Lublin restaurants lock customers’ phones in CAGES to encourage conversation
A new initiative where restaurants lock customers’ phones inside ‘cages’ to encourage people to speak to each other has been introduced in Lublin.
Called "Inspiruje nas rozmowa" (Inspired by Conversation) the joint project between the City of Lublin and over a dozen participating restaurants, offers diners the chance to voluntarily hand their phones over to be kept in specially designed charging cages.
The waiter keeps the key and the phones are returned when the customer receives the bill.
As an added incentive and in return for their sacrifice, diners get a minimum of a 10 per cent discount on their order, with restaurants allowed to set their own discounts to go above this.
All restaurants participating in the initiative receive specially designed see-through cages from the city authorities which will be able to hold 7-10 phones and be equipped with charging points and a padlock.
Beata Stepaniuk-Kuśmierzak, vice-president for Culture, Sport and Participation at the City of Lublin said: "New technologies are an important part of our lives, but it's worth using them with care.
“The initiative "Inspired by Conversation" is an excellent opportunity to recognise the benefits of spending time together at the dining table with family or friends.
“I'm happy that, once again, Lublin's gastronomic industry is uniting and acting under the same message, this time through participating in an important societal project."
Marcin Kęćko, director of the Office for Development and Tourism at the City of Lublin said: "There are many benefits of participating in the initiative - from creating an atmosphere conductive to conversation, to discounts on your bill, to the opportunity of charging your phone, as the containers are equipped with chargers."
Apart from the over a dozen eateries already signed up for the initiative, the City of Lublin is still encouraging all venues that are interested to sign up until March 2023.
The idea has so been positively received on social media, with nearly 300 likes since it was announced a day ago, with the post: "Use the internet to make plans with friends online, but when you meet up with them in one of Lublin's restaurants, put your smartphones into a special locker. You'll additionally receive a discount on your bill...Let's be 'Inspired by Conversation'. "
Aside from encouraging people to spend less time on their phones and more time talking to one another, the aim of the initiative is also to encourage people to visit Lublin's restaurants and discover the local regional cuisine.