A famous restaurant in New York had been going for many years, but they started to notice something strange about the day-to-running on the restaurant. Although all the staff were expertly trained, and the menu had been cut down, the service seemed exceptionally slow compared to what it was say, 10 years ago. They decided to hire a firm to help they try and solve the mystery, what they found was pretty shocking.
One of the most common complaints that the restaurant kept receiving was the fact that the service was slow and customers had to wait a very long time for a table.
The restaurant couldn’t understand why this was the case.
Maybe it was the kitchen staff, or maybe something obscure, like the way the tables had been arranged.
Whatever it was, the restaurant were keen to get to the bottom of things.
So they hired a firm which instantly asked them if they had any CCTV footage.
Like most restaurants in NYC they had a surveillance system and were even able to locate one tape that had been recorded over 10 years ago- albeit the tape wasn’t as high quality as the footage from today, but it proved to be invaluable.
The date stamp on the old footage was Thursday July 1, 2004, and the restaurant was very busy that day.
The restaurant loaded up the footage and alongside it loaded up the footage of Thursday July 3 2014, which saw roughly the same amount of customers.
They looked at about 45 tables for both tapes and thats when they finally to the bottom of the problem.
This was the average situation back in 2004.
Customers walk in.
They get seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to be seated elsewhere.
Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order.
Waiters show up almost instantly takes the order.
Appetizers are fired within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items take longer.
Out of 45 customers 2 sent items back.
Waiters keep an eye out for their tables so they can respond quickly if the customer needs something.
After guests are done, the check delivered, and within 5 minutes they leave.
Average time from start to finish: 1:05
But wait until you see the average time for 2014.
Customers walk in.
Customers get seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.
Before even opening the menu they take their phones out, some are taking photos while others are simply doing something else on their phone (sorry we have no clue what they are doing and do not monitor customer WIFI activity).
7 out of the 45 customers had waiters come over right away, they showed them something on their phone and spent an average of 5 minutes of the waiter’s time. Given this is recent footage, we asked the waiters about this and they explained those customers had a problem connecting to the WIFI and demanded the waiters try to help them.
Finally the waiters are walking over to the table to see what the customers would like to order. The majority have not even opened the menu and ask the waiter to wait a bit.
Customer opens the menu, places their hands holding their phones on top of it and continue doing whatever on their phone.
Waiter returns to see if they are ready to order or have any questions. The customer asks for more time.
Finally they are ready to order.
Total average time from when the customer was seated until they placed their order 21 minutes.
Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items take way longer.
26 out of 45 customers spend an average of 3 minutes taking photos of the food.
14 out of 45 customers take pictures of each other with the food in front of them or as they are eating the food. This takes on average another 4 minutes as they must review and sometimes retake the photo.
9 out of 45 customers sent their food back to reheat. Obviously if they didn’t pause to do whatever on their phone the food wouldn’t have gotten cold.
27 out of 45 customers asked their waiter to take a group photo. 14 of those requested the waiter retake the photo as they were not pleased with the first photo. On average this entire process between the chit chatting and reviewing the photo taken added another 5 minutes and obviously caused the waiter not to be able to take care of other tables he/she was serving.
Given in most cases the customers are constantly busy on their phones it took an average of 20 minutes more from when they were done eating until they requested a check. Furthermore once the check was delivered it took 15 minutes longer than 10 years ago for them to pay and leave.
8 out of 45 customers bumped into other customers or in one case a waiter (texting while walking) as they were either walking in or out of the Restaurant.
Average time from start to finish: 1:55
That makes it an extra 50 minutes all because of the customers spending more time on their phone! This to me serves as a really sad reminder of the digital age and how we are spending less time connecting in reality and more time on our phones.
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