Fiery feud between customer and restaurant over $250 cancellation fee sparks debate

A heated exchange between a Boston celebrity chef and a would-be diner has sparked a debate about cancellation fees and customer service on social media.

restaurant over $250 cancellation fee sparks debate

On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, users are debating a clash between Jen Royle, the owner of Table restaurant in Boston, and Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro, a man who used his credit card’s travel protection insurance to dispute his $250 cancellation fee from her restaurant.


According to a series of posts by Chauvin-DeCaro, the disagreement recently played out after he was contacted via Instagram direct message by Royle.

Neither Chauvin-DeCaro, Royle nor her attorney immediately responded to’s request for comment.

“Wild story incoming. Last month, we had to cancel our Boston trip after I was hospitalized,” Chauvin-DeCaro explained in his post shared to X on Feb. 22. “As a result, I had to use travel insurance to get my money back on our hotel, train, and restaurant reservations.”

Chauvin-DeCaro’s post, which has reeled in over 24 million views on X, featured screenshots of his conversation between him and Royle.

“Hi, Trevor. I own TABLE restaurant in Boston,” Royle wrote in her message to Chauvin-DeCaro, according to his shared screenshots. “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.”

Royle is a former sports reporter who appeared in Season 11 of “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network and has been described by Boston Magazine as a “celebrity chef.”

Chauvin-DeCaro’s post included his response to Royle, which expressed his “disappointment and shock” over her “tone.”


In an interview with the Boston Globe, Chauvin-DeCaro explained that he and his husband had initially planned to visit the restaurant while in town from New York City. However, their plans took an unexpected turn when he had to rush to the emergency room.

Chauvin-DeCaro did not disclose the reason for his ER visit in his post.

He did share, however, that his husband called Table six hours before his reservation to terminate the reservation but 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.

“My stomach turns with the gross decision to search for, find, and direct message a customer like this,” Chauvin-DeCaro wrote in his message to Royle. “I understand the challenges small businesses face, particularly in post-COVID world. My decision to use my credit card’s travel insurance to address the lofty cancellation fee was not made lightly and certainly not with the intention to ‘screw over’ your establishment or your staff.”

According to the Boston Herald, Royle’s attorney Michael Ford says she is “getting bombarded with death threats,” and the official Instagram, X and Facebook pages for Table restaurant have either been deleted or set to private. Table is listed as permanently closed on Google, and reservations are currently not available to book through Resy. But, according to Ford, the restaurant remains open.

cancellation fee defamatory statements

“The false statements, the defamatory statements, the death threats, the abusive comments, they hurt and she doesn’t want to be hurt anymore,” Ford added.

In response to Chauvin-DeCaro’s X post, users shared their conflicting points of view over both his and Royle’s reaction to the cancellation fee.

“I have never had a restaurant find me and slip into my DM’s like that. That’s bizarre, lol,” one user replied. “So much chaos, anger, and frustration over $250.00.”

“This is truly unhinged behavior. I get being annoyed by a canceled reservation and lost revenue but this is WAY over and beyond normal or professional,” another responded. “This is seriously over the top bad…really really bad. They went way out of their way to target you for a normal occurrence.”

Meanwhile, some argued that chargebacks on a restaurant’s credit card can affect its standing with vendors.

“I think the issue is that the chargeback landed on her. As a business owner, a transaction like this can put her at risk with the credit card processor, which would be really bad,” another user noted. “I agree that a phone call to them for them to reverse would have been better.”

“Not that I agree with the handling of this, but I do think chargebacks on the fade penalize the customer,” another chimed in. “I do hope everyone lays off and doesn’t make this a ‘take down the business’ for what was clearly a bad decision/response. We all have them.”

This article was originally published on

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