No offense, but I think the problem is with your friends, not the restaurant.
There’s a recent trend of pay-to-enter “experiences” that are designed to creat unique Instagram photos. I think they’re pretty dumb, but some people really enjoy them. I can make the choice not to go, and they can choose to go.
Unless these restaurants are eroding the fabric of society or something, it sounds like they’re just not your thing. For some people, maybe some of whom are chasing status markers, it is their thing.
I eat at some restaurants that other people would think are ridiculous. I go because the chef does something new or interesting that I can’t get elsewhere. And sometimes it’s really, really expensive for not huge portions. I spend money on that but haven’t bought a video game system in a decade. I don’t go to professional sports games, and I haven’t had cable in years.
You don’t have to yuck their yum, or condemn the thing they enjoy because they enjoy it. I think the point you want to make is that there are things more important than status markers and experiences aren’t better just because they cost more.