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Since 2020, there has been a palpable shift in how service plays into the overall dining-out experience. It’s tough to pin down exactly what is going on, but as the VinePair Podcast team suggests, it’s more of a vibes thing. Carrying that vibe? The fact that servers are now generally less attentive and friendly than they used to be.
There’s also the social media of it all. These days, over 55 percent of Gen Z gets their news from TikTok, and food critics have started falling behind social media influencers as the tastemakers in the restaurant world. As such, having an “Instagrammable” spectacle of a dish on a menu is worth its weight in gold, while receiving a glowing review from a well-respected publication becomes increasingly irrelevant. It should come as no surprise that building hype and the potential for internet virality are taking priority over stellar service. After all, an engaging experience with a server won’t harness many views on TikTok, but a carbonara served tableside in a flaming cheese wheel certainly will.
Today on the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach debate whether or not restaurant and bar hospitality has changed since Covid. Could the increasing importance of TikTok and Instagram be driving a new type of customer engagement, or has attrition in the workforce since the pandemic had a lasting impact? Tune in for more.