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Chicago Restaurant Offers Digital-Free Dining

The Florentine offers an optional check in service for cell phones.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Have you ever been frustrated that your dinner date is paying more attention to their Instagram feed on their phone instead of what you have to say?

    Loop restaurant The Florentine doesn't have an app for that, but they do have a solution.

    Last Thursday, the restaurant unveiled a new option for diners to check their cell phones, just as they would their coats.

    General manager Amanda Kipp says the decision was made after she noticed a preponderance of what she calls "blue-faced diners."

    "We were noticing a lot of distracted diners, and I go out a lot and you just see people around you using their phones and not communicating with anyone at the table," Kipp said. "I have a rule with my friends that we don't text or email at dinner, because as soon as you pick it up, you're on it for the next 10 or 15 minutes."

    Even though the phone-checking service has only been available for a few days, Kipp says some diners have already taken advantage of it.

    "Some people have said great, you can take my phone, and I think it's going to catch on quickly. I've already noticed some diners checking out the customers who are using it," Kipp said.

    Especially when diners figure out their dining date looks much more attractive without a constant blue glow.