Restaurant bans customers from using their phones while eating
- In March, Kai decided to ban customers from using their smartphones while eating during busy times.
- “Once, when we were busy, we noticed a customer who didn’t start eating for four minutes,” says Kai, adding that the customer was watching videos on his phone as his food cooled off in front of him.
A restaurant in Japan has set a rather unconventional trend after it banned customers from using their smartphones while eating.
Tokyo restaurant Debu-chan - Japanese for "chubby" - made the decision after a self-commissioned research on its customers' behaviour showed that they were wasting so much time to eat their meals.
The restaurant owner began timing how long his customers would take before starting to eat and their manners in between the meal taking.
Kota Kai observed that the customers who took a lot of time in the restaurant would start browsing through their phones, watching videos online, before taking the meal.
In March, Kai decided to ban customers from using their smartphones while eating during busy times.
“Once, when we were busy, we noticed a customer who didn’t start eating for four minutes,” says Kai as reported by CNN, adding that the customer was watching videos on his phone as his food cooled off in front of him.
Kai's restaurant serves Hakata ramen, a type of regional ramen from Hakata prefecture in western Japan, which is known to be “food born for impatient people.” Dealing in this kind of business, four minutes is significant amount of time for one to wait. The thin noodles begin to stretch and spoil very quickly.
According to Kai, it is usual to have 10 people waiting on the queue for a seat during peak hours.
“When the seats are full and I see people stopping eating while staring at their smartphones, I tell them (to stop),” Kai says.
But Kai has not placed posters in the restaurant to warn customers against using phones. "Instead, I speak to customers individually. I feel it’s entertainment that is bound to include rules. It’s like ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ Ramen is a form of entertainment.’”
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