France’s Finest Chefs Crack Down On Diner Photographs

by T+B Blog Team on February 24, 2014

Prominent cooks in France are taking a firm stand against customers taking images of their dishes in restaurants. The chefs claim that by photographing meals, diners are infringing on their “intellectual property.”

A number of Michelin-starred French restaurants are campaigning to end this so-called “food porn” and crack down on the use of smartphones in their establishments.

According to chef Gilles Goujon, whose L’Auberge du Vieux Puits restaurant in southern France holds three Michelin stars, diners snapping photos with their smartphones to post them later on social networks can take away the surprise for other visitors, he told AFP. Food pictures also “take a little bit of my intellectual property too,” he added.

One chef has gone even further by placing a no-photos symbol on his menu. Alexandre Gauthier, chef at the Grenouillere restaurant in La Madelain-sous-Montreul, has put a picture of a camera with a line through it on his menu as a warning to diners that mobile phones are not welcome at his restaurant’s tables. The chef claims that cameras are not banned in his restaurant; he just wants diners to consider the issue, The Local reports.

The craze of taking photos of extravagant plates of food has extended to New York, where chefs are complaining about seeing their dishes posted on social media. According to an article in The New York Times, some restaurant owners have been so irritated by clients climbing on their chairs to photograph dishes that they have actually banned the use of smartphones in their establishments as well.

For a look at more IP issues in the food industry, read our earlier post, “Intellectual Property Protection in the Food Industry.”

Where do you stand on the issue of taking photographs in a restaurant?

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