Let’s face it: People are addicted to their phones and mobile devices, and for some, the mere thought of going even five minutes without being able to check email or text causes serious heart palpitations.
However, a restaurant outside of Jerusalem, Israel, is out to change all that. Jawdat Ibrahim is the owner of Abu Ghosh, and he says he’s hoping to bring civility and humanity back to dining out. How? He’s instituted a 50 percent discount to diners who shut off their cell phones at the dinner table.
“Technology is very good. But just when you eat, just especially when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company,” Ibrahim told AP News.
And lest you think he’ll be taking a financial hit, well, he won’t be: Ibrahim won $23 million in the Illinois state lottery in the’80s, and used his winnings to open up the restaurant.
The no-phone promotion started this week, and Ibrahim hasn’t said how long it would last (we’re guessing the more publicity it gets, the shorter it’ll be), but virtually every customer who’s visited has taken advantage of it so far.
Ibrahim isn’t the only restaurant owner making a move toward civility. A coffeehouse in Nice, France, is also hoping to encourage patrons to behave in more courteous ways, but they’ve taken a somewhat different tack. Rather than reward good behavior, they’re punishing bad: Patrons that fail to say “please” and “thank you” when ordering their morning coffees will pay substantially higher costs for their morning cups.
An order of just “coffee” will cost the equivalent of $9.65 (!). A “coffee, please” will come in at $5.85. And a “hello, a coffee, please,” will cost you just $1.95.
What do you think of these kind of discounts? Sound off in the comments!