NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Planning on dining out? You might need to keep your cell phone tucked away at some spots.

Some restaurant owners are losing their appetite for customers who don’t disconnect during dinner. Especially in a city where people are seemingly addicted to talking and texting, some eateries are requesting diners put down the phone and focus on the person or people in front of you.

John Winterman of Bâtard in TriBeCa was so frustrated by the behavior, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post saying he’s beginning to feel it’s his duty to grab people by the scruff if their neck and introduce them to their dining companions.

“You walk by a table and there’s somebody playing a video game,” Winterman told CBS2. “Or people made a note they’re celebrating their anniversary and you barely see them speak to each other over the course of the two and a half hour dinner.”

The post reflects more of an observation than a rule at the chic spot for European cuisine, but the owner of Il Triangolo Ristorante in Queens makes no bones about his hardline ban.

“No cell phones on the table, at dinner, everyone talks,” Mario Gigliotti said. “This is my home, and when you come into my home that’s how we run our restaurant.”

Gigliotti admits his policy has rubbed some people the wrong way, but one Tuesday night table of five adored the more intimate atmosphere.

“By having the phone in my bag I know I’m with the people I’m talking to, and speaking to them and being more present in the moment,” Kew Gardens resident Mary Cannone Scott said.

Important calls or texts from the babysitter or boss will of course come up, but most restaurant owners say especially in a fine dining situation there’s rarely a case where you can’t excuse yourself and use your phone outside.

Still, there are some who continue to defend using their devices while dining. To them, the owners say just remember to connect with the people in your company.

Comments (24)
  1. Baccar Wozat says:

    Flash mob prank on all restaurants that do this: Dine out and say nothing, just stare at each other.

  2. Gee Gee Allan says:

    I just take my portable cell phone jammer with me. I haven’t had to suffer through a cell phone conversation in a restaurant, movie, checkout line or on public transportation in YEARS!!!

    1. Bill Loyal says:

      You realize that is illegal, and according to FCC rules, there are 10,000 dollar fines and possibly up to 6 years in federal prison for that right? God help you if someone who knows the rules sees you using that.

  3. Bravo glad someone took the reigns. How bad is it with couples screaming kids, then now phones ringing and blaring too.

  4. Jim Corridan says:

    Judging from the comments on this board , I’m glad I don’t eat out

  5. Phil Rosenkranz says:

    what a couple of angry turds above!

  6. Teri Davis Newman says:

    When you start doing something about the nonstop brat brigade running through the restaurant, you can make an issue out of my phone. Until then you can kiss off.

  7. Stu Pedasso says:

    Typical Liberal A-holes trying to tell other people how to live their lives. Eff ’em.

    1. Diane Dina says:

      Stu, you are the Libtard, You have no concept of ‘private property’’ and ‘private property rights’.

  8. Steve Wilson says:

    Will these same restaurants be turning off all of the TV monitors they have everywhere?

  9. Edward Shaw says:

    My idea of restaurant etiquette is to turn OFF the “&$%#” overhead music. I cannot think of any patron who would object by demanding overhead music be put ON. The loudest noise in a restaurant should be the tinkle of ice in your tea glass. I have read surveys that declare restaurant music is for the .. young wait staff. True !

  10. Otto VonSchlingen says:

    And what about the cackling loudmouths who seem to believe that people 30 feet away want to hear about their latest social event.

  11. Although I agree that if you are with a spouse/friend/coworker for a meal/meeting/etc, yes, your focus should be on your companions. BUT it is NOT this guys responsibility nor place to dictate that to his customers.

  12. Barry Coulter says:

    “This is my house”… do you charge your guests for dinner when they come to your house?

    1. Frank Columbo says:

      Don’t like it? Go elsewhere.

    2. That’s what I was thinking. If his restaurant is his house, is he giving away his food for free?

  13. Ken Schroeder says:

    Yeah, if they want to game or text I don’t care, if they want to talk, go somewhere else.

  14. Gary Canant says:

    I have made friends with many women in restaurants!
    When I see their dinner companion focused on their I-phone,
    I stroll up to the dejected lady and ask: “Since your companion
    refuses to FOCUS ON YOU AND YOUR BUEATY!, May I?”

    the day a lady agrees to spend a day bicycle riding with me,

    1. Luis Martinez says:

      You must get punched on the face a lot…

  15. First waiter that tells someone to put their phone away will probably end up eating a tablecloth not to mention no tip, forcefully. Charging outrageous meal prices then telling the customer what they can or cannot do will not work out well for their bottom line or tip averages.

    1. Stu Pedasso says:

      Consider this an UP vote! Well said.

    2. Or maybe you avoid it, and I go out of my way to eat there. I go to a movie theater with “no kids” showings, and they do quite well. I don’t want to experience your noise, hope that’s OK.


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