Put your phone away, we’re eating…

burger dinner family

27 Jul Put your phone away, we’re eating…

So first it was socially unacceptable to get our phones out at dinner and then with the wave of Instagram restaurants positively welcoming photos of their food, we thought it was ok. Especially in London everyone was leaning over their meal for that shareable shot of lunch.

Oliver Milburn at Kitty Fisher’s restaurant in London was quoted:

“It’s weird when people sit looking at their phones during meals. But we’ve benefitted from pictures on Instagram and Twitter, so I am biting the hand that feeds me if I criticize mobile phones.”

However, restaurant critic Giles Coren wrote a review earlier in the year saying that at a very expensive restaurant in London about 33 of 40 diners he shared the room with were all on their phones, making him question the actual reason we eat out in the first place!

Despite 90% of Brits saying that using your phone during a meal is rude, it seems we just can’t help ourselves as we still spend on average seven minutes a meal on our phones.

We’re not just pointing a finger at people talking on their phones while eating, but even if it’s just sitting on the table looking at you it can be a distraction.

We know we’re not the only the ones who think a meal spent with your phone in your bag, rather than your hand is time better spent, but who has been brave enough to actually ban them?

Fair play to family favourite Beefeater, they tried a ‘No Phone Zone’ in all their restaurants last Mother’s Day in the UK. Beefeater said:

“Mums don’t ask much of us and rarely even let us spend any money on them – so the least we can do is give Mums our undivided attention.”

Diners were asked to hand their phones in on arrival, which might put some people off, but the majority welcomed the idea.


However, despite a few restaurants outside of London, it looks like Beefeater are in the minority as we couldn’t find many restaurants in the city that have followed suit. We do have a list of some London pubs that have phone bans, whether it be a new or old thing, they agree that phones can be a distraction.

The Nag’s Head in Kensington

This pub is like stepping back in time with an old wooden bar and barely any space on the walls from all the pictures, let’s just say minimal it isn’t. But it is a special pub if you want an authentic old London boozer charm. You will be asked to hang your coat up and don’t get out your phone, one reviewer says:

“A wee old-fashioned for the new generation in that it does not allow use of mobile phones on its premises, but it certainly maintains a charm not to be found in new-age pub chains. I noticed several reviewers on other websites take umbrage to the no-phone rule, but I see no reason for it.”

The French House, Soho

This wine bar is always busy and pretty famous in the area as it has a rich history dating back to the First World War. It still has a French vibe with all drinks served in French measures. There has never been a TV and turn your phone off as phones have been banned for years.

Image: The French House

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

This seriously old pub has very low ceilings and no phone signal. So we’re not sure if this is deliberate or not, but either way, we don’t doubt the atmosphere is vastly improved by nobody looking at their phones.

Of course, you don’t have to eat or drink out to have phone-free meal, even if you’re at home with a sandwich and a cuppa it can be far more enjoyable if you are looking at your dining companion, than at your phone.

Put your phone away, we're eating...
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Put your phone away, we're eating...
Is it ok to use your phone at the dinner table?
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