But as soon as he was out of sight, his date whipped out her phone, opened Tinder and started swiping.“It was deceitful, a little bit,” says Chris Mc Neal, general manager of Bar Dupont, who’d watched the scene unfold, slightly aghast that this is how people find love in the modern age.
“They’re moderating how much alcohol they drink,” Mc Neal says. Greg Algie, co-owner of the Fainting Goat, a popular Washington first-date destination, has witnessed more than one Tinderella arrive, get a glimpse of the person they’re supposed to meet — and head right back out the door.
“They have that twitchy-eye thing where, like, they don’t know each other.” Your first-date banter? And the bartender is pretending that he hasn’t seen you twice already this week. Your awkward first date can amuse restaurant staff. And because every seat is a piece of money-making real estate, the dozens of dates you’ve gone on this year may also be affecting many businesses’ bottom line.
Particularly when daters stare into their phones for 30 minutes without ordering, waiting for their match to turn up.
And when they spend another two hours talking about their childhood and lactose intolerance while nursing a single, happy-hour-priced beer.
As the number of first dates taking place every night explodes — Tinder alone purports to generate 1.3 million dates per week — it’s transforming restaurants in numerous ways, affecting their ambience, their table timing, even the way they’re designed.