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Television Viewing in Restaurants

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Barbara Arnold

on 25 April 2010

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Transcript of Television Viewing in Restaurants

Television Viewing in Restaurants To learn more, we completed observations
in-depth interviews and a focus group Distraction is the biggest problem with television viewing in restaurants.

Repeated flashes of light.
Constant changes in color.
Placement - hard to ignore, especially if televisions everywhere.

Companionship was the second most important finding.

Television serves to connect you with new people.
Television can serves as a companion when no other companion is available.
Television can make it socially acceptable to eat alone. Opportunities/Challenges Lulu commented during the focus group, “My boyfriend and I went to Ale House and I was so frustrated the whole time because all he was doing was watching the games on TV even though I was trying to talk to him. He would pretend like he was looking at me, but I knew all he was doing was looking at the TV at the Maverick’s game or whatever was on.” Bobbie and Barbara both observed men who treated the television as a companion. From Bobbie's filed notes: “…I almost immediately noticed a man, ‘Tim’ sitting alone at the bar. I looked over to see what he was watching just to find out it was some type of sports news about the upcoming football draft. Just as I looked to see what he was watching, the bartender came over to him (I’m assuming to ask if he wanted another drink or something to eat) and without a word, Tim simply placed his empty glass in front of her, signaling a refill on his Margarita. His eyes never looked away from the screen.” Key Findings Explore the role that television viewing plays while in a casual dining sit-down restaurant. This is harder than it looks!
You really have to LISTEN!
Transcribing is fun!
Data reduction is difficult.

We have a new-found respect for researchers! What we learned... The in-depth interview and focus group were not in a naturalistic setting. Developing rapport and gaining interaction were difficult at times.

The in-depth interviews were difficult to get the participants to keep talking and to share! The focus group was easier to control because of the numerous participants involved, which provided a lot of data, while some of the in-depth interviews were difficult to continue due to the one-on-one conversation process.

Inexperienced researchers - led to lots of "ummms" in our transcripts!

Recruiting for in-depth interviews and focus groups was difficult due to time, both for the participants and researchers.

Data reduction made us feel like this: The final outcome of our research was that socialization was a main reason for dining at restaurants with televisions.

Camaraderie between restaurant guests and with friends adds to the experience.

“Jackson” told the Focus Group, “I like going to Gator Dockside because they section off TVs in groups for which game you are going to watch. That restaurant is a huge LSU restaurant. They’ll have a small UCF section, a Gators section. I think that is cool because people are going there specifically for a certain game, as opposed to having six different games on at one time…”
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