Today it’s difficult to imagine staying away from our smartphones even for a single day. Actually even an hour seems too long. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we’re actually living online. We no longer go online.
Taking cue retailers offer Wi-Fi-enabled cafés, stores and even fitting rooms because the new-age consumer is socially connected, almost round-the-clock. They seek feedback from friends on Facebook before buying a pair of trouser or flaunt a new haircut on Instagram. They also post numerous pictures on social media around food while dining.
These socially connected consumers, always glued to the smart devices, however, tend to ignore physical presence. That’s what Köşebaşı, a South Anatolian restaurant operated by the Lebanon-based Azadea Group, seeks to change by encouraging diners to stay away from their smart devices while dining at the restaurant with family or friends.
That’s not an easy job! The restaurant has, thus, decided to launch a fun new phone stack game, ‘Friends over Phones’, starting May 1 to encourage diners to enjoy the company of family and friends over that of phones. That’s the Köşebaşı challenge to its diners against which the latter will get a free breakfast item when a breakfast item of equal or higher value is ordered.
The rule of the game is simple – you’ve to stay away from your phones, which will be placed in a phone stack box placed in the middle of each table. The dining group, big or small, will nominate a monitor to supervise the group, watching if anyone breaks the phone stack pact. If the group manages to enjoy the meal without reaching for and looking at their phones, they will be entitled to enjoy the free breakfast goodies. Alternatively, the monitor will get the prize.
According to Köşebaşı regional brand manager Roy Ghattas, the ‘Friends over Phones’ campaign has been launched to encourage diners to enjoy each other’s company instead of being ‘social’ on a device. It is to encourage guests to live in the now.