General Etiquette > general

If this the standard, I'm staying home!

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DH and I went out to eat twice this weekend (this is the norm, we usually do a Friday or Saturday "date night" and a Sunday breakfast meal out).  We've had our share of annoying experiences in the past but this weekend made me just want to hole up and order takeout from this point on!

Saturday, we went to a semi-fancy restaurant (Roy's, it's a chain Asian-Hawaiian fusion place) with a 7:30pm reservation.  It was totally packed but the lights are low and it was quiet, which is exactly what we like if we're spending a chunk on a "nice" night out.  We got seated right by a family of 2 adults, 3 kids all looking to be under 12.  Not a big deal, this place has a children's menu so it's not like it isn't family-friendly.

About 10 minutes into our dining experience, the family started getting drinks and apps and taking pictures.  And pictures.  And more pictures.  They took a photo of literally every item brought out by the servers, except maybe the ice water.  This was sort of obnoxious in my book, but the major problem was that they were using a flash (as mentioned, it's a dimly lit restaurant).  It was irritating the first time, the fifth time, and after the tenth or so time, I complained quietly to the waitress that the flash was leaving spots in my vision and enough was enough.  She VERY politely asked them, "Is there any way you can photograph without the flash?  It's disturbing our other guests."  Then the mom/wife began to whine, "But we're documenting our expeeerieeence!  This is supposed to be speeeciialll!" and proceeded to stare daggers at us until they finally (dessert thoroughly documented!) left.

I saw our waitress talking to the manager at one point, I don't know if she was complaining about the flashers or didn't bother to mention it to him at all, but I'm annoyed at the spinelessness of the restaurant in failing to shut this down.  Is this expectation unreasonable?

In my opinion no it is not. And when they refused to accept the polite request of "Please turn off your flash so as not to disturb the other patrons" and whined "But it's all about MEEEEEEE and my EXPERIENCE!" I would have called the waitress over and asked her if there was some way I could be moved away from Flashyfamily.

Maybe a birthday dinner or some other celebration they wantented to phtograph so they could scrapbook later? Once they were made aware the flash was a problem it would have been best to take pictures without it.

That must have been super annoying, and it giving you vision spots, and that woman looking daggers at you? She must have thought she was especially entitled.

(I can sympathize with you. My brother and I were on a tour of a famous cave, and lots of other tour members were using the cameras on their cell phones to memorialize all the fabulous formations. Me? I couldn't see for all the spots in my vision due to the multiple flashes going off. I drifted to the back of my tour group.)

I remember reading about a restaurant in NYC that is no longer allowing diners to take pictures of the their food for just this reason. The owner feels the whole "food blogging" trend has gotten out of control to the point where it is disturbing for other patrons.

I don't think anyone has a problem with the occasional photo, but yeah a constant stream of photos during a meal in a quiet, well lit environment if very annoying. But the blame lies solely with the family and the "me me me" attitude. I think the waitstaff/manager were in a tight spot, caught between trying to make 2 customers happy. You might be here complaining about the flashes, but I can imagine the manager being afraid of bad publicity from a family going on a blog or newsite complaining that they weren't able to take pictures of little Jimmy's birthday because the mean ole snooty restaurant made them put away their camera.


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