Thursday, October 23, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Chronic Cellphone Users To Blame For Longer Restaurant Wait Times, Study Finds

By Oulimata Ba | Jul 16, 2014 03:54 PM EDT

Cellphones
Sexting among minors is prohibited under Florida law. (Photo : Reuters)

You might want to think twice about snapping a picture of your food and posting it online during your next restaurant visit.

According to a new study from the New York City-based restaurant Market Diner, the amount of time it takes customers take eat and leave their restaurant increased nearly an hour since 2004, MyFox New York reported. The increase in wait times- including the time it takes to order food and leave after receiving the check- were caused by customers who were caught up in their cell phones.

Market Diner first initiated the study due to the amount of complaints staff received about the slow service. So the Manhattan restaurant hired an outside company to help investigate.

By comparing surveillance footage from 2004 and 2014, the restaurant found that 2004 customers sat down and immediately ordered their food. They also left within five minutes after the check was delivered.  

But instead of ordering first, 2014 customers began looking at their cellphones before they even opened the menu, according to the study. Customers also spent time asking waiters for WiFi passwords instead of ordering.

Market Diner also realized an extra 20 minutes was spent at the table after 2014 customers got the check. Marisa Creswell, an assistant manager at another restaurant, said the cellphone distractions lead to forgetfulness.

"To say, 'I don't want a certain item. I don't want tomatoes or I don't want onions,' ...They may think that they have told you, but they could have been distracted and forgot to," she told KFYR-TV.

In 2004, it took customers 1 hour and 5 minutes to sit, eat and leave. Ten years later, that wait time is now 1 hour and 55 minutes. This not only affects other customers, but their servers too.

"As a server, it's rude if I interrupt someone on their phone," server Kimberly Moss told KFYR-TV. "But, then it might seem rude to that person that you're not approaching them at the right time."

Market Diner concluded their study with a message thanking all of their past customers.

"But can you please be a bit more considerate?" the restaurant added. 

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