We’ve all been there; just last week I was sitting at a table eating breakfast, while the nitwit next to me loudly gossiped about his date the night before. All the diners around him knew that, yes, he had gotten laid.
Then there is the group of friends who spend more time at dinner updating their Facebook, checking emails, and twittering photos of their food. At the end of the meal, I wonder how many of them could talk intelligently about what they had just eaten. It used to be that you could tell when a couple didn’t have much left to say to each other, because they’d both sit and read the newspaper while they shoved down the scrambled eggs. Now it’s iPads, iPhones, iPods… I’ve even seen people doing it on dates. It’s iSad.
A Los Angeles restaurant is getting lots of attention by giving customers who check their phones at the door a 5 percent discount on their bill. The owner of(1/14 – now closed)hopes this will get customers to sit back and relax, enjoy their meal and actually TALK with friends and family.
This is not an insignificant restaurant trying to garner publicity; it’s been featured by The Huffington Post, LA Times, La Eater, NY Magazine, and is part of Johnathan Gold’s 99 Essential Restaurants.
Restaurant owner Mark Gold says that about half of the patrons are taking them up on the offer. He says “It’s not about people disrupting other guests, it’s because he wants the restaurant to feel like home; we want them to connect again without the distraction of a phone”.
What do you think about the ever-increasing usage of phones in restaurants? Do you think this is a good policy? Would you go to this restaurant? Even more importantly, could YOU go 2 hours without checking your phone for a 5% discount on your bill?
Hat tip to Leo Laporte, This Week in Tech