Few things can disrupt an elegant meal in a restaurant faster than someone yakking loudly on their cellphone. Rather than trying to impose a cellphone ban, a fancy Los Angeles eatery has taken a different approach, offering a 5% discount on your meal if you hand over your phone at the door.
Eva Restaurant owner and chef Mark Gold says he doesn't really see his discount as a way to stop people from annoying guests at other tables, he just wants his customers to enjoy their meal with their fellow diners without disruptions from technology. He says "Eva is home, we want to create that environment of home, and we want people to connect again. 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."
I can sympathize with that approach, and do agree that technology can spoil the mood in a personal setting. To be honest, people yakking on their phones used to more of a problem before texting and email replaced a lot of voice calls.
My only concern is that the 5% discount seems a little chintzy. With an average check at Eva running around $60 per person, that's only going to knock about $3 off. How about offering free dessert instead? That's something I would go for every time.