It is forbidden to use your smartphone while eating during the peak hours of the restaurant. This is when Kota Kai, owner of Debu-chan in Tokyo, a place specializing in serving Hakata ramen, a type of regional dish from western Japan, made the decision on March 16th. The reason? Speed up the time in which your customers eat their meal and thus free up the table.
The owner: “You waste time in front of a hot dish”
“Once when we were busy, we noticed a person who didn’t start eating for four minutes,” Kai explained to CNN, adding that the patron was watching videos on his phone as his food cooled in front of him. According to reports from the US newspaper, Debu-chan is quite large for a Tokyo ramen restaurant, with 33 seats. Still, Kai says it’s not unusual to have 10 people in line for a seat during peak hours. Hence the idea of a ban on using smartphones.
It remains permitted to photograph the dishes just served
“When places are full and I see people stop eating while staring at their smartphones, I tell them to stop,” explained the restaurateur, stressing that he did not put up any signs banning phones because he decided to speak to customers individually . Kai specified that using the smartphone to take pictures of the ramen after it’s been served is still allowed, but she added that those who just can’t take their eyes off their phone can go eat elsewhere. Kai doesn’t seem to think that people watching videos while eating are intentionally trying to ruin his noodles or make people wait: “I think they’re just chilling out and dining the way they like, but a restaurant isn’t your home.” , he stressed.