Bloggers get better service? A poll.

I was taking photos at a restaurant today, my dining companion patiently waiting as i tried 4 or 5 different angles, when some other patrons and serving staff peered over at our table. No one said anything, but you heard the whispered question “what is he doing”?

My dining companion asked me – “you reviewing this place or something *laugh*”, like it was a good joke. Uhh, no, just taking pictures for my blog. The server’s eyebrows arched a bit, the other table shrugged and went back to their meal, and life returned to normal.

While the service at this establishment is generally excellent, we noticed that the server would patiently explain each course, and would frequently stop by to top up our waters. A beer we didnt like was comped. Now im sure it may have all been coincidence because we were sitting next to their station, but over time, i’ve noticed that many servers seem to be a bit more generous with their time when after i’ve pulled a camera out.

I generally try to be discrete, but in many open concept rooms, i find it extremely difficult and give up. Whenever possible, i prefer to palm my camera, and only take pictures after our server has left the vicinity. However, any observant server would notice pretty quickly. And while I feel a bit guilty, I prefer to get good photos, then have cell phone photos. I have always wondered though, what impact this photo taking has.

My question for all our readers is this: do you think, when you break out a camera, or take notes on a meal, that you generally get a better level of service? Should bloggers, to try and remain as impartial as possible, do everything within their power to hide their photo activities?