Remember our featured article here last September, “Cell phones Banned in Restaurants?” We talked about how the apron-clad staff of Rogue 24, a hip and often jam-packed restaurant in Washington DC, make their customers sign a contract reminding them not to use their cell phones while dining at their 24-course, $175 per meal restaurant.
If you want your place to go in that direction, here’s recent news that will give you a hint on how to go about it:
New York Daily News reported last January how a California blogger came up with a game that got people to stop calling, texting, tweeting and Facebooking while eating out at restaurants. The first to use his phone picks up the check; if all are successful in ignoring the beeping and ringing phones all throughout the meal, the bill, when submitted by the restaurant’s apron-clad server, is divided equally.
Brian Perez thought about the “Phone Stack,” as how the game is now called, during New Year’s Eve dinner. He realized he does not want to be the type of person who is glued to his cell phone all the time while dining out with family and friends. “I posted the idea on my website and had 900 site visits after only four hours,” said Brian.
The idea went viral—other bloggers passed the word and eventually reached Twitter; now, people are posting their own photos doing the “Phone Stack,” and multiple news sites are re-telling the story. Married couples play the game when dining out, along with others who think it’s about time that social gatherings become less anti-social. As a restaurant diner said, “It’s quite annoying when there’s a person who’s glued to his phone the whole time while eating out. Its like, ‘why are we here in the first place?”
Others hilariously think it would pave them the way to a free meal. A 30-year-old bachelor thinks so, saying that “anybody born during the 80s just can’t keep their hands and eyes away from their phone, so it’s very likely that I’d be getting myself free meals while dating them.” A lot may joke about it, but the claim does hit home—most people, millennials especially, are so attached to their phones they can’t let two hours pass without using it.
And this development goes well for restaurants; too, as they want to preserve the ambiance of their establishments—many customers want to eat in peace and do not welcome the presence of another diner talking loudly on the phone. Although the etiquette rule of turning off devices and keeping it low is slowly ingrained in today’s culture, the sudden popularity of Phone Stack demonstrates that society might not wait any longer.
So, if you’re one of those restaurants who have the same problem as Rogue 24 but want to be less drastic in implanting it and intend to take it slow, Phone Stack might just be the solution for you. Promote the game, create a buzz, and preserve your dining room’s ambiance.