I witnessed and was part of an horrible display of discrimination not so long ago. Here is what happened and I would like to know if this is an isolated case or if anybody else ever heard of something like it.
A few days ago, on a nice thursday night, my girlfriend and I were walking back from work when we decided to treat ourselves to a good dinner. We opted for one of our favorite place even though we didn`t have any reservations. We gave it a shot knowing that this is a very popular restaurant with a lot of regulars and that the odds of finding a place were rather small. When we got there, we noticed that all the best tables, the one next to the front window, all had these triangular American Express "Reserved" signs. We asked if we could get anything and surprisingly, the maitre d' invited us to sit at the table of our choice. Later on we realized that we did get there early and that's what explained that the place was half-empty. Immediately after, two people, who didn`t have reservations either, asked if there was anything available. Keep in mind that several tables (granted, supposedly Reserved) were still unattended. They were told that, unfortunately, there was nothing left. Right after, two other persons, asked the exact same questions and they were offered a "reserved" table. All this seems unusual but when one takes into account that the people who were turned away didn't have the young urban professional look (far from it to be honest) and that the ones who could get through without having a reservation did have it, how can we not concluded that they proceed with some form of discrimination?
I agree, well-dressed people, in general, will tend to spend more in restaurant but to refuse people on the sole basis of look is a saddening and revolting thought. I hope I am wrong and I will give this restaurant another shot and try to see if they manage to do this again. If they do, I will have no choice but to take it off my List.