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Table For Two? Sure Thing! But Um, Your Cellphones Please…

Well, you’ve heard of surrendering your guns at the door of the saloon or surrendering items before boarding a plane, but what about handing over your phone to the Maitre-d before being seated? Well, it is actually happening and not quite in the way you might think…

Chris Hondros/Newsmakers

No, they’re not confiscating your phone or refusing service to you but rather are encouraging you to give it up in exchange for a 5% discount off the check. Of course hearing someone’s phone go off in the booth next to you or listening to them talk over-boisterously (why do people do that on the phone anyway?) can be disruptive when you’re trying to chow on that lobster, but that isn’t the point says one restaurant owner in L.A.

David Vaaknin/Getty Images

He says it’s more about not disrespecting the person sitting across from you than random strangers around you. Now, most of you are probably thinking, wow this guy is encouraging people to pay attention to their dates? That’s easy! Well, not necessarily. Unless your dinner company happens to be extremely engaging it’s not all that uncommon to sit down and keep your phone at hand to answer a text or two, especially when dining with someone familiar or for business. And regardless of how interested you are in the table conversation, who doesn’t excuse themselves and check their phone in the bathroom? Besides, I don’t own a watch so my cellphone is the only way for me to keep time. Hmmmm…

Scott Gries/Getty Images

So, what do you think? For an extra $5 off a $100 bill, is it worth it to give your phone up? Or should we just exercise a little self control and be polite and courteous without having to be encouraged to do so as if we’re in elementary school and need a reward for good behavior? I mean, it used to be considered impolite for guys to wear a hat indoors much less at the table and now that’s more commonplace, so maybe this will be just as acceptable for us all down the road too? But then again you can interact with someone regardless of what’s on your head but can’t if your nose is buried in a screen. Unless of course you’re really really fond of that hat!

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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