Brand-new Los Angeles restaurant Bucato is cracking down on kids these days and their cell phones. Usage of mobile devices will only be allowed outside in "designated cell phone areas," and photography in general is "politely discouraged." Per their website:
It is our intention that you enjoy your time with us, savoring both your meal and your company. We kindly ask that you refrain from using your mobile device within the dining area. All photography within Bucato is politely discouraged. Thank you.
GM Ed Keebler tells Eater LA that the policy was instituted to prevent "gastro ADD." Diners will be encouraged to "share their meal with fellow diners." It's unclear what exactly will happen to someone who uses their phone, but Keebler says he "plans to hold fast" to the rule.
LA restaurants have been battling the cell phone scourge for some time now. The now-shuttered Eva offered a 5% discount to customers who surrendered their phones to a hostess, and according to Eater LA, Ludo Lefebvre's Trois Mec "ask[s] clients to put their phones and cameras away during meals." Chefs across the country have had issues with flash photography as well, with restaurants like César Ramirez's Brooklyn Fare banning it outright.
Eater LA commenters are mostly on board with the phone ban, although a few point out that phones make good company on solo dining excursions. Perhaps the restaurant should invest in some Japanese-style "lonely seats" so solo diners can savor their food in peace?