"Or we don't eat at your restaurant, how about that, then you won't be bothered."
That sounds good! Anyone so important that they'd disturb others witht heir business should bow out to tend to those important matters.
Win win ;-)
We go out quite a bit, but I haven't noticed cell phone use in restaurants specifically as being egregious. In movie theaters (or "at the cinema") yes. But yes, certainly, people carrying on telephone conversations at a table next to mine, in a restaurant, would be incredibly bad manners. Just like it would be at home, during dinner time.
I was impressed in the bus ride from Narita Airport to Tokyo, where there's a discreet audio announcement made at the beginning of the trip. It says that cell phone use is not allowed, because (exact quote) "it annoys the passengers." I love it!
Perhaps that's taking it a bit too far, or perhaps it's just that I'm so used to people using their phones in the Wash DC public transportation systems that I've become used to it.
There's hope though. What about smoking? It wasn't long ago that this pestilence was allowed unabated, not just in restaurants but also in airplanes. Places where it was impossible to escape. Now it would be unheard of. So maybe sensible people will take matters in their own hands wrt cell phone use too.