[Poll] Would you take up a restaurant’s offer for 5% discount if you don’t use your cellphone during the meal?


I came upon a rather interesting story on Mashable where a restaurant in Los Angeles has offered customers a 5% discount if they would check their phones in at the entrance. The first reaction I had was a bit of a laughter at the thought of where we, the human species, have ended up. You know the usual “technology has made us so much more disconnected in person” et cetera et cetera stuff.

Then it hit me: If I were offered that discount, I’m not sure I would take it up. Of course, it’s dependent upon various other factors, but I’m uncertain of whether I would be comfortable sitting some thirty feet away from my phone, unable to hear any notifications. Heck, what would I do in all those awkward moments of silence? Play with my spoon? And what would Instagrammers do with their food? Eat it?

Let’s hear from the rest of you, vote below, and maybe mention in the comments some sort of an explanation for your choice.

[polldaddy poll=6474624]

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. I would do it, as long I get it back after I finish eating.

  2. Instagram is dumb anyways.

  3. I would, if you’re out having dinner with your family or a date or something you shouldn’t be screwing around on your phone anyways.

    1. so just don’t screw with it… do people have to be temped with money to have manors?

      1. What’s wrong with manners AND money?

        1. Ask yourself that next time you see a high end auto using no turn signals.

      2. I think if you already have a **manor** you don’t need the money :-P

    2. exactly.

  4. I’m not really a fan of any of the answers. Would I ever do this? Not in a million years. I don’t pull my phone out during dinner, it’s not an extension of my arm. That said, emergencies happen. Have happened. A 5% discount doesn’t seem worth that risk, small as it might be.

    1. emergencies were around before cell phones.

      1. True, but does that mean we should make ourselves unavailable in case of an emergency, simply because that’s the way it used to be?

      2. You’re right. However, why give up a great tool if you don’t have to? You can have your cell phone in your pocket without taking it out and being rude. I think most people have that much control at least, if they really tried.

      3. That is a terrible excuse. I can’t believe people would make themselves unavailable to friends and family in case of a potential emergency just to save a few dollars. My family’s and friends’ lives are worth a lot more than a few dollars to me. It’s the same reason I can’t understand some people turn off their phones while they sleep. An uninterrupted night’s sleep is not worth not being there when family or friends may need me in an emergency.

        1. It’s sad actually how “coddled” we’ve become as a society.

          1. If it’s coddling to want to always be on-hand for family and friends in case of a rare emergency, then I’ll wear that description proudly.

      4. Yeah, and those emergencies often times turned out bad because of the lack of communication.

      5. in the bast there were no fire alarms, why do we use them now? people used to live without them!!!
        emergencies do happen, you or anyone could be next, we all should be prepared for such things, not just regret after things already happened.

      6. You guys are so full of yourselves. Park that ego of self-importance you have. If you can be on holiday somewhere with no cell service for who knows how long, you can certainly turn off your cell phone for an hour at a restaurant and not only be considerate to your dinner date, but to everyone else at the table and restaurant.

        It’s called respect and common courtesy. Something that is obviously lacking in huge quantities based on what I’m reading.

        If something is that important, stay home. We don’t want our dinner times interrupted because you feel your so-called importance allows you to.

        Selfishness to the max.

        1. omg my dinner is now ruined cause that women has a phone in her purse.
          my dinner is ruined cause that guy across the room sent a text message.
          ommfg, my dinner is ruined because the guy at the table next to me got a phone call saying his mother passed away…….

          o_O? your the one whose selfish and think your so important… Get over yourself.

  5. I would do it most of the time but I still believe cell phones are best for emergencies and what if someone needs to get a hold of you but can’t? I think people should just put phones on vibrate and ignore them while they eat with friends and family… thats what i do

    1. The same thing people did before cell phones. *eyeroll*

      1. All of you chew and spit the same sheep comments. blah blah I need someone to reach me in an emergency. Put the phone down and eat your dinner. So an hour or two of your life without a phone call will bring you closer to the start or end of that emergency? Stop putting a priority on a device. Like I said we never had it and we made it. An hour or two without it isn’t going to bring your life crashing down. Well for those who truly understand like anyway.

        1. What about the off chance that someone in your family ends up in the hospital? And because of this hour or two without your phone, you don’t make it to the ER and it takes a turn for the worst. Than you will hate the restaurant because you didn’t have your phone.

