Get into #DiningMode on Mother’s Day + Give Mom the Gift of Uninterrupted Conversation


Did you know your mom earned her pilot’s license at 17? Did you know she played mandolin in a bluegrass band in college? Maybe — but maybe not. And maybe it’s because, rather than making conversation when you’re dining out with her, you’re always on your phone. Fear not; you’re not alone. A recent OpenTable survey revealed that 85 percent of adults check their phone at least once while dining out and 40 percent still get lectured by their moms about their phone time — all missed opportunities to get to know your favorite mom.

In the spirit of helping to make the mom in your life the center of attention this Mother’s Day, we’re encouraging diners to participate in #DiningMode on May 12th. Put aside your phone and give the one you’re with the gift of being truly present and connecting over a great meal. Anyone can participate while dining out at one of OpenTable‘s 50,000+ restaurants or by visiting one in the U.S., Canada, and Australia that is supporting the #DiningMode campaign. If you join in, you can enter for a chance to win a $400 gift card. Plus, you never know what you’ll learn.

So what is #DiningMode exactly? It’s is an opportunity for people to set aside their phones while dining and connect with loved ones this Mother’s Day. And, to help diners power off and power through a spell of nomophobia (the fear of being without a mobile phone or mobile connection) and spark meaningful conversation around the table, you can download OpenTable’s conversation starters.

Think we’re exaggerating about this issue? Think again. According to a recent survey* commissioned by OpenTable, 73 percent of respondents rank a Mother’s Day meal as the No. 1 occasion when people should avoid checking their phones. The survey also found that nearly one-third of adults say sharing a meal together is the most meaningful Mother’s Day gift, followed by thoughtful conversation. Additional learnings from the survey include:

  • Losing Connections: 81 percent of diners have been annoyed by their dinner companion’s phone use in the past. Twenty percent say they actually avoid eating with companions who overuse their phones. Seventy-five percent of respondents at least somewhat agree that they use their phone too much.
  • Dining Hacks: The most common “hacks” diners use to avoid checking their phones at the table are: turning off their phone (51 percent), and turning their phone upside down (49 percent) — with millennials more likely to say they turn their phones face down. Women are 14 percent more likely to say they hide their phone to avoid using it during a meal than men (39 percent to 24 percent).

And, restaurateurs are excited to help you embrace #DiningMode. “As a family owned and operated business, taking time to be with your family is so important to us. We love the idea of encouraging diners to be present,” said Leanne Gelish, restaurant manager at Mac’s Steakhouse, “Time is the most important gift we can give each other and we’re happy to encourage our diners to put their phone down this Mother’s Day.” To entice diners to turn off their phones this Mother’s Day and turn their attention to mom, nearly 500 restaurant partners are supporting the #DiningMode campaign — and some are offering perks for doing so.

Here are a few examples of what restaurants are doing to incent #DiningMode on Mother’s Day:

  • 10 Corso Como – New York, New York
    • Providing a complimentary dessert and a glass of Champagne for those participating in #DiningMode and putting their phone down during the meal.
  • Aquagrill – New York, New York
    • Serving a complimentary dessert for mom for tables who don’t check their phones allowing for additional time for conversation.
  • Bellini Grill – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Offering moms a free complimentary dessert for those participating in #DiningMode allowing for additional time for conversation.
  • Bodegon – Hotel Madrid – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • Providing complimentary Champagne for those who opt into #DiningMode.
  • Casa Chapala Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Bar – Austin, Texas
    • Giving moms a fresh bouquet of flowers for groups who opt into #DiningMode upon arrival.
  • Central Bar + Restaurant – Bellevue, Washington
    • Pouring complimentary wine or Champagne for moms allowing for more time to connect while dining out.
  • Churchill’s – Savannah, Georgia
    • Dishing out free desserts for tables where every guest gives their phones to a secure area in the back-of-house office until the check is paid.
  • Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse – New York, New York
    • Providing free on-site family photography so diners don’t need to use their phones at all throughout the meal.
  • Despaña – Princeton, New Jersey
    • Serving a complimentary dessert for mom for tables who don’t check their phones allowing for additional time for conversation.
  • El Jefe – Denver, Colorado
    • Providing moms with a complimentary glass of wine or Champagne for tables that opt into #DiningMode.
  • ETA Restaurant + Bar – Chicago, Illinois
    • Giving moms a complimentary spa gift as a thank-you for all they do and for participating in #DiningMode
  • Fig + Farro – Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Offering a free phone-check service to help families unplug this Mother’s Day.
  • Jaya – Miami, Florida
    • Presenting moms with a chocolate rose as a token of appreciation for Mother’s Day and for participating in #DiningMode.
  • La Palapa – New York, New York
    • Providing tables who participate in #DiningMode with complimentary blood orange Margaritas.
  • Misirizzi – New York, New York
    • Serving complimentary dessert for moms allowing for more time to connect while dining out.
  • Partage – Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Offering guests the option to check their phones with the hostess upon arrival.
  • Patagonia Grill & Cafe – Houston, Texas
    • Gifting complimentary wine or Champagne for moms allowing for more time to connect while dining out.
  • Russian Tea Time – Chicago, Illinois
    • Pouring moms a complimentary cup of house tea to relax and connect with loved ones.
  • Severance – Los Angeles, California
    • Serving a free glass of Champagne to help adult guests get into #DiningMode.
  • SUGA – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Gifting a free Susanna Foo cookbook per table for those participating in #DiningMode as another way to connect with loved ones.

To participate in #DiningMode, simply dine out on Mother’s Day, set aside your phone and get to know the people you’re with. OpenTable has provided participating restaurants with conversation starters on coasters and downloadable PDFs to help spark a conversation between diners and their moms. Conversation starters can also be downloaded here.

Diners can enter OpenTable’s giveaway for a chance to win a $400 gift card ahead of Mother’s Day. To enter, follow @OpenTable on Instagram, share a picture of you + your mom/mother figure who you plan to enjoy a phone-free meal with for Mother’s Day on the platform, and include the hashtag #DiningMode. For more information about the giveaway, see the official rules here.

To learn more about the #DiningMode campaign, visit And, for a complete guide to a delicious Mother’s Day, visit

*This OpenTable survey of 1,000 adults in the U.S. (18 years or older) was conducted on March 19, 2019.