It’s no question that many of us are highly addicted to our smartphones and other mobile devices. For most people, it has simply become a way of life. But at the same time – many other people find the constant connection to be a social burden. This is especially evident in intimate social settings like dining out at a restaurant.
When you consider your smartphone to be as essential to a meal as a knife and fork, it may have reached a level of obsession. Tempted by apps designed around restaurants, meals and sharing the overall experience, some people may not be able to go an entire meal without sharing on Yelp, Instagram, or Urbanspoon. However, one Los Angeles restaurant is looking to change the “mealtime obsession” with the smartphone.
As an incentive to put down the gadgets, Eva Restaurant in West Hollywood offers a five percent discount on your meal if you are willing to surrender them to the receptionist before dining. Chef and Owner, Mark Gold encourages diners to focus more on the meal and the people they are sharing it with, rather than becoming distracted by various texts, apps, emails, and more. Gold defends his unique approach by saying:
“It’s really not about people disrupting other guests. Eva is home, and we want to create that environment of home, and we want people to connect again.”
For a meal of around $60, dinners are able to save about $3 by simply handing over their devices until checkout. Though it may not seem like much for smaller checks, large groups agreeing to this could easily save more as a whole.
According to CBS News, about half of Eva Restaurant’s customers have taken advantage of the discount thus far. Gold says,
“People generally like the idea of being able to turn off their cell phones. They just haven’t been given the opportunity to”.
Though it was not their intent, this incentive would also likely cut down on surrounding distractions such as obnoxious ringtones and people talking loudly on the phone. Do you think this is an effective idea? Would you like to see this incentive in more restaurants, or is it just a silly attempt to get people off their phones? Let us know in the comments below!