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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 06, 2015


Mobile use during dining experience researched

The use of mobile devices while dining out is prevalent. While some can not resist photographing and sharing their dishes, research has revealed what might seem obvious to some - that Instagramming and Tweeting your dinner means you are missing out on much of the dining experience.

by Helen Leggatt

Research carried out by digital agency Digital Blonde reveals that diners are missing out on perhaps the most important elements of the dining experience when mobile phones are used.

In Digital Blonde's experiment, diners were allowed to use their mobile devices during the first course of a meal, but were told to place them in a box for the remainder of the experience.

The results reveal just what an impact mobile phones have emotionally, as well as on how things are experienced. Incredibly, the most common emotion felt by the diners once the mobile phones were boxed was fear, cited by 40.9%. Anxiety was noticeable by researchers observing the diners' reactions, due to not being able to share their experience via mobile.

However, 31.8% of diners said they felt happy once mobile devices were removed the from experience and all the diners agreed that conversations not only flowed better, but were more in-depth, personable and free of interruptions.

"Without many of us realizing it, mobile phones have become a central part of the eating out experience, whether as a conversational aid, a connection to the rest of the world or as a way to share the occasion with others," said Karen Fewell, the founder of Digital Blonde and The Food Marketing School. "While all of these can be seen as positives, I truly believe that the best moments in life happen around a table when we are eating and drinking with the people we love. I was intrigued by what costs there may be to our in-the-moment enjoyment of a meal and our emotional connection to others around the table."

When the diners were asked whether mobile phones should be banned in restaurants, 70% said no although 80% felt people should put their phones away while at the table.

What do you think? Is mobile use during dining acceptable, or does it distract from the experience?






Image via Shutterstock

Tags: food and drink, mobile, research, restaurant, social media








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