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Restaurant gives customers 50 per cent discount for turning off their phones

The Abu Ghosh restaurant based outside Jerusalem will give customers a discount if they turn off their phones.

Image: AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

IF YOU’RE TIRED of seeing people glued to their phones or taking photos of their meals while in a restaurant, you’re not alone.

One restaurant owner in Israel has had enough of this culture and decided to give customers an offer they couldn’t refuse: If you turn off your smartphone, you get a 50 per cent discount.

Jawdat Ibrahim, the owner of the Abu Ghosh restaurant based outside Jerusalem, grew weary of seeing friends and couples sitting in silence, looking at their smartphones. The problem became worse when the same customers would ask him to reheat their food, forcing him to take action.

Speaking to Associated Press, Ibrahim said that while he’s taking a hit financially in the short term, the move will pay off as it is attracting new customers to the restaurant. Nearly everyone who has dined has availed of the discount, but he believes that the long-term benefits will make it worthwhile.

“I’m changing something. It might be something small, but maybe in some small way I’ll be changing the culture of eating,”

Originally, Ibrahim had tried to collect phones at the door, but found that the process was too cumbersome. Instead, he decided to trust customers by asking them to turn off their phones and not have it on silent.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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