Would a smartphone ban make you want to go to Applebee's?
If public dining amid smartphone-tapping patrons is just too much for you to bear, Applebee’s might have the solution for you—for one night a week, at least. The eatery chain has filed a trademark for something called “No-tech Tuesday,” and while the company hasn’t revealed exactly what it has in store, the name itself is a pretty solid clue.
With smartphones and tablets taking over our daily lives, seeing a restaurant customer fiddling with a touchscreen device is not only common, it’s the norm. But as tempting as another level of Candy Crush might be, the opportunity to unplug is tempting for some, and Applebee’s may be looking to capitalize on a small-but-growing tech-free trend.
There are several ways Applebee’s could approach the idea, but the most straightforward would likely be to require customers to turn off—or at least silence—their phones and tablets upon entry. But how would the rule be enforced? Would people be kicked out for refusing to put their iPhones away? That seems a bit extreme.
What may be the strangest thing about this concept, if it indeed suggests a tech-free dining experience, is that Applebee’s has a smartphone app of its own. The official Applebee’s app lets you view the menu and sign up for a loyalty rewards program. If the chain begins promoting phone-free dining, that’s one heck of a mixed message.