Is your restaurant spying on you? The Post wants to know. The answer? Of course they are. Especially if you are going to high-end eateries and using online reservation systems like OpenTable. But a) this really shouldn't surprise you in the least and b) it isn't necessarily a bad thing.
To start with, restaurants have been spying on their customers for a very long time. Some people even call it customer service! Back in the day a good maitre d' could always recognize the regulars and remember what they like. That required paying close attention to guests on their visits and watching out for them outside of the restaurant. Now, thanks to the magics of technology, even bad hostesses should be able to offer the same tricks: the ever-popular (and expensive for restaurants) reservation system OpenTable allows for notes to be kept on clients—think "bad tipper," your birthday or your favorite dishes—and we think we all know about Google and Facebook at this point.
Now yes, sometimes one man's good service can be another's stalking, but it isn't like most of us are Uma Thurman. And if we were Lesley Stahl and we hated lemon in our Diet Coke we'd want our regular restaurants to remember that too (though we probably wouldn't want them talking about it with the media). If a restaurant is going out of their way to look up upcoming guests' Twitter feeds and Facebook profiles, and it gets them a better experience, what's the harm? As long as they are keeping what they learn to themselves, that is.