Smartphones to blame for 77% increase in dining time at one restaurant?

Smartphones to blame for 77% increase in dining time at one restaurant?
A restaurant in New York City realized that it was getting poor reviews on Yelp about the speed of service in the eatery. Customers also complained about how long they had to wait for a table. A consultant hired by the restaurant suggested that it compare a service from years ago to a current one, in an attempt to find the problem. It just so happens that the restaurant used a high-speed surveillance system years ago, and was able to find a dinner service dated July 1 2004. This was compared with a service from July 3rd, 2014, almost ten years ago to the day.

Comparing the two videos, the earlier one shows customers spending eight minutes with the menu, closing them to signal that they are ready for the waiter. Sure enough, a waiter comes right away to take the order. The food comes within six minutes. After eating, the check arrives. Five minutes later, the check is paid and the diners are gone. Total time was 1 hour and five minutes.

The 2014 diners come in to the restaurant, and once seated, they are busy taking pictures with their phones, or using their handsets for something else. Some did ask the waiter over, but only to spend five minutes discussing the restaurant's Wi-Fi service. When the waiter comes over to take the order, most diners aren't ready. They open up the menu, but are still looking at their phones. On average, it takes 21 minutes from the time the customer is seated, to the time that they order.

While the food gets delivered in the same six minutes as it did ten years ago, 26 out of 45 customers spend three minutes snapping pictures of their food using the camera on their phone. 14 out of 45 snap pictures of each other posing with their food, or while eating it. This takes four minutes as reviews are typed, and pictures retaken. 9 out of 45 complain that their food is too cold (obviously because the diners were playing around with their phones) and 27 out of 45 ask the waiter to take a group picture. Paying the check and leaving took 15 minutes longer than it did ten years ago, and the average time to complete the meal was 1 hour and 55 minutes.

In 10 years, the average meal has taken 77% longer to complete. Obviously, a lot of the blame is being placed on smartphones and the people who feel compelled to share every meal with their friends and family via social media. Are you one of those people responsible for today's longer dining times?

source: SFGlobe via BGR

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