Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big Brother or Big Boy--servin up the fun

Those Dutch people. They sure know how to do it.
If you are student at the University of Wageningen you know what I am talking about.

Apparently the innovative minds at UoW decided the TGIFridays down the road just wasn't cuttin' it and created their own restaurant that bears the faint scent of Big Brother.
NOTE: Sarcasm. I have no idea if the Netherlands has a TGIFridays chain.

Imagine dining at a table where cameras are trained on your plate of linguine. From within the walls of a hidden control room guys in white lab coats with clipboards are watching your every move, your every bite. It seems this campus restaurant is more along the lines of a research facility. It's a little creepy. Sure, they operate this eatery under the guise of observing dining behavior, consumer tastes and predictable patterns. And yes, thankfully the whole thing is not done surreptitiously. Before sloshing down that soft drink and salty appetizer you must first sign a release form, consenting to be watched and observed. Takers? Anyone?

This whole story just led me to a lot of procrastinating...errr... I mean thinking. Overall, this makes me a little queasy. It's how I feel about that overzealous videographer at a wedding who asks you to say a few words about the happy couple just after you crammed a shovel full of frosting smeared cake in your mouth. Eating and videography should not be combined. Crunching, munching and slurping noises should not be captured with a boom mic.

Maybe it's because I abhor most reality t.v., maybe because the Dutch kind of perplex me. Besides tulips, wooden shoes, windmills and legalized prostitution in Amsterdam...they really haven't made a name for themselves yet. Now in the future we might be able to thank the Dutch for an improved dining experience...only after hours of videotape prove that:

  • Yes, some of us do talk with our mouths open

  • We did take back that extra dollar bill from the tip

  • Patrons are indeed responsible for trick salt shakers

If this important research helps you help others help us to a better overall experience eating out in the future...I guess so be it. Consider this though; beware on a whole other level of the friend who during a meal asks you to "go Dutch".

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