Cafe offers families a 10% discount for not using their phones while dining
Cafe owner Barry Lynch started the policy on February 20th, and tells ABC News it’s been hugely popular with his customers. “A lot of people are starting to do it and it’s taken on a life of its own,” he said. “I get huge feedback. Massive feedback.”
Because Lynch knows that it’s not easy to keep young kids entertained while they wait for school or to get tweens and teens to open up about their day, the cafe offers ways for families to connect while they wait for their food to come. Once you alert your server that your table is taking on the no phones challenge, they bring games to the table designed to foster communication. “They let the server know and the server will bring over a basket with old fashioned Hangman and Tic Tac Toe and pencils because those games are interactive instead of coloring, which is solitary,” Lynch explains.
The idea for a “family recharging time” discount came to Lynch after seeing so many of his customers more connected to their devices than to each other, even though they viewed going out to eat as “quality time.” “There’s one particular family I knew used to come in on Sunday for breakfast after church. I knew the dad and the mom and two kids and we’d always say ‘hi,’” he said. “Every time I went over, one or two of the kids and sometimes the parents would be on the phone. I also knew the dad would commute to New York for work every day, which takes a lot of time. I asked him about that and he said, ‘Yeah, I still do it. It’s so nice to be together and these breakfasts are rare.’ And when he said that, I thought, ‘Oh wow. Something is going on here. I need to do something.’”