Two local restaurants have installed surveillance cameras that allow people sitting at home to watch people at the restaurants chow down. The idea is to let the viewers decide whether the restaurants are worth checking out, or if the vibe just isn’t right.
Gabriela’s Restaurant and Elizabeth’s Neighborhood Table, both on Columbus between 93rd and 94th, are streaming images of their dining rooms on Gander.TV.
“We expect that the live-feed info-casts from GANDER.tv will enable us to better leverage social media to attract and keep clients. In this age of digital marketing, it’s extremely difficult to distinguish your brand. With live streaming video and audio, we believe that we will we have a more effective approach to getting our message out to customers who may be considering our venues for dinner and fun,” said Nat Milner, who owns both restaurants, in a release about the new service.
But what about people who don’t want home viewers watching them dribble their Bolognese sauce down their chins on live TV? I’m also not entirely clear that this setup really helps the restaurants. Indoor livestreams can look a tad depressing, even when the spaces themselves are bright and inviting. Elizabeth’s, which prides itself on having a kind of small-town charm, looks a little like a bar playing “Pianoman” on repeat in its livestream. Gabriela’s looks a little better, but also invokes just a touch of sadness, particularly when you see some guy sitting alone (“I’ve been there buddy,” I whisper to the screen. “Hang in there.”).
Or maybe I’m being too harsh. Is this our brave new world? Let us know in our poll and in the comments.