Boston Restaurant Owner Under Fire Over Reservation Dispute

Many restaurants notify patrons that canceling an online reservation or not showing up at all, may trigger a certain fee, regardless of if they dine there or not.

Now, New York-based traveler Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro is going viral after a renowned Boston chef and restaurant owner reportedly slid into his DMs and engaged in a heated exchange after he disputed a $250 cancelation fee with his credit card company.

Chauvin-DeCaro was set to dine at Table in Boston’s North End last month during a two-day trip but had to cancel suddenly when he was hospitalized after falling ill.

Chauvin-DeCaro and his husband said they started canceling all of their travel reservations but when they contacted the staff at Table, were told that the cancelation fee couldn’t be waived, which led him to reach out to his bank, Chase, and dispute the charge. The dispute was approved after he provided the credit card company with documentation of his hospitalization.

Related: Restaurant Charges $50 Fee for Children, Sparks Outrage

But on February 22, in a series of Instagram messages that have been viewed over 24.2 million times on X, Chauvin-DeCaro posted screenshots of messages he received from Table’s official Instagram account from a person claiming to be Table’s owner and chef, Jen Royle.

“I just wanted to personally thank you for screwing over my restaurant and my staff when you disputed your cancellation fee,” the message read. “I really hope in the future you have more respect for restaurants, especially small businesses such as mine. Pathetic.”

Chauvin-DeCaro then responded, calling the decision to find him and message him on social media “gross” and “insane.” A flurry of exchanges and screenshots (and blocking and unblocking) followed from both of the accounts and Royle’s personal account.

“I spoke to about a dozen business owners today who shared their frustrations in people walking all over them and disputing their credit card charges,” Royle wrote in a now-deleted Instagram story on her personal account. “THIS HAS TO STOP! The lack of respect and entitlement is gross.”

Royle — who was a well-known Boston-area sports reporter prior to opening Table — reportedly ended the conversation by letting him know that he would “be hearing from our lawyers” while accusing him of bringing “absolutely horrific” slander upon the business.

Table is a pre-fix-only restaurant that costs $98-$125 a head depending on the day that can seat 32 people at a time, with a strict 72-hour cancelation policy as outlined on the company’s website. The restaurant has received accolades from the local press.

Related: Hidden Fees Placed on Restaurant Bills Exposed in New Report

“SAME-DAY CANCELLATIONS AND NO-SHOWS WILL BE CHARGED FULL PRICE. All other cancellations with be charged full price in exchange for a $50 gift card per person,” the policy reads. “There are absolutely no exceptions to our cancellation policy. WE ARE A VERY SMALL RESTAURANT. PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Table had a 3.6 out of 5 star rating on Yelp, with many users flooding the review section with one-star reviews in defense of Chauvin-DeCaro over the last few days.

“I had to cancel my reservation due to a flight delay on my way to my SNHU graduation. Unfortunately, the owner and staff were incredibly disrespectful about the situation,” one user wrote, documenting his own experience with the restaurant. “There was no sympathy or understanding that these things happen, and I felt like they were not willing to accommodate me despite the circumstances.”

Table did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.

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