For a Discount at This Restaurant, Give Up Your Cell Phone While Dining

Gabrielle Karol

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?

  • Shanny

    While this is great, not sure it’s the best move for social marketing for these businesses. What about those who wish to Foodspot or Instagram their meals?? Lol 

  • Tojada

    Great idea! 

  • Ana

    I think the Phone Stacks game is a better alternative. I personally wouldn’t hand my cell phone over to a stranger to do who knows what with it. I do love ideas that encourage people not to use them during dinner though as I agree it does damage relationships.