Another good reason not to eat out. June 1, 2012Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: dining out, eating out, great reasons to eat at home, perils of dining out, restaurant outrages, Wall Street Journal
Silence Dogood here. As if cost weren’t already enough disincentive to eat out. Then came the huge, ubiquitous television screens (I once counted 20 in one restaurant), making it impossible to enjoy yourself and focus on your food or your dining companions. Not to mention diners ignoring the people at their tables while furiously texting and/or talking on their smartphones to everybody else. But now there’s something even worse afoot: tabletop computer consoles.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal broke the horrible news in an article called “Screens Get a Place at the Table” (check it out at www.wsj.com). Apparently chains like Chili’s, Applebee’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Chevys, Uno Chicago Grill, and P.F. Chang’s are all either using or testing the devices in their restaurants. Diners can use the screens to place orders, pay their bills, and provide computer games and other entertainments for restless kids so Mom and Dad can relax and have a little adult conversation—if either of them can tear their eyes off the TV screens and/or their phones.
Yeesh. The restaurants are certainly loving it. Their nonstop dessert ads—which appear strategically 20 minutes after the entree is served—have resulted in a 30% increase in dessert orders. (Just what we all need, more desserts.) And by making it possible for patrons to both order and pay via machine, table turnover is even faster, rushing diners out of restaurants and completely defeating the purpose of an evening out: a nice, leisurely dinner where you could take your time and not worry about cooking or cleaning up the dishes afterwards.
I myself have always viewed eating out as an opportunity to enjoy a well-prepared dish you wouldn’t make yourself, be it Kenyan, Morrocan, Thai, Turkish, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, or you name it. Recently, I decided to try to recreate my faves here at Hawk’s Haven, and have had pretty good success. Better to do it right at home than sit there asking yourself “What the bleep?!” in some restaurant. And please, skip the dessert.
‘Til next time,