Food for Thought

The Diners Dilemma, Social Media Edition

By Christopher Stewart | June 28, 2013

dining, social media, Instagram, restaurants

Photo: L.Ger

I have a feeling that a large percentage of people, including myself are guilty of the following: You’re out to dinner with friends, the waiter places your beautifully structured dinner plates on the table, and before digging in, like clock work, everyone at the table pulls out a camera phone and snaps a pic of their food…and everyone else’s. Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or the snack you picked up along the way, people are obsessed with taking pictures of their food, while dining out. Social media plays a large part in this obsession as well.

With the boom of social media and restaurants over the last several years, the two now go hand in hand. With a small number of chefs and restaurants banning the use of cell phones at the dinner table,  The Wall Street Journal Online, reported this week that, more and more restaurants are now embracing customers who use social media, especially Instagram while dining out. Welcoming restaurants feel that diners photographing their meals while in the actual restaurants are like having “…brand ambassadors on behalf of the restaurant.”

Chefs and restaurant professionals alike have started promoting their restaurants and brands through social media presence.  Sending out quick uploads of a nightly special, or a funny picture of a staff member into the social media hemisphere can attract and draw in more customers than normal. Some restaurants have gone as far as asking people to photograph and post pictures on Instagram of their meal when they see that someone at the table has their cell phones out. With technology the way it is, growing in record numbers, it’s hard to imagine not taking a picture of your food. It’s become a way of life.

How do you feel about fellow diners taking pictures of food at restaurants? Does it disturb your meal while you are there? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

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