Restaurant Offers Discount for Surrendering Your Phone Before Meal

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Many of us carry our smartphone everywhere -- even when we eat out at restaurants. Some people consider smartphones a necessity, much like their eating utensils, at mealtime -- whether it's to use Instagram to take enhanced pictures of meals or to check in on social media. Now one Los Angeles restaurant is trying to change the mealtime obsession with the smartphone.

Eva Restaurant in West Hollywood is offering a 5% discount on your meal if you leave your phone with the receptionist before dining. Chef and owner Mark Gold, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Alejandra, wants customers to focus on their meals and not be distracted by email, texts, and phone calls. "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," Gold said.

Gold is not the first person to launch an idea to put an end to distracted dining. Phonestacking, invented by Tumblr blogger Brian Perez, is a game friends play when eating together. The diners add their phone to a vertical pile in the center of the table, and the first person to pick up his or her phone pays the bill for the entire table. Perez told that he saw the game as a "fun concept in this new age, high-tech life of ours."

According to CBS News, half of Eva Restaurant's customers have taken advantage of the phone discount so far. Gold told Business Insider that customers have been enthusiastic about the idea. "People generally like the idea of being able to turn off their cell phones," he said. "They just haven't been given the opportunity to."