Cell phone are ubiquitous these days, even in places like restaurants that used to be hotbeds of conversation, and fast food chain Chick-fil-A is trying to change that trend. A Chick-fil-A operator in Georgia is rewarding customers with free ice cream if they manage to keep off their phones for the length of their meal, according to CNET.
The Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Suwanee, GA, is aiming to be a cell phone free zone. You can bring your phone in, but you have to turn it off and can’t take it out during your meal. No talking, texting, internet use, or other distractions from human contact. Those who manage to break their cell phone addiction, at least for the length of a fast food dinner, are rewarded with a sweet frozen treat.
Brad Williams, the restaurant’s operator, says his challenge is a rousing success. He explained, “The challenge has completely taken off. We have families who aren’t successful the first time and come back to try again. We even have people asking to take the boxes (with the challenge printed one them) home with them. Our whole community is talking about it.”
Right now, the Chick-fila-A challenge is limited to Williams’s restaurant, but even if you’re not in Georgia, you can create your own challenge with the potential reward of improving your family relationships and friendships. Next time you visit a restaurant, commit to leaving the phones turned off and have a conversation with your dining companions.
It might feel strange at first to talk to people face to face without a phone to fall back on, but remember, there was a time (gasp!) when people didn’t have smart phones, or even “dumb” cell phones, to draw their attention. If they survived without electronic distractions for a lifetime, you can surely do it for a single meal. The resulting conversation and bonding time might even inspire you to go phone free for future meals.