Some New York Restaurants Banning Food Photography, No More Facebook Feasts

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 29 2013 11:20 AM
There's just something about a delicious looking meal that compels people to whip out their smartphone, snap a picture, and upload it to a social network, like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Your friends and family can instantly see what you're about to devour before you've taken the first bite. Such is the connected world we live in, though don't be surprised if you're told to put your phone away.

According to a CBS report in New York, some local restaurants are banning photos of their food. It's not because the restaurants are embarrassed about what they're dishing up -- and if they are, don't expect them to admit it -- but it has to do with etiquette and ambiance.

In-N-Out Burger
Double-Double and fries with animal spread at In-N-Out Burger in Kingman, Arizona

"It can shatter the experience when you're asking your fiancé to marry you, and a flash is going off at a table next door," David Bouley, owner of Bouley Restaurant, told CBS New York.

Bouley isn't totally unsympathetic to patrons who want to capture their dish with a digital photograph. He's in the process of setting up a system where a picture will be part of the meal, delivered before they pay their check.

Frutti-di-mare
Frutti di Mare at Mangia Mangia in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Other restaurants in the area have taken a similar stance against cell phone pictures, claiming it causes a distraction for other patrons. But is that the only reason? There are some theories floating around, one of which suggests some restaurants are afraid patrons will intentionally mess up their food before taking a photo. Another concern, on the part of chefs, is that it's difficult to take a decent picture in a dimly lit restaurant.

What's your take on all this?
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That is complete madness. How dare these dinners tell you what you can and cannot do with your own property. That is just madness! So is the next step to pan cameras completely? That won't happen because if a customer makes a reservation for a birthday party and they want to take pictures, guess what, that company just lost that service. If I owned an eatery, I would completely allow people to take pictures. I would only stop the trouble makers if other people actually had a problem with it. But to instate a law in the organization to complete deny the opportunity to capture lifes moment is completely absord!

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realneil replied on Tue, Jan 29 2013 1:52 PM

When I moved to the east coast in 2006 I left behind some good friends, and some of my favorite places to eat.

The best was In In-N-Out Burger and this picture drove it home for me. I miss that place and those Double-Double sandwiches too. Thanks for the pic Paul! LOL!

If a restaurant gave me a hard time about shooting pics, I would probably quit going there.

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Jan 29 2013 2:02 PM

Going against the grain, I get a little bit of a sick pleasure out of this. Unless it's a truly rare and uncommon feast, I don't care at -all- what you had for dinner.

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I can understand upscale restaurants have etiquette, but for others, photos to social networks offer free advertisements. Unless their foods suck.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Jan 29 2013 8:34 PM

>> "It can shatter the experience when you're asking your fiancé to marry you, and a flash is going off at a table next door"

In the words of Bill Gates: "That's the stupidest ****ing thing I've ever heard." How often are people taking pictures of their food that it's a distraction? Or, how bad is your food that you don't appreciate people showing it off?

I think this is probably just a big viral marketing thing that Bouley is doing, since all the pictures of their food looks delicious. But, I think I'd take a pass on eating there since they're being silly and heavy-handed. Disable your flash, turn off your sound, take a picture of your food, and if they complain... flip the table.

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I was going to mention the B-day party thing... and even if not my parents, brothers and sister get together so rarely that every time we do get together my mother brings the camera to take pictures... Memories of family, good times and the food that we ate :)

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karanm replied on Tue, Jan 29 2013 11:57 PM

I've never had a problem with other people taking pictures of their food but I'm with RWilliams. I don't wanna see what you had for dinner or breakfast or the drinks you had at some random bar with your girlfriends, unless ofcourse it is something unique.

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sevags replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 12:12 AM

realneil; had in n out today lol. Everyone that's lived here or has visited is in love with them at better than White Castle, Krystal's, whataburger etc.

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detnight replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 12:59 AM

It's because they are worried that the food police will think the portions are to big and band that dish so people will not eat too much. NOT MORE SUPER SIZE!

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 6:40 AM

That looks like heart attack on a plate right there from In/Out but oh what a way to go. :)

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digitaldd replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 9:24 AM

Anyone know if In n Out's 'animal spread' is merely thousand island dressing like McDonald's big mac 'special sauce' it sure looks like it.

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sevags replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 9:25 PM

Dave_HH: actually not really... not to say that eating burgers espeically often is a healthy thing but In N Out burger is probably one of the healthiest fast food places there is. Everything is completely fresh, meat is never frozen, cooked only when you order it and nothing overly unhealthy in it except for the thousand island dressing which I do without. On top of all that it is incredibly delicious. Except their fries are pretty horrible... some things aren't meant to be healthy(er).

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sevags replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 9:28 PM

digitaldd: yes and no... the ONLY spread/dressing that In N Out uses is thousand island dressing... however it is NOT called "animal sauce" it is just called thousand island dressing EXCEPT when you are ordering fries if you order it "Animal Style" they pour the thousand island dressing on top and add chopped grilled onions. If you order it Protein Style you get your burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun, and Grilled cheese is exactly that just a toasted bun with cheese.

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