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According to a craigslist post supposedly created by an anonymous NYC restaurant, customers take almost twice the time today to eat than 2004 because of mobile phones, food photos and fussiness.

I got passed this on social media today and it is claimed to be true, however I suspect it is a hoax or a joke. Can anyone verify?

2004:

Customers walk in.

They gets 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.

[...]

Average time from start to finish: 1:05

2014:

Customers walk in.

Customers get seated and is 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).

[...]

Average time from start to finish: 1:55

Archive.org copy of the craiglist post in question

  • Even taking their claim at face value, it looks like some of increase in average time could be attributed to the 15 additional customers that ask for re-seating. Maybe simply asking if the time in a restaurant has increased by an hour would be a better starting point for a question. – user5582 Jul 15 '14 at 22:43
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    Made an edit to show what I meant. They don't claim the extra hour is attributable solely to phone use. – user5582 Jul 15 '14 at 23:14
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    I saw this, concluded it was likely a hoax (despite living in a hipster- and uni-student-dense part of my city, this is inconsistent with the behaviour I see), but I didn't post it because I can't see how we could check this anecdote EXCEPT to show it was inconsistent with other restaurants (or for the anonymous originator to come forward). What sort of answer are you hoping for? – Oddthinking Jul 16 '14 at 4:38
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    @Oddthinking like any other possible hoax, either a confirmation it's true, e.g. a NYC restaurant owning up to it, or a denial, e.g. a college kid saying they did it. – Sklivvz Jul 16 '14 at 7:52
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    I am convinced it's fake. It combines (over-)precise data all supporting single causation of a "get off my lawn!" position. Colorful details about single copies left in the dusty VCRs but nothing to identify the restaurant. Inconsistent implications of effort: calculating the average time between sitting and "closing the menu to show they are ready to order" but then just a sweeping condemnation of "Before even opening the menu they take their phones out, some are taking photos while others are simply doing something else on their phone." etc. The tone isn't right. – Larry OBrien Jul 17 '14 at 22:42

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