Friday, January 11, 2013

Would You Like an Update on Debt Ceiling Negotiations With That Dessert?

Here's another one of my husband Jeff's great habits. Almost every week, usually on Friday, sometimes on Saturday, he'll announce we will not be having dinner at home and we instead go out to a restaurant.

I love this. At home, there are distractions. The TV is on. The dogs need attention. I always hear the siren song of my laptop and gravitate toward that, even when food is ready to eat in our happy homestead and Jeff is asking how my day was.

When we go out to a restaurant, all the distractions are gone. The cell phones are off. The latest viral video, the demands of work,  the  breaking news updates on the follies of Congress or Kim Kardashian are silenced and our oh-so-wired life has been deliciously disconnected. It's just Jeff and me. Soon, we fall into our rhythm, the conversation flows, he makes me laugh, I feel better and I hope he does, too.
Is this the restaurant check
of the future?

The restaurant is our refuge from the world, and I come out of it completely recharged.

Which is why I was dismayed by the news that a Washington DC restaurant is experimenting with  printing out news updates on the bill the server gives you at the end of your meal, according to quotes Old Ebbitt Grill General Manager Christian Guidi as saying he likes the experiment because he's "always looking for ways to add unique value"

Unique, yes. Value? I'm not sure.
He also said the Associated Press news updates on the checks fill "the dead time between receiving the check and the server processing the payment."

What, do diners customarily sit in silence once the bill is presented? Is conversation supposed to stop? If so, Jeff and I are breaking the rules. We continue our conversation during our entire time in the restaurants.   But I guess that's not the American Way.

The news feed on restaurant bills is really all about advertising. Like we need more of it.  In a press release from  the people putting these news feeds say,   "If successful, this will create a new channel to disseminate news and advertising to millions of readers on an existing platform never used for this purpose."

Ah yes. It seems advertising must invade every part of our lives. If this keeps up, there will be some requirement for people to whisper "Buy Product X!" in our ears repeatedly at night as we try to sleep.

I hope the restaurants Jeff and I go to don't adopt these news feeds on restaurant checks.  You just spent a chunk of change on a nice restaurant meal, you're feeling good and mellow, and all of a sudden, here comes that loudmouth advertiser, in print here, ordering you to BUY BUY BUY! 

Kills the mood, doesn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment