is it illegal for someone to make several fake reservations at a restaurant on 1 night to hurt their business?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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is it illegal for someone to make several fake reservations at a restaurant on 1 night to hurt their business?

On Saturday night someone made 5 tables worth of 4 person reservations at
600 to crush our night. We are small business, so several of our employees did
not have any customers and we lost a huge amount of money. We called the
reservation company and they said they are starting an investigation. what are
the repercussions to the person that did this? We think it is an ex-employee.

Asked on December 5, 2017 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is not specifically illegal, in the sense of there being a law against doing exactly this thing. However, IF you believe you can prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e. more likely than not) that it was this person, you may be able to sue him/her for "tortious interference with economic advantage": for, through improper means, interfering with legitimate business activities. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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