At 150 Chick-fil-A locations across the US, you may soon be able to get free ice cream simply by putting away your cell phone.
As Americans become increasingly glued to our smartphones, many times we find ourselves ignoring the people right in front of our faces.
Noticing that diners often seemed more interested in their phones than their dining companions, a Chick-fil-A franchisee in Suwanee, Georgia named Brad Williams decided to take action.
“We really want our restaurant to provide a sense of community for our customers, where family and friends can come together and share quality time with one another,” Williams said on Chick-fil-A’s website. “But as we all know, technology increasingly demands more of our time and can be a big distraction, even while we’re eating.”
Williams and his team developed the “Cell Phone Coop:” a small box that sits on each table at his restaurant that issues a simple challenge for customers. If diners can enjoy their meals without removing their cell phones from the coop to check for calls or texts, they can let the staff know and receive a small ice cream cone.
“The challenge has completely taken off,” Williams said. “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 home with them!”
As the Cell Phone Coop blew up in Georgia, more Chick-fil-A franchisees decided they wanted to implement the challenge at their restaurants. On Tuesday, the company announced that more than 150 restaurants had decided to offer customers the chance to take the Cell Phone Coop challenge.
This isn’t the first time the chicken chain has attempted to win over family-oriented consumers. In January, the company announced it was implementing a new service called “Mum’s Valet,” and the chain has recently launched healthy items like a kale-based salad to appeal to family members of all ages and dietary restrictions.
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