What Is Phoneless Dining?

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Oftentimes, a group of friends will go out to eat but they aren't talking to each other. Instead, they are on their phones sending text messages, reading emails, or looking at social media posts. Restaurant owners have taken notice which is why some establishments have implemented a new rule: no cell phones at the dinner table.

Phoneless dining is a concept that doesn't allow patrons to use their phones while eating meals. Guests are asked to put their devices inside a “special box” that is on the table or to give it to their servers. Customers can't use their phones until they are done with their meals. This allows them to truly enjoy the flavors and presentation of their meals without getting distracted by their devices.

Why Is Phoneless Dining The New Trend?

Individuals who use their smartphones while eating out with their friends and family enjoy themselves less than those who don't, according to research from the University of British Columbia. To provide a memorable guest experience, restaurant owners should consider suggesting this popular phoneless dining trend, ensuring excellent service, and creating outstanding menu choices.

Additionally, the average American checks their phone 80 times a day, according to the New York Post. This means individuals check their devices every 12 minutes. A number of restaurant managers feel that guests who don't use their phones while dining deserve to be rewarded which is why they're giving customers a 5%, 10%, or 15% discount off their meals.

Should You Answer The Phone During Dinner?

Answering the phone during dinner is generally considered impolite and disruptive to the dining experience. When dining with others, showing respect and engaging in meaningful conversation with your companions is essential. Constantly checking or answering your phone can be seen as a sign of disinterest or lack of consideration for the people you share the meal with. It's best to silence or put your phone on vibrate mode during dinner and focus on enjoying the company and the meal to avoid any potential awkwardness or annoyance. If there's an urgent call you must take, excuse yourself politely from the table and step away to answer it discreetly.

Cell Phone Etiquette In Restaurants

Cell phone etiquette in restaurants revolves around being mindful and considerate of other diners and staff. Using your phone excessively, speaking loudly on calls, or having the ringtone on full volume can disrupt the ambiance and irritate fellow patrons. It's a good practice to silence your phone or put it on vibrate mode before entering the restaurant to avoid disturbing others. If you need to take a call, excuse yourself from the table and move to a more private or less crowded area to have your conversation. Remember that dining out is about enjoying food and fostering a pleasant atmosphere for everyone present. Respecting cell phone etiquette helps maintain a positive and respectful environment in restaurants.

Will Phoneless Dining Make Dinners Awkward?

Some restaurant managers worry that this new industry trend may make dinners awkward for some families. They believe some families will sit silently because they won't know what to discuss. However, the fact that patrons can't use their cell phones while eating dinner is a great conversation starter. They'll also be able to talk about how technology has advanced over the years, what an interesting concept phoneless dining is, or anything else that comes to mind.

How Does Phoneless Dining Benefit Restaurants?

Phoneless dining allows servers to work more efficiently. For example, if a couple is sending text messages while a waiter is trying to take their order, it prolongs their dining experience. Servers are forced to wait for customers to finish texting before they can serve them. By not allowing phones at restaurants, waiters can quickly serve customers, businesses will operate more smoothly, and establishments may be able to serve more families.

How Does Phoneless Dining Benefit Patrons?

Going out to eat may be one of the few times customers can spend time with their families or friends. For instance, if they live 2 hours away from their parents, they cannot see them every day. Rather than spending the time they have with them on their phone, establishments want them to put their devices away and socialize. Consumers can learn about everything that has happened in their friends' lives and enjoy their company. Turning off their phones while dining also has a number of other benefits:

  • Creates a better dining experience
  • Saves phone battery
  • Can enjoy meals without interruptions
  • Able to spend time away from phone screens which helps prevent headaches and digital eye strain
  • Helps prevent bacteria on phones from getting onto your food
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