          1. You got a better chance at hitting the Powerball jackpot than that actually happening

          2. accidents happen everyday.
            people don’t win powerball everyday so no. His chances of hitting powerball are considerably less…

        2. Sometimes I miss those times when I wasn’t reachable 24/7. That said I do believe I’m a little addicted to having my phone on me and I start going through withdrawals without it. Is there a 12 step program for that? lol:D

  6. They wouldn’t even have to offer this to me. I would gladly leave it at the door. Was at Uno’s last night and saw a couple with kids texting all night barely touching their food. I just shook my head and hope for the best.

  7. Someone at the door says “if you leave your cellphone up here where it can easily be stolen, we’ll give you $1” … Sounds legit.

  8. Of course, but my work-a-holic partner might ruin it.

  9. I don’t want to leave my phone with anyone. Not because of me needing it but just identify theft and security purposes. I use my phone for everything and people are shady

    1. Agreed. And even if you discount that some people are shady, you can’t discount the fact that mistakes happen.

      “Oh, we accidentally gave your phone to someone else.”

      “We’re sorry, but we accidentally dropped your phone and it cracked.”

      “We’re sorry, but your phone accidentally was doused by a spilled glass of water, and we didn’t know to shut it off and pull the battery.”

      Yeah, I’m going top go ahead and say no way.

    2. this, exactly!

      1. this, exactly!

    3. There’s this feature all phones have, it’s called the power OFF mode, or you could just use a lock code on it

      1. There’s this thing called hacking, all the cool kids do it.

        1. their not cool just nerdy thieves

        2. like the host or hostess is really going to take your phone in the back to try and hack it. Plus unless you choose a really simple pattern the pattern lock is pretty dang secure. Even the FBI are hard pressed to crack it:

          But hey, hackers are so savvy they can hack your phone, and return it, without any other non-hacker employees noticing…score 1 for Hollywood, 0 for reality.

          1. Show’s how much you know about law enforcement. Agencies across the USA are buying new equipment that copies the entire OS image off your phone, and sift’s through all of your information. In reality, law enforcement have more access than you might imagine. Anyone with access to XDA can learn how to crack all Android security features.

          2. Yeah, I’ve looked at XDA and the only thing that I could find that cracked a pattern lock only worked if you had USB debugging enabled. And it was only demonstrated with a T-Mobile G1, not the best example of cutting edge hardware there. So just don’t walk around with USB debugging on and you should be safe from ninja hackers. Yes law enforcement is working on ways to crack the pattern pock, but if you had read the above linked article then you’d see they WERE using special equipment that copies hard drives and Android ROMs…but it can’t do it’s thing with the pattern lock enabled. Now since that article was released I found the UFED Cellbright had found a way to crack pattern locks on certain devices, but the list is far from comprehensive. Before you call me out make sure you know what you’re commenting on.

          3. Thing is, I have friends in Law Enforcement, and the technology they have access to, doesn’t need to crack the pattern lock. It’s a device that copies the entire OS image to a separate location, and then cracks it automatically. I’m sure Google provided a tool for them to accomplish this.
            EDIT: Law Enforcement have more access to our data than you might imagine. Constitutional and Civil rights have been waived by the Patriot Act. All Government Agencies can access everything about you without a warrant. Not to mention, all wireless carriers save everything you do on their servers, which is also accessible by Law Enforcement.
            2nd EDIT: Do you think it’s a coincidence that when some guy commit’s a serious crime, all of a sudden the same day information is being posted about the person’s internet habits? Private Facebook items? Emails? It’s cause they can access all of this information at any time. American’s have this false sense of privacy…….

          4. BTW, it is easy to offload data off of SD or internal storage from a phone. Just plug in USB into a laptop, and copy photos, vidoes, and whatever else you have stored on the phone, without even having to crack the security.

          5. That’s true, but who’s going to be packing a laptop around to load SD card info? I’m not saying it isn’t possible, I’m just saying, if you have your password/lockscreen set up then for most scammers it’s not worth it. It’s far more likely thieves will go for something easy, like a credit card they can skim in a split second, than sitting there trying to find some arbitrary data that may or may not lead to anything useful to steal. Crooks usually go for easy, not challenging.

