1. ITV Report

Birmingham restaurant owner bans use of mobile phones

Diners on the phone in a restaurant Photo: PA Pictures

A restaurant in Birmingham is banning the use of mobile phones at the dinner table because its owner says it's not polite.

Turner's Restaurant in Harborne, is asking people to keep their phones in their bags and pockets, during Food Fest, the city's week-long food festival.

Michelin star chef and owner, Richard Turner, has taken the decision to ban the use of phones after research commissioned by Birmingham Food Fest found that 4 in 10 people thought it was acceptable to use a smart phone when eating out.

Dining out shouldn't be an extension of the desk and I don't think it's asking much for people to keep their phones off the dinner table

– Richard Turner, Michelin star chef and restaurant owner

The research suggests that people's table manners are slipping, with five in six people getting up and leaving the table before others have finished eating.

The survey of 2,000 adults has shown that:

  • cutlery is rarely used properly
  • two thirds of British people would wave their knife and fork around between mouthfuls, rather than resting them on the side of the plate
  • 56% of people admit they don't hold the knife and fork in the right hands

Restaurant owner, Richard Turner, believes that the use of mobile phones at the dinner table is rising and is affecting the way we socialise.

Mealtimes should be about savouring food and enjoying the company you're with, not sending e-mails, texts and checking Facebook

– Richard Turner, Michelin star chef and restaurant owner

Etiquette consultant, William Hanson, has noticed a steep rise in the number of people that are on their mobile phone when dining in restaurants.

We've become a very selfish society, we don't consider the views of other people. The whole purpose of going to a restaurant is to socialise, you can't do that if you're on the phone.

– William Hanson, Etiquette consultant

The Birmingham Food Festival runs until the 19th of July in Victoria Square, in Birmingham.