Increasingly, restaurants are recording whether you are a regular, a first-timer, someone who lives close by or a friend of the owner or manager. They archive where you like to sit, when you will celebrate a special occasion and whether you prefer your butter soft or hard, Pepsi over Coca-Cola or sparkling over still water. In many cases, they can trace your past performance as a diner; how much you ordered, tipped and whether you were a “camper” who lingered at the table long after dessert.
Susanne Craig at the NYT, the rest here.
The cafés and restaurants I go to aren't that hi-tech - but wherever I go, the staff say "Wie immer?" ("As always?") I don't have the same thing everywhere I go, but in each place I have a preference, and the staff remember it. The reason I go so often, too often, is precisely because people I barely know pay attention to my preferences - they WANT me to come back. Whereas in every interaction with the biz I get people doing whatever they happen to want to do, whenever they happen to want to do it.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, I care about my books a lot more than I care about my cappuccino & pain au chocolat, or my glass of rosé, or my green curry with tofu. In every single interaction on the path to getting a text out to readers (with, natürlich, the glorious exception of this blog), I have people blithely putting forward their OWN preferences for the text, and long-drawn-out arguments to reconcile said persons to sharing the (whisper who dares) author's preferences with the public. What would actually be so terrible about a publishing process where people were ANXIOUS to discover your preferences?
Be sane, be sane, be sane.