I went out to eat Friday night with my wife and daughter at one of their favorite restaurants. The Japanese Steakhouse Benihana’s. You know the one, where they sit eight people around a table while the chef cooks your meal at the table.
The last three times to this restaurant (including this time) I have become less tolerant of the cell phone use at the table. Sitting at the table next to us four people were using their cell phones having a conversation, some loud some quiet. The table behind ours someone had one of those walkie-talkies that do that irritable crackling noise before someone speaks. At another table a person had a hands free mike and talked in between chews. At my table three cell phones sat next to the person’s chopsticks constantly being checked for an incoming call.
Even though we're becoming a nation of cell phone fanatics -- more than 100-million people subscribe to wireless services in the United States – it is time to have cell phone free section in a restaurant. When dining in a restaurant it is really disturbing when different cell phones almost constantly keep ringing. Often the people receiving the calls have to speak up to drown out the background noise of the restaurant. That doesn't really help to create a calming, tranquil atmosphere.
I have also written about this type of intrusion on a Northwest Flight - Planes, Cell Phones & Stinky Feet