          6. If you think credit card fraud is easy, you are mistaken.

          7. Uh, yeah. Grab the card swipe it, get the info…it’s pretty damn easy. Now obviously there are such things as federal insurance and the card users usually always get their money back, but it doesn’t mean people don’t commit credit card fraud every day. I used to work for a credit card company and people had their cards stolen all the time, or occasionally had their cards skimmed and the fraudster made a dummy card with their info. But forgive me for thinking that credit card fraud is a walk in the park compared to hacking a smartphone. Anyway I’m done with this convo as it’s going no where.

          8. Well if you’re telling the truth that you’ve worked at credit card company, doesn’t mean you’ve worked as a crook using an MSR to copy data.

    4. lock your phone? There’s a great app called gotya. Takes a picture of anyone who tries to unlock the phone and fails then emails that pic to you and the location where it was taken. Lookout app is also great.

      1. You just gotta be smarter than the thieves and you’ve already won.

    5. Identity theft? How do you generally pay for your meal? Unless it’s cash, I am sure the server walks away with your credit card. That *should* literally have way more sensitive information printed right on it than your phone…

  10. Just 5%? Nope, not a chance.

  11. I said “no, never” but for other reasons. First, I don’t want to leave my $600 device filled with personal information with someone else. Second, I was taught some manners and (hopefully) know if/when it is appropriate to use my cell phone. I know there seem to be a lot of people there that don’t, but I’ll be the one who makes that decision. Now…if it was 20%…? :).

  12. I wouldn’t use it during dinner, but I wouldn’t leave it with anyone else, either. Trust issues.

  13. 5% is not enough of an incentive for me. I am not sure I would even take a 10% offer. 15-20% maybe, and it depends on the situation.

  14. Would I be able to use my tablet while my phone is tethering wifi? I want to at leleast be able to control my phone remotely. I’ve never gone a meal in the past 2 yyears without using my phone or tablet.

  15. I’m surprised so many would do this. I would only if I were certain. What if there was an emergency. What if I was conversing about a topic and my company and I wanted to Google fact check. Too many variables to say I would.

  16. easiest 5% discount ever, for me at least.

    it is funny, and somewhat sad, to see where our society has gone.

    1. Easiest 5%? Is it really worth $5(on a $100 bill) to be unavailable if someone gets hurt.

    2. yup

  17. I would take it up every time. It’s incredibly rude to be playing about on your phone at a mal out. Getting a discount for something I would do anyway is a bonus.

  18. Nah, I don’t believe it’s bad manners to glance at your phone every little while for whatever reason. But if I was with my boss and coworkers of course I’d leave it. Casually nah.

  19. Interesting to think we would eat and leave that much fast without using our cells to justify a discount.

  20. But how will I know my phone will be safe? I think I would hesitate because its more of “can-I-trust-the-employees-with-my-phone” kind of thing

  21. No way any restaurant is holding my phone while I eat a meal.

  22. Jackoffs…it’s all you jackoffs that I have to listen to while I’m trying to have a meal in peace. You aren’t important and if your mother told you that you were she was lying. Just like black people in movie theaters

    1. If someone is speaking in a raised tone of voice or having an extended conversation on the phone, then ok, jackoffs they are. But if they are speaking on the phone at a reasonable volume, then it really is no different them having to hear the conversation between people at a nearby table. Sorry, but if you want a peaceful meal, order in.

      And Ive seem plenty of non black people behave poorly in movie theaters. I would be willing to bet, so have you. You most likely just choose to not remember those instances. Sad.

  23. And miss the Yankees game just because we’re going out to eat? Don’t think I could do it!

    1. Well, you could go to a restaurant with tvs that have the game on. I wouldn’t want to miss the ballgame either…wait…Yankees? Screw that! Yanks suck!!


  24. I wonder what they would do if I gave them my G1, but kept my N1 and S1.

  25. Only if they had a small lockers for individual phones and would provide a key to me that only I had. Otherwise no way they’re holding my $300 phone in some random open wooden box for $2.50 off my $50 check.

  26. I don’t think I would take up on the offer but I very much appreciate the motivation behind the idea. The idea of such a personal item being locked in a place away from me and out of reach is too uncomfortable.. even I have no intention of using a phone. This devices just has too much of my personal info on it.
    I would however suggest an alternative based on the car keys bowl at parties. Every table should have a bowl were people drop their phones into and for every phone that goes into the bowl you get 1% or 2% off the bill. The bowl should also have a lid that the waiter locks right after taking your order or when the food arrives and is only unlocked after the meal is finished.. If the lock has to be opened to retrieve even one of the locked phones during the meal.. no discount will be awarded.

  27. Two questions (my answer was ‘never’ due to these):

    1. Who has our phones, and how can you trust that they won’t do anything to them?
    2. What if there’s an emergency and someone tries to contact you, what’s the point of the cellphone if it’s behind the counter or something? Might as well just have a landline…

    And plus, let’s be honest. 5%? That’s not a discount. On a $50 meal, that’s $2.50. That’s the difference between ordering water or most drinks (non-alcoholic, obviously), or ordering one entree over another. If it got up to 10% or more, I might consider it more, but trusting my several hundred dollar phone with a team of complete strangers and not being reachable in the case of emergencies for a whopping 5% is just ridiculous.

  28. If you want to have a meal in peace, cook at home. That being said, it is rude to speak on a cellphone in a roomful of people. If you need to take a call, go outside. If you’re checking your messages, it’s no one else’s business if you’re doing that in a restaurant; being at the cinema is a different story. Concentrate on your chewing and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Fascists.

  29. My phone is not an extension of my arm. My phone is, however, always on and always with me. If my friends or family need me in an emergency, I want to be available to them. Always. Saving a few dollars is not worth not being there for my family and friends.

  30. 25% That is the magic discount for me to give up my answer box. (my phone)

  31. I’d take the 5% to not use my phone, but I wouldn’t check it in with anyone. The phone stays in my pocket!

  32. Would I let someone I dont know take my phone, worth more than I can afford to replace, and keep it for an hour? No. – i dont need to look at it during the meal, and i dont want you to steal or lose it.

  33. 5%??? Really??

    Absolutely not.

  34. Uhhhhhhhhh…..No

  35. I would not take this, as my phone is there in case of emergencies. Could I leave it put down? Yes. But I agree with others, I’m not leaving my phone with anyone else.

  36. I can’t believe how many people use “emergencies” as reasons to not give up their phones. Its the WEAKEST argument out there, emergencies happened before cell phonrs, we survived. If emergencies are thst big a concern for you, you let someone know where youre going and the phonenumber where your at. If all you commenters had these mannets you speak of, and weren’t on their phoned, there wouldn’t be a restaurant offering this discount, think about that.

    1. I almost missed my own fathers funeral when I was a kid because I was on vacation with a friend and his family and no one but my dad knew. If we had cell phones back then, it would not have been a problem.

      If, God forbid, your family member is in a terrible accident and you have to get to the hospital, but you can’t be reached for two to three hours because your phone is not with you, you don’t think that is an issue?

      There used to be no cars…does that mean we should not call an ambulance at night because it inconveniences others, and that’s “the way it used to be”?

      Im sorry, Im not trying to be an ass, just pointing out that just because you don’t necessarily see the validity of an argument, it doesn’t make it weak.

      1. No, it wouldn’t be an issue. What am I going to do, jump into the emergency room and perform surgery? All people end up doing is sitting there worrying. All emergency decisions are made by the doctors, you don’t get consulted until the patient is in stable condition.

        The emergency excuse is just a crutch for people who can’t be without their phone.

        1. The accident could be a heart attack…

          1. If someone calls you about having a heart attack, wtf are you going to do? “Oh you’re having a heart attack? I’ll be there in 30 minutes to drive you to the hospital.” They should be calling an ambulance to get help asap!

          2. Well after the ambulance to notify you? It doesn’t have to be the person having the attack, just to get everyone notified. If you live in a different country, cell phones are the way to get families connected. If someone lived in a different country, that call would let them know, so they would probably come to see the person as opposed to never knowing until something bad happens

          3. Its very rare for an emergency to happen where the patient becomes stable enough for visitors but still dies within hours. Remember we’re talking about 1-2 hours without a phone, not ditching it for the rest of your life. If someone is in an accident or falls ill and becomes stable enough for visitors, you’re going to be able to visit them when you’re done with your meal.

  37. wow im really surprised by the results of the poll lol

  38. NEVER! I don’t need some chinese joint hacking into my phone.

  39. No way; I have a business to run. Though I carry two phones…. Maybe I could check just one of them and game the system :-)

  40. Absolutely if it was something where you put your phone in a small locker and you keep the key. If I’m just handing my phone over and they put it in a box then no way in hell.

    No one is going to need to be in contact with me for the 1-2 hours I’m away from it. I’m not a surgeon, firefighter, medic, etc. so I’m not going to be any use in a life threatening emergency. When I’m eating with someone, I’m going to *gasp* talk to them! When you’re used to actually talking you don’t get those “awkward silences” all that often, in fact you usually end up with a lot more to talk about because you don’t google every topic that comes up.

  41. Really? I would do this, maybe like once just to be cheap. I don’t see what’s wrong with texting and eating. Texting and eating is no different than talking and eating. You’re still communicating with someone. At least you don’t have to worry about spitting food out your mouth. LoL!!

    And this is way better to text than to try to whisper to your friend that the person 2 seats down is smacking all the taste out their food. LoL!!

  42. Leave my phone at the entrance with some strangers? Sure, while I’m at it I’ll give them my house keys and give them directions to my house.

    I don’t go to restaurants, but how much would 5% really be saving you anyway?

  43. Just shove it into fastboot, the people there won’t know what to do with it. And personally I’d love to have a meal where my family members and friends staring down at their phones. It kills me…

  44. I would agree not to use it. In fact, I’d be willing to turn it off. But leave it with someone else, not to mention someone I’ve never seen before? No way in hell. I know I can lock my phone, and that there are plenty of apps I can use to track my phone down if stolen, but that doesn’t make me willing to leave my phone with a stranger.

  45. nah!

  46. This is ridiculous that its even a question and this is what society has come to… SMDH

  47. My take:

    If its a specific place, very few places…. I would….and give the number of the restaurant to a family or friend in case of emergencies.

    Discount on food and folks can reach me if they need to. Problem solved.

  48. I would. Every time. But I never eat out.

  49. They have to give me their date of birth and address and social security number and mithers name. Thats like leaving my child with a stranger.. I HAVE TO SEE WHO IS AT THE DOOR AND WHO WILL BE WATCHING MY PHONE. . SORRY…

  50. I’ve seen a number of incidents when checked coats are given to the wrong person so I wouldn’t be taking that chance with my phone… ever!!

  51. sorry, not leaving my phone with complete strangers to play with.
    Not because I need it either. I mute my phone when I go out to restaurants and such. Just noways I’d trust a complete stranger with my phone.
    Hell, I won’t even check my coat. No way Ill check my phone.

  52. I would leave it in my car, if I had driven to the place, but other than that, I would feel much more comfortable with it in my pocket, then in a bin of phones

  53. If we don’t have our phones at the table with us, how will we get all of those fascinating food photographs?

  54. I would do this every time.

  55. I would not. I don’t talk on my phone much. And usually the person I’d be talking to is my wife who is usually with me at a restaurant. I use my phone to look up things to do while we are out, or movies, price or research on something we would have spotted earlier in a store. It doesn’t circumvent conversation, it helps drive it. And usually once the food comes the phone stays in my pocket until I’m done and it comes out again while I’m waiting for my children to finish thier meals.

  56. If I could get those dumplings, I might!

  57. Awesome idea for an Android mod. Give me an option alongside Mute, Vibrate etc, that sets my phone to “VIP” or “Priority”. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I’m out with my wife, I don’t want to get notifications or calls from my parents / colleagues. However, I do want to take an emergency call from my kids / sitter. So how about a “VIP” or “Priority” list for those people I actually care about. Then when I’m out, I set my phone to “VIP” and the only notifications or calls I receive are from people on that list. All others are stacked and released when I turn off “VIP”.

    1. I submitted this to google for an “Enhancement” so fingers crossed.

    2. There are apps that do this. Check out Setting Profiles.

  58. So about 75-80% of restaurants I’ve been in offer free wifi, but now they dont want us to use our phones? If restaurants think its that bad of a problem, then they should just have a “no cell phone or other electronic device allowed” policy posted before you walk in.

  59. Its doable for some. unless I’m the only family member I cant do it. if I’m not available call the others. But Hold on, Concern about leaving your phone with a stranger? make use of the lock screen. but for christ sake 5 percent. I do it for 20

  60. Ha! Easiest 5% off a meal ever! Suckers! I don’t pull out my phone when at restaurants anyway.

  61. I voted no, not so much because I can’t be without my phone… and that is hard… but because I wouldn’t trust the workers to leave my ish alone.

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