Those of use who are always connected are guilty of peeking at our phone during a nice dinner out. Hence, the smartphone screen glow has replaced the candle as the most common type of lighting at restaurants. It's not always intentional, it just happens, almost like a reflex. Well, what if someone offered you an incentive not to use your phone during dinner, maybe 5 percent off a hefty dinner bill?
That's what Mark Gold is extending to diners at his upscale Los Angeles spot, EVA Restaurant. The offer is printed at the bottom of EVA's menu and is suggested by the server. If you decide you'd like to go for it, you can give your phone to the receptionist and it will be held near the entrance in a basket with your name on it to be retrieved when you leave. It's important to note that this isn't a ban on cell phones, just a suggestion with a 5 percent incentive. According to Gold, about 40 percent of the patrons coming into EVA have participated.
Gold told Kai Ryssdal on American Public Media's Marketplace, that he felt phones were a distraction from conversation and connection at the dinner table. "For us, it's the art of the lost conversation - how people don't converse anymore when they sit at the table. What you see now is a cell phone on the dining room table. We're trying to get away from that." He admits that he's guilty of this violation in dining etiquette and says that's part of the reason he decided to try this out.