10/15/2012 01:00:00 PM

Zagat Stat: Texting at the Table, Love It or Hate It?

We all know texting at the table is something of a touchy topic for many diners, and with approximately 79% of cell phone users text messaging, we set out to uncover how restaurant-goers really feel when a companion whips out their cell phone in the middle of the meal.

Over the past year, Zagat posed this question to surveyors nationwide and the results are in: a commanding 61% of our surveyors consider texting, tweeting, emailing, etc. from the table to be a “no-no” while dining out!

Wondering how your neck of the woods stacks up against this national average?

Surveyors in the Northeast report the highest regional average (64% were annoyed by this behavior) while the South ranks the lowest (54% annoyed). But, overall, the most discerning diners hail from Connecticut and Westchester (NY), with reported averages of over 70% each, while diners in New Orleans and Atlanta come in as the least irritated, with around 50% in both cities.

On the flip side, when we asked about diners who take photos of people and/or food in restaurants, a commanding two-thirds of surveyors (67%) consider this “Okay in moderation” while an additional 18% (nationally) say it is “perfectly acceptable.” Looks like it’s safe to take that picture of delicious dish you’ve ordered, but you might want to wait until the meal is over to post it online, or to text a friend about it.

Check out the infographic below for more data and let us know how you feel about tableside texting, tweeting, etc. in the comments.


  1. You're showing results for 15 out of 50 states, and think it's representative of America as a whole?

    As for whether I think phones at the table are acceptable or not, it depends entirely on the people I am with. Family dinner? Phones off. Casual night out with friends? I don't care. On a date? Phones off.

  2. The data is lacking a lot, like what the previous Anonymous user posted. Also the time of year matters also. I bet less people text during the holiday season (because of family), and in the summer more texting since kids are out of school, and trying to make plans a lot more often.

    I personally never have my phone with me at dinner, or even outside of my office. There is just no need for it.

  3. If you have kids with phones, playing games and texting helps pass the time and keeps them quiet. One down side is there is less conversation between the family and more conversation to everyone else!

  4. I'm from the Southeast - It is completely rude for someone sharing a meal with another to whip out their phone and answer or intiate a text. Unless it's a true emergency (they're a brain surgeon!), it should wait until after the meal.

  5. Another reason not to use your phone at dinner is you don't notice when you are full.....guess what happens next?

  6. Obviously will end up a huge mess, there are few advantages and disadvantages we got to face while using mobile phones. So we just have to take whatever good or bad.