Restaurants Turn Camera Shy

With social restaurant review services like Yelp, it’s becoming common practice for diners to snap a photo of their meals. But Restaurants aren’t exactly happy about this photographic trend.

When it comes to people taking photographs of their meals, the chef David Bouley has seen it all. There are the foreign tourists who, despite their big cameras, tend to be very discreet. There are those who use a flash and annoy everyone around them. There are those who come equipped with gorillapods — those small, flexible tripods to use on their tables.

“We get on top of those folks right away or else it’s like a circus,” Mr. Bouley said.

But rather than tell people they can’t shoot their food — the food they are so proud to eat that they need to share it immediately with everyone they know — he simply takes them back into his kitchen to shoot as the plates come out. “We’ll say, ‘That shot will look so much better on the marble table in our kitchen,’ ” Mr. Bouley said. “It’s like, here’s the sauce, here’s the plate. Snap it. We make it like an adventure for them instead of telling them no.”

Not every chef or restaurant owner is as accommodating, especially these days, as cameras have become as common as utensils. People are posting a shot of their quinoa salad online, or their ramen noodles on their blog. A growing backlash has prompted not only dirty looks from nearby diners, but also creative measures like Mr. Bouley’s and even some outright photo bans.

The New York Times | Read the Full Article