Cafe Offers Discount To Customers Who Give Up Their Phones While Dining

From February, Saint James Cafe in Melbourne will offer a discount to customers who agree to have their phones packed away.

The owner of the cafe, Craig Tate, told 10 daily a 20 percent discount will be offered to the those who give up their phones.

Tate said in the two-and-a-half years since the cafe had opened, the atmosphere has changed, which inspired the initiative.

Saint James cafe, Malvern. Image: Supplied / @cocoandvine

The team discussed possible reasons as to the change in atmosphere, and the use of phones by customers was thought to be a leading cause.

"The cafe can be full but it's not the same vibe," Tate said.

"Everyone has their head in their phones or electronic devices."

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For Tate growing up, food meant spending valuable time with family.

"The main reason I got into hospitality is because I love food and the interactions around it," he said.

"Instead sharing food has turned into slowly eating while being distracted by phones."

Image: Supplied / @cocoandvine

The initiative comes into effect on February 1, and Tate said he was looking forward to it.

"We were unsure at first whether people would be offended, but the response so far has been great."

Responses from social media are so far, overwhelmingly positive.

A crackdown on mobiles in hospitality is becoming increasingly common.

In 2015, The Bella Natural Food Co in Terrigal, NSW, placed a 50c surcharge on people who ordered while still using their phones.

A year later, Melbourne's Cafe 655 made headlines after signs appeared out the front of its store that said staff would refuse to serve customers who were on the phone.

Six years ago, Bondi's Kapito cafe owner, Phil Xu admitted that he had turned customers away who were on their phone while ordering.

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