It is a commonplace sight in Britain’s high-end restaurants.

A customer, delighted with their meal, photographs the food and posts it on Twitter. The snapshots are sometimes labelled “food porn” by aficionados.

But far from enjoying the free publicity, French chefs have pledged to ban cameras in their restaurants, claiming it is bad manners and an infringement of their “intellectual property”.

A group of top chefs have criticised diners for ruining the surprise for future diners and tipping off rivals about presentation.

Chef Alexandre Gauthier, 34, who runs the Grenouillère restaurant in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, in northern France, said diners often appeared more interested in photographing their food than eating it. He has introduced menus with a picture of a camera with a line through it to dissuade diners from posting photos of food on social networking sites.

“They used to take pictures of themselves, their family, their grandmother, whoever, as a souvenir. Now they take pictures of the food, they put it on Facebook or Twitter, they comment. And then the food is cold.”

He said he had seen customers rearranging tables to capture the best angle.

Gilles Goujon, who runs a Michelin three-starred restaurant, L’Auberge du Vieux Puits, in Fontjoncouse, southern France, said: “If people take a photo and put it out on social media, it takes away the surprise.” – Daily Mail