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Houston restaurant adds $5 fee to menu for customers on their cellphones

It's more of a reminder than a rule. Bistro Provence has never actually charged a customer for using their phone.

HOUSTON — In 2020, we’re more connected than ever. Friends and family are always a text away.

The problem has become connecting face-to-face with someone.

Restaurant owner Genevieve Guy couldn’t help but notice how cellphones were impacting how people interact.

“Everybody was sitting down at the table and putting the cellphone out,” Guy said.

She decided to do something about it.

After 22 years serving French favorites at Bistro Provence in Memorial, she made an addition to the menu.

She added a sentence that reads, “As a courtesy to other guests, please do not use your cellphone in the dining room. Using your cellphone will result in a $5 tuition fee to teach you good manners!”

“When you sit down, you already drove here, it’s pretty. You have a nice little napkin and a good waiter. Just remove the cellphone and enjoy the time,” Guy explained.

The rule is more of a suggestion. Guy said the cellphone fee has never been enforced.

“No, we never did,” she said. “When people read the menu, they think it’s funny. It’s a conversation starter as well.

That's the ultimate goal. She wants people to talk and enjoy a meal with the people they’re with, without distractions.

“Come and see us, without your phone. We’ll be happy to have you,” Guy said.

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