I think we've all been there.  You go to a nice restaurant for a relaxing meal - and the person at the table next to you is talking on their cell phone.  Or texting.  Or snapping pictures and updating their Facebook account.

Although not quite a united front, restaurant owners have been responding to complaints by instituting creative ways to discourage their patrons from using their cell phones at the table or the counter.

Some restaurant owners have posted signs requesting "no cell phone use" while diners are eating.  Others have gone so far as to have a basket at the front door, again requesting that patrons leave their phones in the basket - so that they won't be enticed into using them while they are eating.  While other food-related businesses have take then no-cell-phone ban to the extreme - by either confiscating the phones from customers or offering fines to those who do.

But at the same time, these restaurants are also aware that by banning phones, they're also alienating part of their customer base.  Some owners also lament the lost chances that customers will use social media to "check in" or post pictures from their favorite restaurant - actions that can rewards restaurant establishments with free advertising.

What do you think?  Have you ever been to a restaurant that banned cell phone use?  Have you ever been at a restaurant where the customers next to you were obnoxious with their phone use?

Restaurant cell phone distractions irritate - southbendtribune.com.