Sorry incessant Instagrammers: One Florida restaurant has launched a recurring “no technology night,” where guests are forced to leave their smartphones at the door. Local news station WPTV reports Sonny’s BBQ launched the initiative to “reconnect families” who distractedly stare at their phones while eating dinner: According to a reporter, “the manager is even leaving comment cards at families’ tables in case they have trouble unplugging and finding things to talk about.” (Suggested topics include “Who are you going to the prom with?” and “What college are you going to?”)
Sonny’s BBQ plans to host its no-smartphones night on the third Thursday of every month, meaning the smartphone-obsessed will only go into withdrawals one night a month. Of course, it’s not the first time a restaurant has tried to discourage smartphone use among diners: Restaurants from Beirut toLos Angeles have offered diners discounts for checking in their phones at the door. And the gimmick benefits restaurant employees as well, as smartphones have been blamed by some restaurateurs for slower service and longer meal times.