Turn-er your mobile off!


  • Michelin Star chef bans phones at the dining table during Birmingham Food Fest
  • “Dining out shouldn’t be an extension of the desk,” says Richard Turner
  • Festival runs throughout the city from July 13-19


Michelin star chef Richard Turner, of Turners Restaurant, is asking that people keep their BlackBerries in their bags during the week-long festival, which launches today (July 13).

Research commissioned by Birmingham Food Fest showed that over one in ten people use a smart phone while eating their dinner, while 52 per cent of adults don't even bother cutting up their food properly. When dining out at a restaurant, four in ten adults would think nothing of using a smart phone, making calls, texting and checking emails.

Turner believes that table manners are slipping – and the use of mobile phones at the dinner table is something which is definitely rising.

He said:

Dining out shouldn’t be an extension of the desk and I don’t think it’s asking much for people to keep their mobile phones off the dinner table. Mealtimes, whether that’s eating out or dining at home, should be about savouring food and enjoying the company of the people you are with – it’s not about sending emails, reading your texts or updating your Facebook profile.”

The survey of 2,000 adults also showed that cutlery is rarely used properly - two thirds of Brits would wave their knife and fork around between mouthfuls, rather than resting them carefully on the edge of the plate. And 56 per cent of adults admit they don't even hold the knife and fork in the correct hands when eating.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services for Visit Birmingham, which manages Birmingham Food Fest said:

With family meal times becoming more and more rare, people should be making the most of the time they do have together – without the distractions of magazines, laptops and mobiles. Birmingham Food Fest is all about helping people to reconnect with food – to mark the start of our annual Food Fest, which launches tomorrow, we have put together an online etiquette guide which can be downloaded from birminghamfoodfest.com to help people perfect their table manners and make mealtimes something to look forward to.”



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