It's your phone's fault...

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It's your phone's fault...

Postby Redwinger » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:17 pm

Saw this post on Robin's Louisville Food Forum and thought it worth sharing. So next time you bitch about long wait times in your favorite restaurant blame a phonaholic.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/rnr/4562386373.html
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:42 pm

Oh that is bloody brilliant. Especially interesting to restaurauteurs and those of us who don't carry smartphones. Now we can be more smug about it! 8)
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:28 pm

I saw that posted on Facebook by another friend of mine who's in the restaurant business. I don't know if it's completely legit or not but it does fit in with what you see in a lot of restaurants.

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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby John Treder » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:30 pm

I hit the link and got a page that said "This post has been flagged for removal."
Dunno what that means.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:24 am

John Treder wrote:I hit the link and got a page that said "This post has been flagged for removal."
Dunno what that means.


It means the post was deleted!!
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Peter May » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:19 am

John Treder wrote:
Dunno what that means.


Click on the Question Mark next to that statement to read the full explanation.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:53 pm

Here's the full text of what HAD been there, for the curious:

Busy NYC Restaurant Solves Major Mystery by Reviewing Old Surveillance - 28 (Midtown East)
age : 28

We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having been in business for many years we noticed that although the number of customer's we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was 10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even thou we added lot's more staff and cut back on the menu items.

One of the most common complaints on review sites against us and many restaurants in the area is that the service was slow and or they needed to wait a bit long for a table.

We decided to hire a firm to help us solve this mystery, and naturally the first thing they blamed it on was that the employees need more training and that maybe the kitchen staff is just not up to the task of serving that many customers.

Like most restaurants in NYC we have a surveillance system, and unlike today where it's a digital system, 10 years ago we still used special high capacity tapes to record all activity. At any given time we had 4 special Sony systems recording multiple cameras. We would store the footage for 90 days just in case we need it for something.

The firm we hired suggested we locate some of the older tapes and analyze how the staff behaved 10 years ago versus how they behave now. We went down to our storage room but we couldn't find any tapes at all.

We did find the recording devices, and luckily for us, each device has 1 tape in it that we simply never removed when we upgraded to the new digital system.

The date stamp on the old footage was Thursday July 1 2004, the restaurant was real busy that day. We loaded up the footage on a large size monitor, and next to it on a separate monitor loaded up the footage of Thursday July 3 2014, the amount of customers where only a bit more than 10 years prior.

I will quickly outline the findings. We carefully looked at over 45 transactions in order to determine the data below:

2004:

Customers walk in.

They gets seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to be seated elsewhere.

Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order.

Waiters shows up almost instantly takes the order.

Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items take way longer.

Out of 45 customers 2 sent items back that where too cold we assume (given they were not steak we assume they wanted the item heated up more).

Waiters keep an eye out for their tables so they can respond quickly if the customer needs something.

Customers are done, check delivered, and within 5 minutes they leave.

Average time from start to finish: 1:05

2014:

Customers walk in.

Customers get seated and is given menus, out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.

Before even opening the menu they take their phones out, some are taking photos while others are simply doing something else on their phone (sorry we have no clue what they are doing and do not monitor customer WIFI activity).

7 out of the 45 customers had waiters come over right away, they showed them something on their phone and spent an average of 5 minutes of the waiter's time. Given this is recent footage, we asked the waiters about this and they explained those customers had a problem connecting to the WIFI and demanded the waiters try to help them.

Finally the waiters are walking over to the table to see what the customers would like to order. The majority have not even opened the menu and ask the waiter to wait a bit.

Customer opens the menu, places their hands holding their phones on top of it and continue doing whatever on their phone.

Waiter returns to see if they are ready to order or have any questions. The customer asks for more time.

Finally they are ready to order.

Total average time from when the customer was seated until they placed their order 21 minutes.

Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items take way longer.

26 out of 45 customers spend an average of 3 minutes taking photos of the food.

14 out of 45 customers take pictures of each other with the food in front of them or as they are eating the food. This takes on average another 4 minutes as they must review and sometimes retake the photo.

9 out of 45 customers sent their food back to reheat. Obviously if they didn't pause to do whatever on their phone the food wouldn't have gotten cold.

