The Cell Phone Controversy

by Chef Kendall Huff

Native Foods Cafe


There has been a lot of talk recently about this new “no cell phone” policy in restaurants and/or while ordering at counters. I’d like to approach this subject carefully, but also hit the main points to each side.


Dinner Table Sign


 Is it distracting and/or
good advertisement?


A famous Chef in Chicago once said, I
can't imagine how celebrities feel. No wonder they punch the paparazzi out when
they get the chance."  
Whoa nelly!


Tasting-menu-critics-angry-hulk-smashNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


Some Chefs may feel
like there work isn’t being appreciated to its fullest. If a guest orders a hot
entree, then waits 4 minutes to take a snap, post, tweet and what not, that
plate is no longer as it should be served.  Is the guest really getting the best meal that the Chef’s
created for them? Are they fully appreciating the 13 hours that the cook put
into that prep? Or are they just trying to out do the next person on Instagram?

In a recent Fox News article, a survey showed that 81 % of
US adults believe that people are getting worse with their technology.  If you are out to eat at a fine dining  restaurant or on a date, do you answer a
phone call, excuse yourself and walk outside? Or do you chat away at the top
of your lungs?  Will you leave that
flash on while taking the Twitter photo, or respect the other guests and turn
it off?


On the other side of this debacle, Facebook, Twitter,  and Intagram are the cheapest and most
effective ways of advertising.




Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this image courtesy of Social Lens Research.


I was working in a restaurant in Naples Florida, years ago
that relied solely on word of mouth (old school methods). Now, this is when
Facebook just began mind you, so the restaurant didn’t do very well. I always
wonder what would have happened if social media was where it is at today, and
what would have become of that establishment.


When you go out the eat and order something new or something
that really gets you excited and hungry, why would you not want to capture it?
Share it and remember it? The first thing we eat with is our eyes. The way a
dish looks is a guideline to the rest of our meal. If it looks like a beautiful
painting, sharing that photo can only help that Chef or the restaurant. By
posting and sharing your emotions about the food, is a great infectious way to
get people to eat there and share that feeling with you. The opposite can also
happen mind you!


Some people have decided to express their opinions a
little differently.  Julia Liberty
of Miami has started a Facebook page called “Ban Cell Phones From Restaurants”.




Some restaurants in LA are already offering 5 % off your
bill to leave your phones in your pockets. And if someone fails, while in their
establishment, $3 is added to the check.  This is another way of owners letting people know that it’s a
distraction from what they have to offer you.


In Boston, a few bars have started the “Stack and Pay” game.
Everyone at the table places their cell phone in the middle of the table and the
first to grab for the phone, pays the bill for the entire table. That right
there is a good reason to leave that Smartphone alone.


Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this image courtesy of Digital Trends. 


Whether you must have your phone on you at all times or you
could leave it at home all day and not care, it really boils down to one thing.
Being aware of what you are doing and where is obviously key here.  I always keep a little saying in the
back of my mind. “What would my mom think?” If I ever answered a phone call at
dinner, my mom would be upset and disappointed. Two things no one every wants
to make their mom.



Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, cell phones in restaurants 



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