Latest: Customer claims restaurant owner began feud over $250 cancellation fee

People are weighing in on a debate between a restaurant owner and one of its potential customers who had to cancel their reservation.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, a man named Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro recently posted a thread regarding a $250 cancellation fee he had attempted to dispute from Table restaurant in Boston. “Wild story incoming. Last month, we had to cancel our Boston trip after I was hospitalised. 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,” his thread began.

During the process of attempting to get his money back from the trip, he received a direct message on Instagram from the restaurant’s owner, Jen Royle.

Chauvin-DeCaro posted screenshots of their online interaction as Royle appeared to write: “Hi, Trevor. I own TABLE restaurant in Boston. I just wanted to personally thank you for screwing over my restaurant and my staff when you disputed your cancellation fee. I really hope in the future, you have more respect for restaurants, especially small businesses such as mine. Pathetic.”

He responded to her, mentioning that hospitalisation falls under his travel insurance policy and when his husband called Table six hours before his reservation to terminate the reservation he was still told he’d have to deal with a cancellation fee.

Table’s cancellation policy on its website notes that “same-day cancellations and no-shows will be charged full price” and that, due to being a small restaurant, “there are absolutely no exceptions”.

In his messages to Royle, Chauvin-DeCaro said that a staff member told him to call his credit card company if he was “so butt hurt” over the store’s cancellation policy.

His thread on X continued:“I am appalled at the behaviour exhibited towards a customer. It is insane that the owner of an establishment would see the travel insurance claim and then go and hunt for the customer on Instagram.”

“Then to post about me on her business and professional pages wow. I am shocked at this behaviour. I would not recommend eating at a place that treats people like this.”

The official Instagram, X and Facebook pages for Table restaurant have either been deleted or set to private.

Following his thread, many people took to the comments to give their opinions on the incident.

Some expressed that they weren’t upset with the fee itself, but felt that Royle should not have responded in the way that she did.

“The business failed. It is over. The way you treat people is a sign of the strength of the establishment. If one cancellation has them this upset, they have already failed. I would suggest they not seek lawyers and spend money, but a consultant that can help the small business,” one commenter wrote.

Another commenter agreed, writing: “I’ve never heard of restaurant charging cancellation fees but maybe because this is a high end place? That’s shocking that the owner would actually think about messaging you and decide it’s a good move for them and their business… it’s never that personal!!”

Other commenters were on the restaurant’s side, mentioning that Chauvin-DeCaro did agree to the fee when making the reservation in the first place.

“A deposit is not uncommon for upscale restaurants because otherwise people will no-show and they lose business,” one comment began.

“$250 is pricey but Trevor didn’t object when the reservation was made. The exchange was unfortunate on both sides. The restaurant started it with the ‘butt hurt’ comment but given Trevor’s professed respect for small business why did they not inquire as to why the charge was being disputed (stiffing the restaurant) instead of being paid by their insurance? Lesson: pick up the phone. All of this might have been solved with owner-customer call.”

The Independent has contacted Table and Chauvin-DeCaro for comment.

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