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Chick-fil-A restaurants introducing ‘cell phone coops’ to bring conversation back to table

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SUWANEE, Ga. — If your family can’t get through a meal without pulling out their phones, this challenge is for you.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Suwanee, Georgia, is helping people keep their eyes on people rather than a screen with “cell phone coops.” If each person puts his or her phone on silent and places it in the table’s “coop” for the whole meal, everyone at the table will get free ice cream.

Suwanee Chick-fil-A operator Brad Williams and his team created the idea.

“We really want our restaurant to provide a sense of community for our customers, where family and friends can come together and share quality time with one another,” Williams told the Chick-fil-A website. “But as we all know, technology increasingly demands more of our time and can be a big distraction, even while we’re eating.”

People are loving the incentive to enjoy a phone-free meal.

“The challenge has completely taken off,” Williams said. “We have families who aren’t successful the first time and come back to try again. We even have people asking to take the boxes home with them! Our whole community is talking about it.”

The challenge has spread to more than 150 Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.

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