That’s the sort of thing chef Tim Love wants to do away with, at least in his establishment. That would be Caterina’s, a cozy, 40-seat Italian restaurant in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Love’s eatery opened last week, and has already drawn lots of attention. Is it weird to buy bakeware just because it comes with such a cool storage organizer? Not when it’s non-toxic, gorgeous, and comes in tons of colors!
Although it’s not “deep in the heart of Texas,” there is a restaurant in Fort Worth that will require you to lock your iPhone while you eat. The recently launched little Italian eatery might be the only one of its sort in the entire nation. It brings back the time when people would enjoy a meal without being interrupted by technology. It’s a moment that has undoubtedly been reenacted in restaurants and dining rooms all around the world. Dinner is served, but nobody is chatting at the dinner table among the friends and family. Even when someone gets up from the table, they might not even notice. Everyone is absorbed on their iPhone or other mobile device.
If Someone Must Reach You While You Eat, Fear Not. The staff stays on the lookout for customers who forget to lock up their devices. Love has already seen it happen a few times, and says his team is trained to be as gentle and kind about it as possible. We’re going to kindly ask them to put their phone in the bag. We’ve already had that happen. Some people forget. They just have their phone in their pocket. We give them the bag. They put their phone in the bag. It’s not a big deal.
When diners come in, they’re required to lock their smartphones in a bag. That bag remains locked until the customer is ready to walk out the door. The idea behind making you lock up your iPhone in Caterina’s is simple. It’s to create a place for customers to actually enjoy their dinner and each other’s company, without constant distraction.
The owner goes on to explain he understands some people simply can’t bear to be separated from their phones. For those people, though, his message is clear: “This is not the place for you. I mean, people go to movies, they don’t get on their phone.” Should a customer need to be reachable during their dinner, Caterina’s has a simple solution. They just need to give the restaurant’s phone number to the babysitter, for example. If a customer receives a call, restaurant staff will bring an old-fashioned landline to the table.