So much for this survey about more people craving face-to-face interaction in the digital age. A ramen bar in New York City offers “focus booths” where diners only have to interact with the bowl of soup in front of them.
A video report from Reuters, below, offers the details on Ichiran, where customers can sit in one of 46 private booths and submit their order by writing it down on a piece of paper to avoid speaking to staff. The servers are barely visible as they deliver bowls of food through an opening in front of the diner.
People are shown slurping ramen in a row of walled-off seats and checking their smartphones in the most 2018 dining experience imaginable.
Ramen bar in New York serves up a dining experience free of social interaction pic.twitter.com/qypnct6o1M
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 20, 2018
“A lot of people just want to get away, especially when you’re in a big city and you’re surrounded by big crowds all the time,” said Kayla Copeland of Ichiran. “It can be very tiring, especially if you’re already introverted.”
The Ichiran website describes the experience as more about focusing on the food rather than the people around us.
“Be a little more intimate with your ramen with Ichiran’s Solo Dining Booth — designed to allow to focus on the flavors of your bowl with minimal distractions. This Ichiran Original was created in response to the many distractions and loud surroundings of a typical ramen restaurant. Conversations with other customers, hurried movements of the chefs, and many other sounds and images prevent you from focusing on your meal, distracting you from the wonderful experience in front of you. Ichiran’s Solo Dining Booth solves this by blocking out the distractions, allowing you to focus all of your attention to fully enjoy the flavors of our ramen.”
h/t Ina Fried’s Axios newsletter, Login.