Give up your phone, save money at Tampa Bay area restaurants

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) — How many times have you gone out to eat, and your kids spend more time on their phones instead of talking with you?

Table at Caddy’s on the Beach.

A group of restaurants in the Tampa Bay area are sick of this behavior, and they’re giving customers a discount for putting away their cell phones.

“They should take the time out just to spend some time with each other and not be sitting there all individually playing on the phone,” said Caddy’s on the Beach customer, Mary Rosenberger.

There are seven phones stashed in a basket on Rosenberger’s table.  Her family is there with friends from Maryland and they decided to take advantage of restaurant’s “no phone zone.”

The family realizes it’s hard to resist social media or phone calls, but they’ve all agreed that cell phones are off limits during this Caddy’s meal.

Caddy says sitting in their “no phone zone” is totally voluntary, and if your party agrees to give up their phones, you save.

“We just had the idea, let’s offer them a discount if they put their phones away,” said Caddy’s General Manager, Chris Rhodes.

Patrons get ten percent off their check if the entire party sticks to the plan.

“Technology has kind of taken over our lives. Pay attention, you’re kids grow up really fast. And you don’t want to lose that time and you’re spending lots of money coming out to eat and you’re wasting it looking at your phone,” said Rhodes.

Listen, it can be difficult enjoying a meal with so much happening on your phone.  Social media, emails and texts interfere with our everyday lives, and make us more and more addicted to our phones.

“Tries to hide it under the table,” said customer, Darlene Morrison.

“I like spending time with my family—Twitter,” said Autumn Morrison, case in point.

Caddy’s general manager tells us around 80 percent of his customers opt to go phoneless. The average check at Caddy’s runs around $27 per person, so if you have a large group, the savings can add up.

The restaurant’s management tells News Channel 8 they hope the idea of “no phone zones” will continue to spread.

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