Texas Restaurant Bans Customers’ Cellphones, But Not Everyone Agrees With The Rule

Cell phones are no longer only for calling or texting; they carry a person’s life – pictures of friends and family, social media, credit cards– everything. And that’s what makes them so addicting.

Tired of seeing customers staring at their phones, one Italian restaurant owner in Texas put his foot down.

Enjoy A Smartphone-Free Dinner

Tim Love owns many restaurants in the Fort Worth, Texas area, and he’s tired of seeing smartphones out during dinner.

caterinas
Instagram/ChefTimLove
Instagram/ChefTimLove

So when he opened Caterina’s, he made a strict “no smartphone” policy.

Phones Are Put Away

Tim describes his process,

tim-love
Instagram/ChefTimLove
Instagram/ChefTimLove

“The host gives each guest a bag to put their phone in, and the bag stays with the guest the whole dinner… It’s not a big deal.”

An Old School Red Rotary Phone If You Need To Make A Call!

But what if a guest is waiting for a phone call?

red-phone
instagram/Caterinasftx
instagram/Caterinasftx

The restaurant offers an old-school rotary phone that the staff will walk over to the table so the guest can use it.

Of Course, People Can Go Outside To Look At Their Phones

Tim also adds, “If someone really needs to access their smartphone during dinner, they are welcome to simply walk outside to use it.”

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Unsplash/Klara Kulikova
Unsplash/Klara Kulikova

So far, this idea doesn’t seem to have any negatives!

What About Food Bloggers?

A food blogger asked Tim, “What about people like me who want to take photos of the space and their memorable meal?”

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/pexels

Tim already has a plan; they will send a follow-up e-mail to all reservations the following day with a photo of everything they ordered if they want to share it.

If You Can Watch A Movie And Not Be On Your Phone, You Can Do This

Tim warns this restaurant isn’t for you if you can’t go two hours without looking at your phone.

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Unsplash/Davey Gravy
Unsplash/Davey Gravy

Even though people go to the movies and don’t look at their phones for the same amount of time…

Should Restaurants Ban Cell Phones?

The big question on everyone’s mind is, should restaurants be banning cellphones?

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Getty Images)
Getty Images)

There are pros and cons to doing so. And comedy shows and concerts have been trying to push unplugged performances for some time now.

Encouraging A Slow Dining Experience

Tim considers Caterina’s as a slow-dining restaurant. Guests will enjoy a multi-course meal.

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Unsplash/Liubov Iluchuk
Unsplash/Liubov Iluchuk

Tim hopes the experience will encourage people to slow down and enjoy their experience at his restaurant.

What About Dining Alone?

There are other questions that people want answers to, like “What if you’re dining alone and don’t want to talk to strangers?”

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Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Images
Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Images

And, “What about people who use cell phones to track blood sugar levels? Or people who need to keep in contact with loved ones?”

Should There Be Exceptions?

People also mentioned that some people need their phones to communicate with others because of health problems.

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Matt Harbicht/Getty Images for Tandem Diabetes Care
Matt Harbicht/Getty Images for Tandem Diabetes Care

So does that mean their cell phone still needs to be taken away?

Pros To No Phones

The pros of a restaurant banning cell phones start with unplugging – it helps customers enjoy their experience at the restaurant.

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Photo by Adrienn/pexels
Photo by Adrienn/pexels

Also, it would accelerate the meal times and table turnovers, which means more customers!

Cons To A Cell Phone Ban

The biggest con for a restaurant if they ban cell phones is the loss of social media interactions.

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Photo by Kerde Severin/pexels
Photo by Kerde Severin/pexels

With fewer people taking pictures of their food will lead to fewer posts about the restaurant, which will ultimately lead to less sales.

Caterina’s Other Rule – Dress Classy!

The “No Smartphone” policy isn’t the only rule at Caterina’s.

Tim gave the restaurant a 40’s and 50’s style – meaning if you make a reservation, you must look classy.

Men Must Wear Sport Coats

What does that mean? Well, for the men, that means wearing a sports coat.

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Photo by PIZHONBY/pexels
Photo by PIZHONBY/pexels

But don’t worry if you forget; they have extra sports coats on hand to loan out.