12.2.2015: Restaurants on IG / T-giving


Thanksgiving Is the Worst Social Media Holiday

The massive grocery store, the hours of cooking, the hours of cleaning, and five days of leftovers are behind us. How was your social media Thanksgiving? If you’re anything like Slate writer Amanda Hess, you just want the turkey/stuffing/potato/ brown food images to STOP. She writes:

“It’s natural to want to preserve some memories of a time when far-flung family members come together to prepare and eat a meal. It is unnatural to want to spend the day thumbing through pictures of other people’s stuffing.”

I have to agree here. Food photography is tricky, and while mobile phone cameras have improved by leaps and bounds since the dawn of Instagram, Thanksgiving dinner is still a tricky image to capture. Perhaps this is related to the proliferation of tablescape and centerpiece posts that dominated my own Instagram feed? Well, either that or pursuit of Pinterest perfection. Thanks, internet, for your contributions to this now-perfectionist holiday. See you next year. Keep your phone in your pocket.

illustration by April V. Walters


NY Restaurant Cancels Reservations if You Don’t Verbally Confirm over the Phone

When you run a famously busy restaurant, I guess you can manage to do things like this? One Eater staffer had a reservation at New York’s Minetta Tavern cancelled because the reservation holder didn’t answer the phone(or call back) to confirm the reservation.

I get it… I guess? Running a busy restaurant means needing to know who’s coming through your doors and when they’re coming. No-shows are a real issue and can cause trouble; especially if the restaurant is trying to be hospitable and hold the table until the party shows up. But on the complete opposite side of the coin, there’s this situation — and I agree with the Eater piece that this is decidedly un-hospitable.

Enter reservation technology: no longer is the phone necessary! Try a text message! Try a push notification! Or, take a deposit or sell a ticket to avoid these situations. Restaurant tech has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year, and the phone-to-confirm process, especially in tech-savvy cities, shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of maintaining your plans.



The Most Instagrammed Restaurants in the US

It’s nearly the end of the year, which means it’s time to start getting excited about those year end “best” and “most” lists. A good one arrived today, via FWx: Instagram released the 10 most-Instagrammed restaurants in the US (based on geotag, so tag your stuff.)

The list includes a surprising amount of donut places (three, if you count Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York, home of the cronut; four if you consider beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans to be a form of donut.) And then there’s Paris landmark Laduree’s New York City location, bringing the sweet tooth  mania to a full 50 percent of the total.

Curious about why this is: perhaps because these spots have largely recognizable names and adding the geotag is essential to the image itself. Conversely, a gorgeously-plated entree from, say, Nopa in San Francisco or pretty wood-fired pizza from Franny’s in Brooklyn doesn’t require the same sort of label — a gorgeous dish simply speaks for itself.



Your Right to Yelp Has Been Preserved (well, it’s on its way.)

Have you been following this “non-disparagement clause” legislation? It’s popped up in several contexts over the last year or so. Basically: companies that require you to sign contracts (cell phone co.’s are an easy example here) often write in clauses that prevent customers from writing or sharing negative things about the company. In the case of a service, like cell service, if you don’t sign it you can’t receive the service. This legislation also applies to other negative reviews or posts — like those on Yelp or other restaurant review sites. This week, asenate committee approved the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which means it will go to the Senate floor for a vote. Meaning: if passed completely, a company can not go after a person for sharing a negative review or experience online, assuming it’s truthful.



Starbucks Delivery Pilot in Seattle Begins

…and the delivery fee is more than your coffee. For a flat $5.99, though, this is a godsend to assistants in offices everywhere who will no longer have to juggle a platter of eight separate Starbucks orders. (I don’t miss those days but I’m a little jealous we didn’t have this option in 2005.)



  • Eleven Madison Park will do away with tipping in 2016 — Eater
  • Living Social launches Restaurants Plus feature — Living Social
  • Tech gurus teach food entrepreneurs the secrets to success — NPR
  • DinnerLab buys DishCrawl to create “bar crawls for restaurants.” — TechCrunch

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