The introduction of smartphones has changed everyday communication. People are more focused on their phones than looking up and talking to the person in front of them. While this was understandable a decade ago, when smartphones were just the latest trend, things need to change now. The need for smartphone etiquette has been growing over the years and people have become disassociated from reality. Not surprisingly, in-person communication has slowed down as people wait for the next push notification from their phones. One would think that we need a break, that we need some unwritten social rules. Well, there’s a restaurant in Fort Wort, Texas that’s trying to do something about it. He has one rule for his clients: no cell phones.
No smartphones and better experiences
Interestingly, there is a growing body of evidence showing an association between excessive smartphone use and stress and anxiety. This is the opposite of what you would like to experience at your favorite restaurant. That is why several restaurants, bars and clubs have implemented the rule of not using cell phones. In certain areas, they are locked in bags and can only be accessed during an emergency or after the show is over.
This is a great way to deal with a growing problem. Sure, you may not be able to capture all the memories you wanted, but it allows you to focus on the here and now and enjoy the experience. And this is precisely why Tim Love, a chef from Dallas, has a no cell phone rule at his restaurant, Caterina’s. The new Italian restaurant kindly asks people to store their phones in small bags while food is served.
Speaking to Paper City, Tim Love stated: “The hostess gives each guest a bag to put her phone in and the bag stays with the guest throughout dinner. We are going to kindly ask you to put your phone in the bag. That has already happened to us. Some people forget. They only have their phone in their pocket. We give them the bag. They put his phone in the bag. It is not a big thing. If you can’t deal without your phone for two hours, this is not the place for you. I mean, people go to the movies, they don’t use their phones.” The main idea behind this no cell phone rule is to create an atmosphere where people can talk to each other. It would help them bond in a world that has become quite mechanical.
Do you have an emergency call? Caterina has a Plan for that.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is the reason people frequent it. Interestingly, even the waiters serve the food at a much more languid pace. “At Caterina’s, guests will enjoy a multi-course meal. It’s slow dining, or what I like to call analog dining, where the whole experience encourages you to slow down. There will be lots of little surprises throughout the meal.” Even Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star has good things to say about this place. “Tables talking to tables – (customers) making new friends – the atmosphere is great.
And if one were to visit Caterina, one would understand that the vision itself was worth leaving her smartphone behind. The restaurant’s private dining room sits under a gleaming Art Deco latticework detail. With the atmosphere of the 1940s and 1950s, the restaurant expects customers to wear sports coats for a gourmet meal. The rest of the restaurant is finished off with gorgeous woodwork and tile installations. The modern architecture of the place is interspersed with the vintage lighting of the chandelier
But the no cell phone rule doesn’t mean you can’t talk to someone in case of something important or an emergency. The chef has stated that anyone who needs to speak to someone can give them the number of the restaurant. After that, the staff would bring an old landline phone next to your table. With absolutely no use of cell phones, one has to resort to other methods of entertainment. Love says, “So you think I’m going to sit here and have fun and that’s what happens. It’s been really refreshing.”