We love technology. I get it. Smartphones. IPads. I see them all day, every day. My staff. My vendors. My patrons. It never ends. I’m not going to tell you that being connected 24/7 doesn’t have its advantages. I can’t. I’m not that old school. Chef is a card-carrying smartphone user. We are on Facebook and Twitter. You can view our menu on your smartphone. Our restaurant is Wi-Fi enabled.
You have to be all those things today. I get it. What I don’t get is why a couple would take time to make reservations, ask for a quiet table in the back, and then stare into their screens instead of engaging in conversation and enjoying the ambience of a well-deserved night out.
Listen, it is not my place to judge. I’m in the people business. I’ve done my homework. “One in four people check their phones every 30 minutes, while one in five check every 10 minutes.” “Eighty-four percent of the people worldwide said they can’t go a single day without their phone in their hand.”
The numbers speak for themselves.
So, I guess that’s why I’m making you a promise. I promise you’ll never see me with my head buried in my phone while you’re asking me the story (and translation) behind the Aragosta Mac e Formaggio con Olio al Tartufo (it’s Lobster Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil, by the way). You won’t see me engaged in anything but the sheer satisfaction that you chose us to give you an unforgettable experience and meal.
That’s the way it should be – the way it used to be. Remember those old family dinners. We all sat around the table waiting for mom (or grandma) to bring us that meal we spent the better part of the day or so savoring. You don’t have to “Google” those memories – they really happened. Can you imagine what dad would have said if he caught you scrolling through your iPad during the appetizer portion of the meal? I can.
Here’s my request – when you come in, relax. Ask for a bottle of wine. Let one of our appetizers set the tone for the meal you savored – and deserved – all week. And then have some dessert.
I think you’ll thank us. Sure, you can post something on Facebook (we appreciate that). You can tweet out to Vingenzo’s Nation that your lobster was more than you ever dreamt it would be.
Or, you can look me in the eyes and tell us how we did. Tell us what we can do better. That’s what we did with mom (except for that how she could have done better part). A good old-fashioned thank you means so much.
You’re here. You’re with us. So, put down that phone and mangi.
Oh, and sorry, I know you’re probably reading this on your smartphone.