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Restaurant's Discount Policy Goes Viral

| by Lauren Briggs

A Pennsylvania restaurant owner was tired of seeing families constantly on their phones, so he decided to do something about it.

"I just thought it was such a shame not to have more time together just to talk," Barry Lynch, the owner of Sarah's Corner Cafe in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, told ABC News' "Good Morning America." "Look at my eyes. I'm here with you. How was your day?"

Bring your family to dine in at the cafe and you'll receive 10 percent off your check if your entire party commits to putting away their electronics for the length of the meal.

"They let the server know and the server will bring over a basket with old fashioned Hangman and Tic Tac Toe and pencils because those games are interactive instead of coloring, which is solitary," explained Lynch.

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After you notify the server, you'll be encouraged to drop your phone into a "family recharging station" basket while you spend quality time with your loved ones and successfully complete the challenge.

Lynch said he got the idea from seeing so many families come in and spend part or all of their meals glued to their phones. One family in particular would come in on Sundays after church, and he noticed the kids, and sometimes even the parents, spent more time on their electronics than talking to each other, Lynch recalled.

"I knew the dad and the mom and two kids and we'd always say 'hi,'" he recounted. "...I also knew the dad would commute to New York for work every day, which takes a lot of time. I asked him about that and he said, 'Yeah, I still do it. It's so nice to be together and these breakfasts are rare.' And when he said that, I thought, 'Oh wow. Something is going on here. I need to do something.'"

Lynch said the idea has "taken on a life of its own" as more and more people start to do it.

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Indeed, many restaurants have made an effort to stop people from using their phones while dining. Although some restaurants appreciate the free advertising they get when patrons post photos to Instagram and reviews to Yelp and other social media sites, others have taken a similar approach to Lynch and offered discounts for those who put down their technology and work to be present.

Jawdat Ibrahim, who owns a restaurant in Israel, started giving a 50 percent discount in 2013 to those who unplug during dinner, according to The Huffington Post.

"Technology is very good," Ibrahim told The Associated Press at the time, according to The Post. "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. A lot of people, they sit down and they don't enjoy their food, their company."

Sources: Good Morning America via Yahoo, The Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Artotem/Flickr

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