We live in a technological world, but there’s nothing more annoying than being ignored by the person you’re with for the virtual world they’re paying more attention to on their cell phone. Most people today can’t go a whole day, much less a few hours, without some sort of virtual interaction, whether it’s updating their Facebook status, texting someone, or tweeting an Instagram photo of their meal. It’s this “distracted dining” that has a lot people (especially parents) up in arms about cell phone usage, especially around dinner time.
Apparently restaurant owner and chef, Mark Gold, of Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles, agrees, because he’s offering customers a 5 percent discount on their bill if they are willing to check their phones at the door. His hope in doing this is that customers will really sit back and relax, enjoy the food, and actually talk to the friends and family they are with.
Gold told Airtalk, a radio show on Southern California’s 89.3 KPCC, “It’s about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone, and we’re trying to create an ambiance where you come in and really enjoy the experience and the food and the company.”
He says it also reminds him to use his cell phone less, especially when he and his wife go to dinner. The cell phone has become part of the table setting ritual. Plates. Glasses. Silverware. Cell phone.
Gold and his wife run Eva, a 40-person space with European flair. He says that a little less than half have taken advantage of the deal, and no one has gotten upset about it. Gold has actually found that when customers are approached with the offer, they “like the idea of actually talking to each other again.”
Would you check your phone for a 5 percent discount?