Los Angeles Restaurant Deducts 5 Percent for Patrons Who Put Away Their Phones

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fuzz_64

My phone stays in my pocket! Sorry waiter, you can't have it.

However, there are some restaurants around here that have cell phone jammers in them. It's actually kinda nice.

Most people THINK they are talking in a normal voice when on the phone but in reality they are actually speaking in quite an elevated tone.

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Peanut Fox

Aren't cell phone jammers illegal? I thought you couldn't use them because if someone needed to make an emergency call you'd be SOL. If not I'd expect to start seeing them in theaters in that case.

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Ghok

I already keep my phone in my pocket when I'm having dinner with someone. Anyone texting me can wait. It's just polite. If I receive a call, I might glance to see who it is in case it's an emergency, but it's doubtful I'd answer it. If I want to text I'll wait until I'm alone.

Cell phones are pretty new devices, and so it'll take just a little while to work out how to be courteous with them. I've noticed most of my friends have all independently started to do the same kind of thing, whereas a few years ago being out at a bar, many would be constantly texting back and forth with whoever.

By the way, I wouldn't wear a hat indoors because to me that's common manners... but it's also a bullshit rule that has no practical purpose. Being courteous is different. Let's not get the two confused.

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winmaster

I don't see this as a 5% discount for not using a phone, I see it as an extra fee for using a phone, which is ridiculous.

Personally, I don't see what the big deal about using your cell phone is, but I'm a teenager so I guess I'm the reason that society is going to hell and I don't know anything.

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Coldrage

It's not, it's just not courteous or visually appealing to enter a restaurant and see everything fiddling with their blue glowy phones

Dining out is an inherently social activity, fiddling with machines while doing so is anti social and just shows that your facebook/twitter updates are more important than enjoying an evening dinner with whoever you are with.

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Hilarity

I don't even need to hand over my $25 phone. It doesn't even support .mp3, and forget anything internet. Still don't get why people spend hundreds on phones.

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Hey.That_Dude

They better have one hell of a liability insurance policy to take a personal cell phone and hold it while their customers eat. We're talking ~$300 phone plus all the bills and contracts attached to it. If it broke, if they were robbed, if, if, if.
Great Idea... Lawyer somewhere's gonna have a field day with this one.

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NcOle

I used to be in the service industry and it was annoying and rude when I would be put on hold so a text could be finished or read. Save the phone for fast food; if it's a nice restaurant then sure, take my phone, and give me a discount.

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vkt62

I do agree. This is a great way to actually make you look at whats going on in the world around you. The movie WALL-E is an excellent example of where we are heading.

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livebriand

Personally, I don't see why it matters, and I don't think I'd trust them with my phone. Also, what about people who didn't bring their phone (or don't have one) to begin with?

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Engelsstaub

Oh my freaking goodness...what would happen if you got a super-important-emergency call? Would you have to return a message or something?!

What did those prehistoric people over thirty do before the odor of their mother's vajayjays evaporated from their newborn skin? Did they have to use landlines and payphones and stuff...what sort of crazy world could that have been like; going outside and talking to people and shit?

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acidic

HHHOOOLLLYYY Jesus !!! i finally agree with you on something. people these days are much to reliant on technology and cant imagine a world without it. i am starting to know how my parents feel about "the good old days" and how kids these days have it so good and missed out on being a real kid and such.

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Engelsstaub

I have my moments.

I just wanted you to know that I typed that comment from a MacBook Pro though...so we can maybe get back to rage-posting again soon. ;)

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Pyrophorics05

I'll just save 100% by walking the other direction.

Isn't the fact that I cannot trust food industry to prepare food properly a bigger problem?

Why then would I trust you to keep save a device that likely costs several times more than my meal, which you cannot prepare properly.

We are now connected, people better get use to it.

This is not smoking and as long as I don't have my volume up, my usage should be transparent to everyone else.

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Blues22475

The only problem I have with this is the fact that you have to hand off your phone to someone you don't know. I don't know about you, but having a small discount is really not worth risking a $200 dollar phone.

Granted, I am not on my mobile very often (mostly hello goodbye with every little texting).

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Sorian

It is a good idea, but what happens if you do miss an important phone call from friend/family/neighbor/alarm company/emergency personnel because you handed your (hopefully locked) phone to someone else for a discount?

I will quickly glance at my phone and see if it is important and excuse myself if I have to take it, That is a better practice to keep.

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schwit

As to the hat, it can stay on if you are standing while eating or the place has bleachers.

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someuid

I'd do it. A discount is good and I'll spend more time talking to my wife than responding to "U on for l4d2 tonight?" text messages or stupid, pointless, this can wait until tomorrow emails from work.

Besides, your smartphone should be password protected anyway in case you leave it somewhere by accident.

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zinzan

What's the big deal?

I mean, I understand that some people talk too loud on their cell phones, but we don't complain if someone at the next table is talking in a conversational voice level with someone at the table. Why give them evil stares when they are talking at the same voice level with someone on the phone?

Same with on a train or on a bus, etc.

When I was working in San Francisco, I would often get these stares while riding BART, though my voice was never any louder than the people around me.

BTW, I'm referring mostly to situations where someone is at a restaurant alone or on a bus or train alone--if they are with someone else, I do find it rude to be calling or texting for too long. But everyone should use their own discretion in that regard.

-Z

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Khoiboi

Why do we say please if we're the boss or thankyou to a waiter when it's their job? Why do we hold doors for women when they're perfectly capable of holding it for themselves?

