Smartphones could be ruining the restaurant experience

Your smartphone is the scourge of restaurants. Customers snapping photos of food and dawdling on Facebook at meals have slowed down table service by an hour over the last 10 years, as an anonymous poston Craigslist’s “rants & raves” section recently alleged. The writer claimed that his restaurant, located in Manhattan’s Midtown East and serving “both locals and tourists,” had studied security footage from July 2004 and compared with a tape of a recent Thursday this month. The takeaway: Today’s technologically distracted diners take longer to order, longer to eat, and longer to pay, and then they blame the restaurant for the wait! “We are grateful for everyone who comes into our restaurant,” the aggrieved restaurateur wrote, “but can you please be a bit more considerate?”

Can you remember what life was like before smartphones? Did we do anything different compared to today? Well obviously there are differences compared from then till now, but did you also know that apparently our eating time has increased thanks to smartphones? One restaurant decided to find out when they received negative reviews on Yelp about how long it took for customers to get a table. Using a high-speed surveillance system, the company compared footage from 2004 to that of 2014. They found that prior to smartphones, customers would come to the restaurant, spend about 8 minutes browsing the menu before placing their order. The total amount of time for the food to arrive and for them to get the check was around 1 hour and 5 minutes. However in 2014, it seems that customers who are seated “waste” more time taking photos of the restaurant, and when the waiters were called over, it was more to inquire about the WiFi password as opposed to actually ordering. The average time for the modern diner to order, receive their food, eat it, and pay, was found to have averaged out at 1 hour 55 minutes. It’s actually an interesting observation and while we know that smartphones has led to us being less social with the people we’re actually hanging out with, who would have thought that it would actually lead to us taking longer to complete our meals! What do you guys think? Do you agree with the observation?

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