Restaurants crack down on Instagrammers

Some restaurants are starting to ban cameras because, they claim, the photos interrupt the dining experience for others. Photo by Mark Anbinder via Flickr Creative Commons

We all love to play with our food. Grandma told us not to, but even as adults we can’t help it.

Playing used to involve building mountains and moat with our mashed potatoes and gravy, but now it means taking photos and posting them to Instagram with a link to our latest foodie blog post.

While some restaurants are embracing the idea of having a virtual-visual menu floating around the Internet as free marketing, others are not.

For example:

“…five-star chef David Bouley calls the food-fetish scene “a circus” that can quickly get out of control, with some eaters setting portable tripods on their tables and others using their iPhone flash functions without considering the fact that this is extremely annoying to everyone around them. Gentleman Bouley describes his solution to The New York Times: As soon as he sees a diner pull the phone out, he offers to take him or her back into his restaurant’s kitchen to “shoot the plates as they come out.” — via mediabistro.com

Other chefs, like David Chang of Momofuku Ko, forbid photos altogether.

The idea is this: The Instagram-sensitive restaurants are out to make more than a meal. They are creating an atmosphere that is unique, personal and apparently fragile to the flash of a camera phone.

Is this pretentious or precious? Are these restaurants fighting for a space in our overly-shared lives where the present is all that matters or are they just snobs?

This entry was posted in Consumer issues, Food, Restaurants, Stephanie Reighart. Bookmark the permalink.