27 out of 45 customers asked their waiter to take a group photo. 14 of those requested the waiter retake the photo as they were not pleased with the first photo. On average this entire process between the chit chatting and reviewing the photo taken added another 5 minutes and obviously caused the waiter not to be able to take care of other tables he/she was serving.

Given in most cases the customers are constantly busy on their phones it took an average of 20 minutes more from when they were done eating until they requested a check. Furthermore once the check was delivered it took 15 minutes longer than 10 years ago for them to pay and leave.

8 out of 45 customers bumped into other customers or in one case a waiter (texting while walking) as they were either walking in or out of the Restaurant.

Average time from start to finish: 1:55

We are grateful for everyone who comes into our restaurant, after all there are so many choices out there. But can you please be a bit more considerate?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:23 pm

I call total and complete BS, this is totally made up:
Anonymous restaurant
15% of customers take 5 minutes of waiters' time to sign in on wifi. Outside of Starbucks and the like, what NYC restaurant has a public wifi system, and has waiters consult on connectivity?
20% of customers send food back because it got cold while they were taking pictures (30% take pictures)? Pretty much the only place that anywhere near 20% of customers take pix would be someplace like WD-50. This place is supposed to an old standard, if 10% took pix I'd be shocked.
What an amazing coincidence that the old surveillance tape was almost exactly 10 years before.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:28 pm

I'll add my phone stays in my pocket when I dine.
As a regular NYC dinner, somehow I never remember having someone walk into me in a restaurant while they were texting, although apparently nearly 20% of diners do- I've beaten the odds!
Over half the diners request waiter to take a group photo? Is this NYC or Disneyland?
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:26 pm

Dale, you could be right. The stat I balked at was "out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere". That struck me as abnormally high based on how rarely I personally have to ask for a different table (I will not sit near or in view of the restroom door). Most of the rest I didn't think too critically about--the wifi part, for instance, in a NYC restaurant that serves a lot of tourists doesn't sound as lame to a non-New Yorker as it would to you.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:51 pm

For someone like myself and husband who rarely eat out in restaurants what we have experienced while on holiday this year in Copenhagen has made us feel we are in a time warp. Some of the comments in the article do not miss the mark at all. Although not eating every meal in a restaurant we are walking miles every day and every sidewalk cafe is seated with singles, couples or more-somes that are ALL on their devices at the same time. Even at NOMA waiters were taking photos of diners in and outside of the restaurant and diners were snapping photos of every dish. We got a "shared table" when two of a foursome backed out the day before and we were called from the waiting list. Both of the other two looked at their devices multiple times and left the table multiple times to text and call during the meal. I found it all shocking and disorienting because it seemed that everyone was using a device all of the time. Perhaps the timings are exaggerated but we have witnessed everything mentioned in the article while away for these 3 weeks. All of these behaviors would have been considered ill mannered, rude and unacceptable in the pre device era just a few short years ago. I guess I just have to get over it.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:02 pm

OK, I've never posted a link to a Weird Al Y video before, but
http://www.salon.com/2014/07/14/weird_a ... hit_happy/

but
"I Instagram every meal I've had" and "Think it's fun threatening waiters with a bad Yelp review." reminded me of this thread
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:14 pm

Christina--we want, no, we NEED, to hear all about NOMA. Please describe your experience there!
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Tom Troiano » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:06 am

This does sound a bit like an urban legend but I'm sure there's some truth to this "story".

I was at a restaurant on Cape Cod on Sunday evening and a lot of the things in this story I saw on Sunday.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:16 am

Tom Troiano wrote:This does sound a bit like an urban legend but I'm sure there's some truth to this "story".

I was at a restaurant on Cape Cod on Sunday evening and a lot of the things in this story I saw on Sunday.


Actually, I'm with Dale. This reads like made-up goop to support how this restaurateur feels about his customers. And, no doubt, the waiters are being asked to take pictures of people, and people are taking pictures of their food, but I want evidence, not internet blather.

"Oh, look, we found a tape stuck in the machine!"

Come on.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:26 am

Can't say we have the problem, if it exists at all, in the restaurants around here. Just for starters, those places with WIFI almost always have it posted proximately or printed on the menu or both; so you have to waste time asking the waiter.
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Re: It's your phone's fault...

Postby Tom Troiano » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:21 pm

The almost one hour increase in time spent at the restaurant had me wondering - After they fix this problem can they figure out a way to make baseball games shorter?
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