The owners of a Midwest restaurant are tired of seeing their customers text and chat on their cellphones during meals.
In an effort to get patrons to put down their phones and have a face-to-face conversation, Sneaky’s Chicken, with locations in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Sioux City, Iowa, is offering customers a monetary incentive.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sneaky’s Chicken gives a 10 percent discount on Wednesdays to customers who agree to toss their cellphones in a box while eating there.
“The discount is the incentive, but the real incentive is to focus the attention on the person you are dining with,” said Kelly Ferris, whose family owns the Sneaky’s Chicken restaurants.
Sneaky’s Chicken isn’t the first restaurant to offer discounts to customers if they agree to a phone-free meal. Abu Ghosh, a restaurant about 6 miles outside of Jerusalem, gives a 50 percent discount to patrons who turn off their phones, The Associated Press said.
[Abu Ghosh owner] Jawdat Ibrahim says smartphones have destroyed the modern dining experience. He hopes the generous discount will bring back a more innocent time when going to a restaurant was about companionship, conversation and appreciating the food, rather than surfing, texting or talking to the office.
CNN said some restaurants take the no-cellphone plea a step further and actually prohibit their use while dining.
I say kudos to the restaurants that are encouraging customers to enjoy a phone-free meal. It’s sad to look around a restaurant and see everyone looking down at the table, not because they’re dishing up their next bite, but because they’re scrolling through Facebook or sending a text. Here’s to cellphone-free dining experiences.
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