Are smartphones ruining the restaurant experience? (Slate) 
An anonymous and now deleted Craigslist post contended smartphones had become the scourge of the restaurant industry, slowing service and irritating staff. But restaurateurs say smartphones are more of a boon than a hindrance. Researchers found about 30 percent of restaurant-goers take photos of their food, and 9 percent have paid for a meal through mobile.
 
—Ron Ruggless

San Francisco restaurants facing labor issues (San Francisco Chronicle)
Unions in San Francisco are staging demonstrations outside high-profile restaurants, but not to benefit the staffers who work there. These unions represent the carpenters working for the nonunion construction companies that built the restaurants. Meanwhile, restaurant operators say they’re trapped in someone else’s fight and that the demonstrations are confusing customers.

—Lisa Jennings

Bankruptcy judge puts Crumbs on fast track to sale (The Wall Street Journal)
An auction for the cupcake chain is slated to be held next month.

—Marcella Veneziale

Domino’s franchisee unplugs phone to celebrate digital (San Diego Union-Tribune)
A Domino’s franchise owner in La Jolla, Calif., is so bullish on the pizza chain’s online- and digital-ordering technology that he is shutting off his restaurant’s phone and offering half off every pizza for a whole day, this Friday July 18. Domino’s derives 40 percent of its sales nationwide from digital ordering, but the La Jolla franchisee said his mix of online orders is much higher. He reportedly will be the first location to go all-digital.

—Mark Brandau