Chick-fil-A is doing the unthinkable and telling people to put down their phones.
The crispy chicken chain is installing “Cell Phone Coop” plastic boxes on tables in 150 of its stores, encouraging people to put down their phones and actually talk to each other. In exchange, Chick-fil-A is offering free ice cream to those that can go tech-free for the duration.
The promotion launched last month and the company said it’s being expanded to hundreds of more stores based on the positive reception.
Brad Williams, the Chick-fil-A store operator that came up with the idea, told ABC News that the no-cellphone zones are encouraging more “conversation and chatter” within his stores across the south. “It’s hard to sit with your family and not do the challenge now,” he said.
Online, the promotion has also been received favorably with people tweeting pictures of the boxes. It’s also a much-needed social media success story for the company, which has been battered over the past few years for its conservative leanings.
Thanks for us challenging us @ChickfilA with a great idea and even offering a reward for participating! pic.twitter.com/6iu2wdw7jQ
— René D. Robichaud (@ReneDRobichaud) March 2, 2016
FANTASTIC idea by @ChickfilA to encourage family time – a “coop” for cell phones. #marketing pic.twitter.com/u1LtJXoAcr — J.W. Cannon (@cannonjw) March 2, 2016
Great idea by @ChickfilA. Some of my greatest memories are family dinners and conversations. https://t.co/0bwx8hFAK2
— Dwayne Watts (@SportsLawDude) March 2, 2016
Chick-fil-A isn’t the first brand to think of asking people to ditch their phones. Verizon suggested the idea to its customers last Thanksgiving. Applebee’s mulled a similar idea two years ago but scrapped it.
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