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Italy restaurant offers free bottle of wine to customers who give up their smartphones during meal

22:24, April 16

An Italian restaurant is offering a free bottle of wine to customers who give up their mobile phones during the meal, reports The Guardian.

Owner of Al Condominio restaurant Angelo Lella in Verona said the goal was to encourage diners to chat with each other rather than constantly looking at their smartphones.

“We wanted to open a restaurant that was different,” he said. “That’s why we chose this format—customers can give up technology while enjoying a pleasant moment together. Technology is becoming a problem—there is no need to look at the phone every five seconds, but for many it is like a drug... So they have the opportunity to put it down and drink good wine.”

People will be given the opportunity to leave their smartphones, which will be kept in a locked box at the entrance. They then show the key to the waiter, who serves them a bottle of wine.

Also, customers can write a review of their dish and leave it in the box. Those who leave the most enthusiastic review will be offered lunch on their next visit.

“The response has been very positive,” Lella said. “Ninety percent of customers chose to leave their phones in exchange for wine. It's really nice to see people embrace it—they're talking to each other rather than looking at photos or responding to messages on their phone."

Al Condominio is believed to be the first restaurant in the Veneto region to take such an initiative, although there are other such restaurants in Italy, including Separè 1968 in Marina di Cecina, Tuscany, which offers vouchers to customers who give up their smartphones.


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