A New York City restaurant plagued by service problems has discovered that its customers’ addictions to their smartphones is adding nearly an hour to the average meal time, Gothamist reports.
The restaurant, which is allegedly located in Midtown East, wrote about its discovery in an anonymous post on Craigslist’s “rants & raves” section.
According to the post — which has since been removed — the restaurant had tried adding more staff and cutting back on menu items to improve wait times. When that didn’t work, it hired an outside firm, which suggested that the restaurant review old surveillance tapes to determine the problem.
Here’s a summary of what the restaurant found (via Gothamist).
The seating process:
2004: Customers walk in. They get seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to be seated elsewhere.
2014: Customers walk in. Customers get seated and is given menus, out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.
2004: Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order. Waiters show up almost instantly takes the order.
Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items take way longer.
2014: 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… Total average time from when the customer was seated until they placed their order 21 minutes.
2004: 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.
2014: Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes… 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… 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.
…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.
Length of stay:
2004: Average time from start to finish: 1:05
2014: Average time from start to finish: 1:55
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