mine."

trevor responding to jen that he submitted the claim and what the credit card company did thereafter was out of his hands

Jen claimed that her team was not made aware of Trevor's hospitalization until recently, since, according to the credit card dispute (which a Table representative sent a copy of to BuzzFeed), the reason for the cancellation was a delayed train from New York City to Boston. Tweets from Trevor on Jan. 6 indicate that his Amtrak train was severely delayed that day.

We need a more diverse train system than just Amtrak. 4.5 hours of waiting at Penn to head to Boston and still not out of the city. We are getting off and turning around. So much money down the toilet.

— chase travel insurance it girl (@trevorshowvan) January 6, 2024
Twitter: @trevorshowvan

Clarifying the situation to the Boston Globe, Trevor said that his train from New York City to Boston ended up getting "majorly delayed." Amid everything, he began "to feel terrible," leading him to seek hospitalization and cancel the trip. X users have since uncovered Trevor's tweet that mentions the delay, but he has responded in his defense. "Idk what the issue is," he tweeted. "I was going to Boston, fell ill, then cancel[ed]. Yea Amtrak sucks. This just shows I indeed wasn’t in Boston and had lots to cancel."

Idk what the issue is. I was going to Boston, fell ill, then cancels. Yea Amtrak sucks. This just shows I indeed wasn’t in Boston and had lots to cancel. 🤷‍♀️

— chase travel insurance it girl (@trevorshowvan) February 23, 2024
Twitter: @trevorshowvan

Overall, responses have ranged from the above to people finding the whole situation "bizarre."

Twitter: @CharlieFleming_

Another user described it as "truly unhinged behavior."

Twitter: @SabioScientist

And many people were appalled at the idea that a restaurant would charge such a high fee in the first place.

beyond it being insane for a restaurant owner to harass a patron like this, reservation culture in cities like Boston is truly getting out of hand. their cancellation fee is $250!!!!! at a restaurant where you have to sit at a communal table!!! what is wrong with yall!!! https://t.co/qiIFX5yIzu

— lexi 🫶🏼 (@lexiicara) February 23, 2024
Twitter: @lexiicara

In one of the last few screenshots he shared, Trevor showed the most recent message he received from Table, in which they threatened to take legal action, citing the "amount of slander the business is receiving." He told the Globe that while his situation has mostly been met with "overwhelming support" from social media users, he has also received messages with death threats and anti-gay slurs.

A message from Table that reads "The amount of slander that the business is receiving is absolutely horrific. You will be hearing from our lawyers"

The public attention from the exchange has resulted in criticism of Jen and her business, along with several seemingly fake reviews from customers who have not dined at Table but have come to Trevor's defense.

A 1-star review for Table mentioning that they have never eaten there but saying they'll never go there because of the owner's "appalling behavior"

A deeper scroll through Yelp reveals that Trevor isn't the only customer (or potential customer) who has received pushback, as Jen appears to have directly responded to apparent patrons in the past. In scrolling through customer reviews from as far back as five years ago, we found at least 12 instances in which Jen reprimanded customers for their negative reviews, including the two examples below.

A 1 star review for Table from May 2021 that states the owner's attitude was "unacceptable" and she degraded customers, with a response from Jen calling the reviewer a "bad liar" and "poor storyteller"
1-star review saying the food is "subpar" and the "food waste" is "atrocious," and "the only thing worse is the owner," who is "incredibly rude and disrespectful," and Jen responding that it never happened

Jen's and Table's social media accounts have since been deactivated or made private, and a Table representative told BuzzFeed in an email that Jen has also been receiving "very scary threats." The restaurant was listed as "permanently closed" on Google for a few days after the exchange went viral but is now listed as open. According to Table, this came at Google's suggestion to "stop the bleeding" from the various negative reviews they were receiving. Opening the restaurant's Yelp page also prompts a pop-up stating that posting has been temporarily disabled due to "increased public attention."

Pop-up alert on Yelp indicating "we've temporarily disabled the posting of content" for this business while they "investigate whether the content you see here reflects actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events"

We also reached out to Trevor for comment but did not receive a response at the time this was published. We'll update you if we do.