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Should Restaurants Offer Discounts To Customers Who Don’t Use Their Cell Phones During Meals?

Submitted by on June 26, 2013 – 11:01 amOne Comment
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Have you been out to eat recently? Chances are, you have. And what did you see when you made your way to a table? Chances are, you saw lots of people sitting around and messing with their cell phones. Lots and lots of people messing with their cell phones. Regardless of whether you were dining at a chain restaurant or a five-star restaurant, there’s a good chance that you saw people on their phones and you yourself were probably doing it, too. It’s just sort of the way the world works now. People need to be on their cell phones at all times, lest they miss a text, tweet, or Facebook update.

One restaurant is doing something about that, though. The Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles is offering all customers a five-percent discount if they’re willing to check their cell phones at the door. That’s right. All they need to do is leave their cell phone with the receptionist near the front door and they automatically receive a five-percent discount on their meal. Eva owner Mark Gold put the policy into place recently when he noticed just how many people were using their phones before, after, and even during meals.

“People have tweeted us, emailed us, saying, ‘Oh my God, thank you for doing something,’” Gold told the Huffington Post recently. “No one has ever really criticized the policy. We understand that people—doctors, parents with kids at home—need their phones. But everyone has been very positive. The incentive is there for those who want to take it.”

It’s a great incentive. And it begs the question: Should more restaurants put similar incentives into place? It’s gotten to the point where people go out to eat and don’t even talk anymore. They just sit around on their phones and mess with them until it’s time to eat. Then, they snap a shot of their food when it comes, post it to Instagram, eat, and then pick their phones back up to see the response that their photo received. It’s crazy.

With that in mind, more restaurants should encourage people to put down their phones by offering discounts to them. It seems a bit extreme. But it would get people talking to one another more, encourage them to have fun, and force them to make some memories in a place that they might not otherwise make memories in. What a concept, right?

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