Mikey Doesn't Like It

Diners at Flour + Water Prop Up iPad, Watch U.S. Open While Eating [Updated]

Whether it's used by the server or a diner, Mikey doesn't like it.
Whether it’s used by the server or a diner, Mikey doesn’t like it. Photo: iStock Image

In an effort to once again get his loyal peanut gallery revved up, Michael Bauer poses the question today in a blog post “Does an iPad have any place in a restaurant?” Now, of course, Mr. Bauer’s already voiced his disapproval of the electronic ordering tablets they have at Bluestem Brasserie, and his severe judgment of those who whip out cell phones and text at the table, so his opinion on the matter is hardly veiled. But the question today arises out of an email from a server (to whom Bauer insists on referring as a “waiter”) at an “extremely busy restaurant” in San Francisco who recently waited on a table upon which a diner had propped up his/her iPad and sat watching the U.S. Open throughout the meal with his/her companion(s). “This seemed completely insane!” writes the server.

Bauer himself sounds incensed by the story, and by the idea that this table lingered long past their welcome watching television like they were in their own home. “The iPad obviously interfered with service and seating,” writes Bauer. Furthermore, he laments, “Rules of dining etiquette are becoming even fuzzier. Next time they should leave the iPad at home, and head to a sports bar for some hot wings and nachos.”

We would argue that cellphones are, whether we like it or not, probably going to continue to get whipped out during conversation, if only for the purposes of checking what that actress’s name was who was in that Cohen brothers’ movie that came out when we were in college. And for those who now carry iPads around everywhere, they will likely serve the same purpose from here on out. But sitting there watching a movie or TV show? Yeah, that’s kind of tacky.

(Bonus points for any servers or diners at this unnamed restaurant who’d like to tell us where this happened, anonymously of course. Feel free to email or comment.)

Update: A tipster writes in to tell us that he may have witnessed said scene, last Monday, at Flour + Water. “Not sure if it’s the same incident (this is San Francisco after all and you see iPads everywhere) but last Monday night, my girlfriend and I were sitting next to a table of three women watching tennis in the middle of the scrum at Flour + Water. We couldn’t really believe it either; why bother going if you’re not going to eat that much and just watch tennis?”

Does an iPad have any place in a restaurant? [Between Meals/Scoop]
Michael Bauer Is Plenty Familiar With What a Coked-Up Server Looks Like
Bauer Hates It When Servers Say ‘Enjoy’
Do Cell Phones Belong on Dinner Tables?

Diners at Flour + Water Prop Up iPad, Watch U.S. Open While Eating [Updated]