LOS ANGELES (KNX 1070/AP) — How many times do you go to a restaurant and somebody at the next table is on their cell phone?

The most recent Zagat survey finds that many restaurant-goers in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are fed up with it.

Tim Zagat, who founded the survey with his wife, Nina, said the presence and use of phones at the table is part of the changing culture of restaurants, like T-shirts instead of coats and ties. And while a few restaurants have rules against talking on cell phones, none regulate texting.

Tim Zagat talks with KNX 1070’s Dick Helton, Jack Popejoy, and Vicky Moore

“A lot of people do it and… the restaurant is not going to tell you to stop doing it unless you’re shouting while you’re on the phone,” Zagat said. “In fact, two-thirds of the people at your table will probably find it irritating.” he added.

Of the 40,569 surveyors who rated restaurants for the 2011 Zagat guide to New York City restaurants, 64 percent said that texting, checking e-mail or talking on the phone is rude and inappropriate in a restaurant. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, 67 percent and 63 percent of surveyors agreed respectively.

Zagat suggested that the presence of phones reflects an overall trend toward a casual atmosphere even in New York, where high-end restaurants once made men wear jackets and ties.

“Virtually no restaurant requires a tie anymore,” Zagat said. “I call it the Los Angelization of New York.”

Zagat Survey began in 1979 as a guide to New York City restaurants and now rates airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping and other entertainment categories in cities around the world.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. Rick says:

    In some restaurants being rude and talking on the phone is as bis a mistake as being rude to your server.
    Remember, several people have access to your food before it is presented at the table. I guess SPECIAL SAUCE is not ONLY used at McDonalds anymore.

  2. Buck says:

    Ur out with family or on a date or just with friends. Y do u need to talk on phone also. It’s rude and I do not wish to hear it

  3. bob schultz says:

    I agree completely about talking on the phone. But what’s the fuss about texting or checking email if you’ve asked the people at your table about it? Doesn’t disturb anybody.

  4. hank says:

    txting and talking on the phone is not cool when in a restaurant……its an atmosphere buster……..public areas such as Movie Theatres , restaurants and doctors waiting rooms should be free from strange ring tones and loud voices….if people had common sense about these things we wouldnt need laws that address them…but the laws are on their way………………………………

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