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.
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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?