I'll Give You Cash To Pocket Your Cell
August 17, 2012

Los Angeles Restaurant Gives Discount For Handing Over Your Cellphone

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Let´s be honest: We´ve all done it before. Well, most of us. I imagine those of us who like to casually-yet-not-too-casually interject into every conversation the fact that they don´t own a television probably haven´t ever yakked on their cell phone during dinner. Or posted a picture of the meal they´re about to destroy on Twitter.

Those people never do anything.

So, while our cell phones are the heart and soul of our emerging, ever-connected lifestyle, there are some who feel we should be connecting with one another, not a cloud. As such, one brave (and very clever) LA restaurant has instated a new policy, or discount if you will.

Every diner willing to hand over their phone at the door gets a 5% discount on their meal.

Sure, 5% isn´t a significant savings, but perhaps it´s just enough of a middle ground for the diners and staff to meet upon.

According to the LA Times, Chef and Owner of Eva Restaurant Mark Gold came up with the offer in order to “keep distracted dining to a minimum.”

Gold´s clever solution seems to be going over well enough, as nearly half of the diners have agreed to hand over their cell phones before being seated.

The other half, of course, don´t even have cell phones. Or TVs. Man, those people don´t do anything.

"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," said Gold, speaking to local radio station KPCC.

"It's about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone, and we're trying to create an ambiance where you come in and really enjoy the experience and the food and the company."

It´s a sentiment that seems to be carried throughout their restaurant, as their website is full of flowery and romantic language about memories, sharing stories, and descriptions of a wandering Mark Gold, sharing bits of grapefruit with his patrons.

Of course, attempting to curb the excessive use of technology at the dinner table is nothing new. After all, how many of us had “No Television” policies as children? With the exception of those who never owned a television.

Of course, it´s not just restaurants that are fighting the good fight against distracted dining.

There´s been a bit of a game developed to keep diners self-regulated, and as these things often go, the game´s gone viral.

The rules of the game are simple and straightforward:

Aptly titled, “The Stack” involves each diner placing their cellular device on the table, face down and in a stack, then leaving them there until the meal is complete. No matter how many times their phones buzz, ring or vibrate, the phones must remain face down, in the stack, for the duration of the meal. If someone is unable to resist their cell phone´s siren call, then they are responsible for picking up the tab for each diner.

High stakes, to be sure, and a game only to be played if you have a steel resolve and nerves of the same.