ISSUE: TVs In Restaurants
I have 6-8 area restaurants on my “rota” for breakfast / brunch. I would classify them as “upscale diners”… not Waffle House… or “Joe’s Greasy Spoon”. Several are national or area “chains”.
Not “special occasion / first date places” and NOT “sports bars”. NOT “a bar”. We’re talking table-service “comfort food” with folksy wait staff and an average check of $10-$15/person. i.e. “My Kinda Place”.
Without exception, they all have at least one, and more often 2-3 flat-screen TVs mounted around the dining room. Not gianormous IMAX screens. Maybe 35-45″ models… and the sound is muted with closed captions.
I am most often alone but not really. I always have my bluetooth headphones w/ my current audiobook to entertain me. Maybe some folks in 2019 need external entertainment and actually watch whatever is on the screens. If you were with someone whether spouse or old friend much less “a business lunch” WHY would “watching a TV while dining” have any appeal at all? … OK, you got the picture.
If you owned – or managed – such a restaurant would what is being shown on your TVs be a significant element to the overall ambiance / atmosphere of your business? Or, would you give it no thought … just turn the TVs on as visual “white noise”.
I believe a business owner has very very large parameters as regards the environment he/she/it creates within its retail space. But, alas, we are living in very contentious times. If one chooses to express a socio-cultural-political POV thru one’s retail space it WILL likely be noticed by one’s clientele… intended or not.
Accepting that consequence… do your thing!
4-5 months ago I was having a late breakfast in such a place. Staring at me from across the dining room – albeit with the sound muted – was that bloviating cow Joy Behar and her View gang of faux-intellectual harpies. My solution was easy… I was in a booth … I simply moved around to the opposite seat. Bloviating Behar was now out-of-sight.
The pleasant 50-ish hostess recognized me as “a regular” although no names had ever been exchanged. As I was leaving, I discreetly (of course) mentioned to her that avoiding “provocative programming” on their TVs might be “good business” unless appealing to only half of their market while insulting the other half was their intention. I noted that The View was most definitely “provocative programming”.
A couple seated by the hostess station overheard our conversation and interjected that they shared my concern. OMG… was I becoming a right-wing Che Guevarra assembling my troops in this diner?
The hostess expressed immediate concern and began searching for the remote. “What would you prefer to watch?” she asked. “Anything on HGTV or The Food Channel or Weather would be safe.” I suggested.
I went back a few weeks later and one of those innocuous LoveIt ListIt FixerUpper / Diners&Dives shows was on. Maybe I just came at the right time … or maybe by “speaking up” I had made that restaurant just a bit more universally pleasing. I choose to believe the latter…
A similar situation was noted at a “new place” I’ve been frequenting lately. Again, NOT a sports bar … almost a Millennial “fern bar” offering gluten-free and lactose-free options. Their “Big TV” is always turned to “a sport of some sort” … usually Euro- Soccer, I think. The sound off.
I asked both the Asst Mgr and “my waitress”. I have already established a “my waitress” at this place.
… if “what is playing on the TV” was a conscious management decision. “Absolutely” they both said. “We want to attract customers… not offend them” they said.
We discussed how “a soccer game” or HGTV / Food or The Weather shows are “safe”… and that NO “News channels” are safe at all.
The point of all the above is:
“Would YOU bother to express an opinion” at what you consider “objectionable programming”… or would you simply remove such restaurants from your “rota”?
If management responds discourteously to your polite question… your decision is an easy one.
I say… do so discreetly realizing that your waiter probably isn’t a decision-maker. When I “do it” I never reveal my partisanship … but since I’m not screaming F-bombs I figure they know I’m not a Lib/Dem.
BobLee on Facebook…
IMO… What was / was not said between DJT and the Ukrainian Guy about Creepy Joe (and Equally Creepy Hunter) Biden is totally irrelevant to anything.
The sole purpose of “Impeachment Proceedings” is to re-energize that 40% of “our Fellow Americans” who have been successfully programmed with an all-consuming 24/7 HATRED of TRUMP… and Hatred of Us Deplorables.
Dems hope that this timely re-engergizing of their Rabid Base will carry thru until Nov 2020 .. resulting in their Take-Over of America. … Time Will Tell if that strategy will work.
IMO… NONE of the Hot Bloods on either side SCREAMING IN ALLCAPS on Social Media – including me – know if it will work … or not. …. Have A Good Day!