Technology

Restaurant Offers Customers 50 Percent Discount to Turn Off Cell Phones

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Jawdat Ibrahim, a restaurant owner in Abu Ghosh, Israel, is offering a 50 percent discount for customers who turn off their cell phones while dining in his eatery, which is also called Abu Ghosh.

Ibrahim is hoping the discount offer will bring back the good old days of companionship, conversation and appreciating food.

"I'm changing something," Ibrahim told the Associated Press. "It might be something small, but maybe in some small way I'll be changing the culture of eating,"

"Technology is very good," added Ibrahim. "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."

Ibrahim opened his restaurant, located six miles outside of Jerusalem, in 1993 after winning $23 million in the Illinois state lottery. His chummus and grilled meat dishes are popular with Arab and Jewish customers.

"I have a lot of new customers," stated Ibrahim. "People come from Jerusalem. People come from Tel Aviv, and they all have one thing in common: This telephone is not good for me when I am eating."

According to a 2010 Zagat survey, 67 percent of diners surveyed in Los Angeles thought texting, checking e-mail or talking on a cell phone was rude. 64 percent of diners in New York and 63 percent in San Francisco agreed, noted NBC Los Angeles.

Last year, the Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles offered customers a 5 percent discount for leaving their phones with the host during their meal, reported CNN. A deli in Vermont actually charged people an extra $3 for using their cell phones, according to Consumerist.com.

Sources: Associated Press, NBC Los Angeles, CNN, Consumerist.com

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