eater.com – Diners at Hearth, the newly health-conscious, 13-year-old restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Marco Canora, may have noticed a new addition to their place settings in recent weeks. Next to plates, napkins, and utensils there are now boxes. Some are old cigar boxes, others kitschy Etsy finds — but all of them are big enough to contain a few cell phones, because the boxes are Canora’s solution to what he views as harmful cell phone addiction.
“If there’s one time in the 24 hours in your day that’s a time to engage with the person you’re with, it makes sense to me that it’s around the dinner table,” Canora says.
Canora isn’t personally bothered by people using their phones in his restaurant’s dining room. But, after downloading an app that tracks iPhone and iPad use, he was astonished to learn how many hours he spent connected, and began to notice how much time everyone else spends on their phones, too. And so, just as he revamped the Hearth menu to add nutrient-rich foods, Canora decided to do something to take care of his customers’ digital health.
I personally think this is a GREAT idea. I was talking recently with a friend about how society has gone to shit because no one knows how to communicate. If you go out to eat to a restaurant right now and take a look around you’ll se at least 75% of the people there staring like zombies into their phones. I hope this becomes a trend.