It’s a pretty common scenario in modern day life. You sit at a table in a restaurant with friends, family or colleagues, make an order from the menu and then proceed to look at your smartphone, or even a tablet, as your lunch or dinner companions do the same thing.
One restaurateur is taking matters into his own hands and is attempting to deter his customers from looking at their cellphones during their time at his restaurant.
Mark Gold, owner and chef of Eva Restaurant
in Los Angeles, is offering his patrons a five percent discount on their check if they give their mobile phone to the restaurant staff. He hopes this will give his customers the chance to actually sit back, relax, eat the food and enjoy face-to-face time with their friends and family.
"For us, 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,” stated Gold in an interview Tuesday with KPCC Radio
. “It's about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone, and we're trying to create an ambience where you come in and really enjoy the experience and the food and the company.”
Surprisingly, many people are taking Gold’s offer. Customers are parking their cellphones at the front door for 90 minutes and are not taking part in the distracted dining routine – an act that some health experts say is actually a health risk
“I think once the server approaches the table and they're presented with the offer, they like the idea of actually talking to each other again,” the owner and chef added.
Although he would like to see his customers look less at the glaring screen, Gold admits that he is guilty of it as well. He noted that when he goes out with his wife it feels like the cellphone is part of the dinner table.