You are being watched in the dining room...

I do not mind if the waitstaff keeps an eye on my table, that’s what they are there to do. But today many restaurants have a battery of cameras in the office or in the rear watching our every move, foibles and all. Are you comfortable with this?

Source?

I doubt they have the staff to watch our every move…But it doesn’t bother me in the least. We are on camera in most business establishments, on the highway and in many public areas. About the only place you are guaranteed privacy is in your home.

I have personally seen this set up at quite a few establishments…

Just asking for an example. I’ve never noticed cameras in a restaurant dining room, nor can I recall reading anything online or elsewhere about the practice being commonplace. I do remember an article about Thomas Keller putting cameras in his restaurant kitchens so that he could keep an eye on them, but that’s not what you’re talking about, right?

I recall reading about this in the NY Times sometime back–I don’t remember which restaurants were mentioned but they were high-end ones (maybe Daniel, maybe Union Pacific when Rocco Dispirito was the chef.)

Here is the article I had in mind–from 2000–and it does mention Daniel as well as others:

http://www.mediaeater.com/cameras/news/03012000.html

This place , at least while it was Heathcoat Crossing, had an office upstairs that looked like it was straight out of mission control. In addition to cameras above each table and work station they had some audio as well…truly disturbing
ps There were definitely some HO’s in the house during the early to mid 70’s … those brothel stories are not far from the truth

My daughter’s bar has a camera placed high up where it catches much of the space in one view. She can access it from her phone or PC to see what’s going on when she’s not there. She doesn’t really use it to watch specific people or behavior, mostly just to see how busy they are. Seems fairly typical for lots of businesses these days. I’ve asked her if her staff is aware that she has it and she says she ‘thinks’ so. That’s my only issue. I think she should let them know it’s there. JM2¢.

I also think it’s capable of focusing in on the till should there be any need to do that. One more reason I think she should make it known, but she says most young people know this kindof thing goes on. The camera is visible if you know what you’re looking at.

We are being watched everywhere . You know those strips in the $100.00 bills . There are devices on the freeways that count how much cash you have on hand .

it’s to keep an eye on the staff, not the diners.

3 Likes

Aha! I vaguely remember reading that when it came out. As one would expect, the intent is to make the experience better for customers (and in turn improve the restaurant’s bottom line). It doesn’t seem nefarious to me - less intrusive than, say, targeted advertising. Because when I’m in a public space, I have a much lower expectation of privacy than I do when I’m home reading around online.

I remember when it was Bartholemew’s in the mid 70 's. It was related to. Jonathan Seagull’s. I loved it. Gorgeous and good food.

It was a magnificent space…at least before the major
redesign when it became either Backals or Massa …
incomprehensible that this structure was not landmarked

Do you remember the gingerbread house created each year
by a Scarsdale resident which was on display during the holiday season?

I don’t remember that. I actually lived in NJ at the time and my folks lived in the city. They belonged to a club in Armonk and we’d meet them at Bartholemew’s for dinner, so we were mostly there in the summer.

I remember playing darts there once in an upstairs bar
when it was Bartholomew’s…cool place
It was very elegant when it was Heathcoat Crossing and the
food was good then too.
But they still had their fair share of drama … like when the significantly older
married with children owner ran off with the 18 year old hostess :scream:
Oh God…wasn’t it a Charile Browns too at some point!

The ones I’ve seen, and I’ve seen quite a few, seem to focus more on the cash register and the bar than people eating. If it was me, I’d keep one in the walk in too, to see what might be walking out with the staff.

1 Like

I’m trying to remember if at one time this restaurant had the servers working from a bank rather than having a cashier / cash register…And the walk in was covered as well as the work stations that housed smaller freezers where the ice cream was kept

It may have been. Jonathan Seagulls became one too.

1 Like

Yes…now I remember
that was painful

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold