It’s become part of the restaurant table setting: knife, fork, napkin and cell phone.
Distracted dining is the new norm with customers constantly texting friends, tweeting an Instagram photo of the meal they’re about to chow down or emailing the boss. For many smart-phone users, it’s hard just to focus on the meal and company at hand.
Now, one restaurant in Los Angeles is giving diners a reason to turn off the digital world, by offering customers willing to check their phones at the door a 5-percent discount on their bill. Owner/chef Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant, located on Beverly Boulevard near N. Gardner Street, hopes this gives customers a way to truly sit back and relax, enjoy their meal and actually talk to with friends and family in-person.
"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," he explained. "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."
Gold said instating the suggestion reminds him to keep cell phone usage at bay, too. "I''m guilty of it as well. When [my wife and I] go to dinner it seems like the cell phone is part of the table setting now. Every table you look at, it''s a wine glass, the silverware and the cell phone," he joked.
The husband and wife team runs Eva, a 40-person space with European flair. Gold said a little less than half take advantage of the deal, and no one has gotten upset about it.
"I think once the server approaches the table and they''re presented with the offer, they like the idea of actually talking to each other again," he said.