Chick-fil-A: Ditch your phone, get free ice cream

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Chick Fil A Cell Phone Coop
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Chick-fil-A creates "cell phone coops" encouraging customers to put away their cell phones while eating.

SUWANEE, GA (KTRK) -- Chick-fil-A wants you to put down your cellphone and enjoy a tech-free meal. Select restaurants are encouraging families to make it through an entire meal without using their cell phones. If you're able to achieve the goal, the entire family will receive small ice cream cones.

Brad Williams, who owns two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Georgia, created the "cell phone coop," a box that sits on every table in his restaurants.

The box, decorated with wire coop, instructs diners to turn their cell phones on silent and place them in the coop. If the phones stay inside the box for the entire meal, diners get a free ice cream dessert.

Williams told Good Morning America he got the idea after watching a mother spend an entire meal on her cell phone instead of communicating with her two children.

"It just got me thinking how to get people to disconnect in order to connect and to take a technology timeout," Williams said of his idea. "Be present where your feet are."

Williams started placing the coops in his two restaurants in mid-January, using a local printer and ideas from Pinterest to design the coops locally. Since then, Williams says more than 10,000 coops have been made and nearly 200 independent Chick-fil-A operators are using the idea in their own restaurants.