If you see a kid indoors with a hat on, it's impolite. It's the same way with cell-phone usage at a restaurant - the only difference being that the policing of impolite manners has become passe as society steadily diversifies in moralistic norms.

Besides, it doesn't matter what you think, the discount is there for people who want it. It doesn't ban phone usage.

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Biceps

(1) Because it is rude. I was one of those people staring.
(2) It has been scientifically shown that having to listen to just one half of a conversation (so, you talking on the phone, when we can't hear the other person) is annoying and distracting in a way that listening to 2 or more people speak to each other is not. This is because a person can't switch you off - though we would love to - and so subconsciously is working to figure out what the other person is saying.
(3) No one else wants to hear you tell other people about your problems at work, how awesome you were on the basketball court, or why your friend's boyfriend is a jerk.
(4) Because it shows a complete lack of class.

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jesse_n_sf

Plain and simple, it's rude if you are talking or texting on the cell phone while at a dinner table. If you have to talk or text then you should excuse yourself from the table like you do when you have to fart or go to the restroom. You're just not fully at the dinner table when you have to be on your phone. People don't feel comfortable when the attention is not focused on the people sitting at the dinner table. As for phones on the train or bus, I think it's OK as-long-as you're not loud and obnoxious. Being loud and obnoxious on the phone is plain RUDE.

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zinzan

Wah.

1. Rude to who? Nosy eavesdroppers? Staring at strangers is ruder, I think.
2. Can you site a reference to this scientific finding?
3. I was consulting at the time and sometimes had to dial into offshore conference calls while commuting from the East Bay. And I often dined alone while traveling for projects, and might need to take a brief phone call from my family. My conversations were probably not much different than other people sitting around you. You don't have to listen.
4. Judgmental, are we?

I hardly ever talk on my cell phone, to be honest. But whenever I see someone talking on the phone, as long as their voice is at a reasonable level and they aren't disrespecting any party that they are with, I've got no problem with it.

-Z

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Biceps

1) It's not eavesdropping if someone is sitting next to you talking in a loud voice. If someone is speaking quietly, I have no problem with it, but many people seem to have trouble speaking in a low voice.
2) I believe it was in Popular Science, but don't remember. www.lmgtfy.com
3) I totally understand business necessities - I'm going to guess you were listening on those calls, because leading a conference call on a BART ride from the east bay - especially the part where you go underwater - would be hard. If you weren't talking loudly, again no problem.
4) Yes, I am judgmental, but you are still rude. :)

Hearing is not something you can switch off, just like annoying people. If someone is talking loudly you will hear them - that is why it is called being 'within earshot'.

A last note: on Caltrain they actually announce that you should keep your calls short and quiet out of respect for the other passengers; I've even seen conductors tell people to hang up their phones or move from their seat. And, as sf_jesse pointed out above, that is what it is really about - showing respect for the people around you and their space. If you don't give a shit about the people around you on the train, then I guess then you don't need to respect them.

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jnite

I'm in agreement with you (zinzan) on this.

1. Do people stare at you when you are talking to another person? No, because it's rude. Same logic for talking on a cell phone. Now if you were yelling then yeah, but talking normal, they need to mind their own business.

2. I don't care if he does site a reference. It's junk. If I hear someone talking on a cell phone (half a conversation) it might get my attention, but then I realize they are on a cell phone and go on ignoring them as I would if there was another person there. It's not hard to do unless they are yelling.

3. Again, they need to ignore the person. They would be hearing the same conversation if there was two people there.

4. Yeah, very judgmental.

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jedisamurai

I'm all for anything gets people to stop texting and taking phone calls instead of talking to the person sitting next to them.

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tony2tonez

I'll give them 2 do I get 10%?

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canbbb

If more and more restaurants started doing that, I would definitely start carrying around (in my car's glove compartment)one of my old cellphones... so I can just log it in to get the 5% discount.

I still think it's rude to answer the phone in a restaurant, but like many other posters, I won't be giving my precious cell phone to a stranger.

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Brad Chacos

Nope! My phone is too valuable to hand off to somebody I don't know. Maybe if they had little lockers to hold your phone and only you had a key to it, like at the airport, but that would be ridiculous to find in a restaurant.

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jason2393

I'd rather have my phone. I don't want to have to explain why I missed some family emergency just so I could get a discount on a meal.

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Shalbatana

They're not going far enough. People should be billed 5% if their phone rings and is not on vibrate during their meal, and an additional 15% if they insist on talking at the table!

When I was growing up, to use a phone at dinner, people would excuse themselves, and head to the back or outside for the payphone. That's the least level of courtesy people should employ with cell phones today.

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John Pombrio

[Furtively sitting on the john while typing on a little keyboard]
Just like trying to sneak in a smoke somewhere. There is going to be a knot of people standing around the back door smoking and texting.

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somethingelse

What if I don't have a phone? Or choose to leave it in my car instead of reception? Am I still entitled to discount? Will they do a pat down like when you enter a night club?

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jnite

Bring a fake phone. It doesn't work (not signed up with a carrier) but looks like it does.

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Paladin25

Yeah no. My phone stays in the truck anyways. Definitely not handing it off to some random person no matter what business it is.

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Mikey109105

Nope. Granted it is a good idea and something that maybe this world needs, but it isn't something I'd be willing to do, since I don't take my phone out at a dinner table of any type anyway.

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