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Another good reason not to eat out. June 1, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , , ,

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,




1. narf77 - June 3, 2012

I just discovered your blog whilst looking for info about propagating olives from seed…not quite what I was looking for but the rest of your blog is very interesting. I just tumbled you into my rss feed reader to digest you over my first morning cup of tea…hopefully you don’t mind the inner machinations of your silent Cornus mind being perused by a penniless horticultural hippy student in Tasmania Australia…kind of too bad if you do really 😉

I agree totally about going out for meals. We don’t do it much because apart from the “penniless”…I was a cook in a past life and know ALL about restaurants and how they make their money. We like to make our own to our own taste and we can sit in front of the wood burning stove in our underpants with tinfoil hats on our heads if we so desire and nobody is able to penetrate our bliss…my daughters were saying that they had been to the movies the other day and someone had talked loudly over the top of the movie for about 30 minutes on their mobile…I think we are becoming a race of mobile texting fools…tweeting our way through our lives and not noticing reality passing us by. Love your blog…and I promise to respect you once I ingest and digest you in the morning…

Welcome, narf, and thanks for all the kind words! Clearly we must be kindred spirits (Luddites to the last, eh?). Our friend Ben and I can certainly relate to the “penniless horticultural” part, and though not technically students, we are both lifelong students of all that we can discover. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Poor Richard’s Almanac down there in Tasmania!

William - June 4, 2012

This has to be one of my favorite post responses ever. Yes, mine do not compare. I would compose a response to the blog, but I am enjoying narf’s post.

We enjoy both of your comments very much, William. Thanks for keeping up with us!

narf77 - June 5, 2012

No problemo William…I like to think of myself as an horticultural “Hill William” so we must be kindred spirits 😉

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