Giving Up Your Phone While Eating Can Save You Money
Credit Season’s Perspective: Remember when you used to go out to dinner and could actually sit and have a conversation without engaging in a texting frenzy? A Los Angeles based restaurant is trying to bring the good ol’ days back with a discount for people who hand in their phones at the table.
Move over, off-peak dining—there may be a surprising new way to earn a discount on your next restaurant meal.
The Huffington Post reports that Los Angeles-based Eva Restaurant is offering a 5% discount to all diners who voluntarily hand in their phones after being seated.
Surprisingly enough, owner Mark Gold told KPCC radio that the policy was designed in order to create a more intimate environment for diners, rather than to avoid annoying patrons chatting too loudly on their phones.
In fact, a Pew study found that fewer people regularly encounter strangers having irritatingly loud conversations on their phones in public spaces (39%, compared to 50% in 2006). This is likely due to the fact that more people are texting, rather than calling, says the study’s author.
While we doubt that this unique restaurant policy will become a nationwide dining trend, Gold does have one thing right: cell phones do decrease the quality of interaction between dining companions. A study from the UK’s Essex University found that the simple presence of a cell phone caused people to feel less positively toward each other.
What do you think—would you hand in your cell phone for a discount? Or is the urge to check email and text (not to mention Instagram photos of your meal) too great to overcome?