Restaurant Offers Steep Discount for Diners to Turn Off Their Phones

Jenny Erikson Thank You!

Restaurant owner Jawdat Ibrahim says that cell phones have “destroyed the modern dining experience,” so he’s doing something extraordinary to bring it back by offering his patrons a 50 percent discount on their meals in exchange for turning their phones off.

Ibrahim owns Abu Ghosh, the famous restaurant outside of Jerusalem in Israel. He’s long been a promoter of peace, using food to unite Arabs and Jews in a spirit of coexistence. He serves traditional Mediterranean fare like grilled meats and hummus.

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," he said. "A lot of people, they sit down and they don't enjoy their food, their company.

Other eateries around the world have taken a similar stance, but not many have offered such steep reductions in price. He admitted that he’s taking a hit by slashing prices in half, but hopes to make up for it with new customers.

 I have a lot of new customers," he said. "People come from Jerusalem. People come from Tel Aviv, and they all have one thing in common: This telephone is not good for me when I am eating.

Almost every person that’s come through the door of his restaurant has taken advantage of the promotion since it began this week. The exception was someone from a TV crew that needed it for work purposes. He didn’t say how long he would be running the discount.

What a great idea! I mean, I’m all for snapping a pic of a fabulous dish and “foodstagramming” it, but it is kind of annoying when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone and they won’t stop playing Candy Crush or checking emails. It’s like, hi, do you want to hang out with me or not?

Would you put your phone down during mealtime for a 50 percent discount?


Image via Christopher Cotrell/ Flickr

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