How Martha Stewart Feels About Using Your Phone At The Dinner Table

If you thought celebrity chef Martha Stewart only dished out cooking advice, think again. Stewart not only knows her way around a kitchen but also around a dinner party. Some of her best cooking tips have less to do with food recipes than they do with etiquette, both for entertaining guests and attending a friend's dinner. When it comes to the latter, behavioral rules vary from household to household, but the question remains: is it rude to use your phone at the dinner table?

Talking on your phone while in someone's private home is a no-no, Stewart confirmed in an interview with Town & Country. She admitted that cell phone usage at a table in a private home is rude — with the caveat that this rule pertains specifically to individual homes rather than larger-scale gatherings.

Dinners at big events, like award ceremonies, are fair game for phone use, said Stewart, citing busy schedules and overlapping commitments as reasons they might need to check in. In private homes, however, you should think twice before whipping out your phone. 

Keeping off your cell phone is basic dinner party etiquette that keeps guests present

Cell phones have become a pocket mainstay — but it's best to keep those pockets filled and tables cleared during your next dinner party. Buzzes and rings from a cell phone are not only annoying to hear; they also cause a disruption to the meal. With phones on the table, guests are more likely to become distracted and get pulled away from the present moment. "But staying present is very important," Daniel Post Senning, writer of Emily Post's Etiquette, told The Washington Post. "And it can pay real dividends in getting to know people and avoiding unintentional rudeness."

According to Senning, guests barely realize they're on their phones, glancing at them or responding to messages out of habit. So it should be remembered as well that it may not be someone's intention to be rude. Still, it's best for all parties to just put the phone away and save the calls, texts, and FaceTimes for after the meal.

As for Stewart's own dinner parties? Cell phones don't present much of a problem. "Oh, at my table?" Stewart told Town & Country. "That rarely happens." Clearly, home chefs can learn a lot from Stewart. Keep cell phones off the table, and you'll not only ensure your guests stay present. You'll also save enough table space for dessert, which Stewart says is best served in a buffet.