A coworker told me about this article during a recent shift at work. Another shared it on Facebook. I’m posting the link here. It’s quite enlightening. I’ve experienced much of this myself from the server perspective. Thankfully, our clientele isn’t this device-obsessed, and I’ve learned a few tricks to cut down some of these issues.
1. I take a minimum of two photos for my guests in quick succession. This is a cardinal rule of digital photography I learned a while back. It dramatically increases the chance of getting a good shot without having to try again.
2. If someone is on their phone, I move on. I try never to wait around for two reasons. It is likely to make the guest on the phone feel rushed. It is also taking away time from my other guests.
3. In extreme cases, i put the power in their hands. I inform them that, “It’s not as important that you’re ready for me, but that I’m ready for you.” I then instruct them to get my attention when they are ready, and I leave them be, glancing from time to time from a distance. I then turn my attention to my other tables, and to helping my coworkers. In this manner, I can help them move their guests along more quickly and reduce the overall backlog on the restaurant wait list. This might hurt my bottom line for that particular shift, but it’s an investment that will benefit me in the long run.
In the end, connected devices are here to stay. It is in our nature to matter to others, and social media increases our self-worth and self-importance by giving us the illusion of an audience with each tweet, post, or upload. I’m just as guilty, by virtue of being a blogger myself, even if I exercise more restraint than most when using my devices in social settings. All I can suggest is that we all strive every day to learn to be better stewards of this new level of empowerment and better members of this new digital community. Enjoy!