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Smart Phones Raise Restaurant Wait Times

By: Jeff Platt Email
By: Jeff Platt Email

 To see the comparison between the dining times and dining experience of customers at the New York restaurant between 2004 and 2014 click here.

How much time do you spend at the table when you go out to eat? And how much of that time do you actually spend eating? At a restaurant in New York, and analyst noticed the time customers spend at the table has nearly doubled since 2004.
Being on the phone at the dinner table used to be a major faux pas, but today it's a daily occurrence and restaurant owners don't want to be the ones to give etiquette lessons.
Susan Bosco, owner of Bosco's Italian Restaurante, said "The cell phone thing is a whole new story. I'd be afraid to even say put that phone away."
She says couples out on dates are more concerned with their smart phones than the person across the table.
Bosco said, "I'm like, hello! You've got a girlfriend here and she's gorgeous, talk to her. Or girlfriend, why aren't you talking to that handsome fella you're with."
But it isn't just teenagers on their cell phones. Over at Johnny J's the manager says parents are using technology instead of just a placemat and crayons to entertain their kids.
Johnny J's Manager Grant Smith said, "I've seen tables sit down with iPads so that the kid has something to watch."
Smith says the cell phone is now a fixture in our lives and now the smart phone is becoming a fixture on the table.
Smith said, "People are more focused on their phones instead of maybe what's going on around them."
When people aren't paying attention, they tend to lose track of time, but Smith says that extra time is spent promoting the restaurant.
Smith said, "They can be taking pictures of our food, they could be posting that on Facebook."
Over at Bosco's, Susan understands the free marketing of social media, but at the end of the day she thinks dining is an experience to be shared with company; not the internet.
Bosco said, "I appreciate the pictures that they take, and the things they put on Facebook. But then put it away and talk to your partner or whoever you're with."
Smith and Bosco both say the time difference is noticeable, but the lack of communication at the tables is even more apparent.

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