What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Restaurateurs Wage War on Smartphone Use

July 24, 2014, 2:30 PM
Restaurant_phones

What's the Latest?

If you're checking Facebook instead of ordering food, posting on Instagram as your meal gets cold, or haranguing a bartender into letting you charge your phone... you may just be the bane of a restaurant owner's existence.

Washington City Paper reporter Jessica Sidman, who writes for that publication's "Young and Hungry" column, reached out to some of D.C.'s top restaurateurs on the topic of smartphones and how they've changed the dining experience. Even though Sidman focuses on Washington establishments, everything mentioned in the piece is fairly universal. Although there were a few exceptions, most of the restaurateurs painted smartphone use as a scourge either to be eradicated or unhappily endured.

What's the Big Idea?

Sidman begins by explaining how a number of bars and restaurants in the capital city have instituted strict no cell phone policies. The aims of such prohibitions vary -- either the establishment prides itself on the foodie experience and wants to cut out distractions, or they find real-time social media posts to be detrimental to the restaurant's well-being. The latter is the case for the owner of Cork Wine Bar:

“We saw some pictures of our food online, and they didn’t look so hot,” says owner Diane Gross. “So we were a little bit concerned about things popping up on the web that weren’t professionally done.”

This isn't just a case of the "McDonald's Effect." Photos of half-eaten meals taken in a dark room have the potential to look lousy. Other restaurant owners interviewed take the opposite stance -- a customer Instagramming their food can only be seen as good publicity.

One owner mentions to Sidman that 1 in 10 customers will ask about charging a phone, something that can be both a distraction and liability. Some establishments have added more outlets and boosted Wi-Fi to accommodate these types of patrons. Other restaurants and bars have tried to push back.

Take a look at the piece (linked again below). No matter where you fall on the spectrum of smartphone etiquette, it's fascinating just to observe the ways a traditional industry has had to adapt to a new culture steeped in technology.

Keep reading at Washington City Paper

Photo credit: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

 

Restaurateurs Wage War on S...

Newsletter: Share: