Friday, August 31, 2012

No Interruptions

*I wrote this a little while ago after a comment I had posted (about a different story) was read on the air a couple weeks back! Nothing like hearing your own words spoken over national public radio, eh?*

A restaurant in LA is giving their customers a 5% discount for not using their cell phone during their meal. With the amount of time people spend on their cell or smart phones, taking a little break might seem like asking too much, but is it?

I heard this story on a show on NPR called Marketplace. It talks all about consumer behavior, the American/world economies, current issues, international relations and more. As an Economics major, I am in heaven when I listen to this show. They also produce a weekend show called "Marketplace Money" that gives very useful, well-researched tips to listeners about personal finance - in a fun and modern way! I think a lot of people my age would benefit from personal finance education and cell phone hiatuses. Anyway, most of their stories are in interview format, as they appeared on the show basically, so this one is no exception.

Check out the story here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/discount-cell-phone-less-meal

The owner talked about how he wants to be more engaged with his kids at meal times and turning off or storing his cell phone allows him to do that. He believes that this will be a good discount for his customers so that they can enjoy their dining experience even more. Eating out and other social outings don't seem to be as enjoyable since the invention of the handy, yet-sometimes-annoying smartphone. While I like the idea, constant discounts won't help the restaurant in the long-term. But, I hope this will begin to open customers' eyes and realize that turning their phone off for two hours is not the end of the world. It's actually a glimpse of a world we all once knew - a cell phone less world. It seems like such a long time ago, though.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Should more restaurants/venues start doing this? Will this be the way of the future?

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