Posted by Renee Schmidt

Los Angeles restaurant now offers discount meals to its patrons for them staying off their mobile phone while they dine. Now you can enjoy a peaceful meal and 5% off your bill.

If you are planning to dine out in Los Angeles, you may want to lock your phone away –it’ll earn you a 5% discount on your meal. At least that’s what a handful of restaurants are offering their patrons: discount meals in exchange for staying off your tech during dinner.

Eva Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard is offering a 5% discount if you enjoy your dinner without using your phone. Of course, the restaurant wants you to stay away from all distractions while you are enjoying your meal, but it also wants to encourage people to enjoy their company while eating. With no phones, the restaurant wants to create an ambiance that will help you to enjoy your food and company more than ever.

Mark Gold, owner of Eva Restaurant, wants people to connect again with each other and feel the world without the fear of being interrupted through phone. He told a local radio station, “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”.

It definitely helps to have a peaceful meal when you don’t have anyone calling or texting you in the middle of a tasty dinner.

Today, when you walk into a restaurant, you will notice that almost everyone has his or her phone out, and they’re texting, emailing, tweeting, or updating a Facebook status. Live conversation is rare. Even when two people have planned to eat together so that they can talk about their personal lives, oftentimes the conversation turns into what their friends are up to (as per Twitter) or what’s interesting on their News Feed today. With no phones in a restaurant, it’ll certainly be easier to engage with the person sitting right in front of you. When people are texting away at the dining table, especially as they await their food, it prevents solid social connections (physical ones) and living in the moment.

Plenty of offers and coupons exist for discount meals, but getting a discount if you refrain from technology use is unique. That said, however, the phenomenon is gaining steam.

Social Rehab offered 10% discount at Loof (Singapore) if you let the restaurant lock your phone away. Everyone was invited to lock their phones up in exchange for 10% off drinks for every hour without their phone. The 10% discount offer attracted over 400 people in this one-time discount event. More than 150 phones were locked up in a special locker (to keep phones safe), while people enjoyed their discounted drinks.

While some people think of it as a ridiculous effort to keep cell phones out of restaurants, I don’t think that’s the objective. If it was, Eva Restaurant could have simply declared a ‘no cell phone while dinning’ policy. I think the objective was rather to incentivize patrons to ‘disconnect,’ so they can see for themselves how great disconnecting really is.

Personally, I am a fan of disconnecting –it feels naughty and I love it! What if you were given the same offer –would you turn-in your phone for 5% discount? What if someone were trying to reach you urgently? Could you afford to miss important business calls in exchange for discount meals?

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