Someone recently said to me, "I think you should ban mobile phones in your restaurant". Fair enough. It would be nice if we could, but it's rare it causes a problem because the majority of guests are unselfish, considerate human beings. But what's the point in having another rule which is blatantly unenforceable?
It can be done though, if you ask the right way.
Last Friday, we nipped down to Manchester, only an hour or so by car, and went to see Prince, the diminutive funky one. He is, amazingly, only six years younger than me, but moves around the stage like an elf. Maybe he is an elf?
Just before the show started, out came his all-girl, all-American, apple-pie-smiling backing band, 3rd Eye Girl. The drummer, a blonde, could talk. She told us she loved Manchester, many, many times. Which was nice. She said that if we wanted to enjoy the Prince show, as Prince surely wanted us to, we should all be good and put our cellphones away. This was a great suggestion because, if you're standing at a concert watching a band, it's very irritating when the clown in front is trying to create a Scorsese masterwork of the said concert using his Samsung Galaxy or iPhone or whatever. People should be concentrating on the gig; "it's live music, Manchester, keep it real".
Everyone did as they were asked. The power of Prince is truly great. However, much later in the show before one of the dazzling array of encores, Prince asked everyone to get their cellphones out ("you've been so good, Manchester") and wave them, with the torch setting on, of course, imitating the old gag of waving your cigarette lighter in the air from left to right in a form of rock concert solidarity. And the people did.
Ironically, the Arena in Manchester, no longer called the MEN Arena, is now called the Phones 4 U Arena. Maybe we should sponsor the restaurant at Linthwaite? Now there's a thought.
Ps. This blog was not sponsored by any particular phone company, though offers are welcome.