A restaurant in Verona is offering free bottles of wine to diners who put their phones aside during their meal.

Angelo Lella, owner of Al Condominio, said the goal is for customers to communicate with one another rather than look down at their devices.

"We wanted to open a restaurant that was different from the others," he said. "So we picked this format – customers can choose to renounce technology while enjoying a convivial moment together."

He went on to suggest that technology is "becoming a problem," adding: "There is no need to look at your phone every five seconds, but for many people it is like a drug … This way they have an opportunity to put it aside and drink some good wine."

Upon entering, diners are given the option to lock their phone away in a box under lock and key. When they show the key to the staff, they will be served a bottle of wine.

When diners have finished their meal, they will be given the option to write a review to post in the box with the chance to be offered complimentary food on their next visit.

Lella said the response to the new initiative has been "very positive."

"Ninety per cent of customers have opted to leave aside their phones in exchange for wine. It really is a beautiful thing to see people embracing it – they are talking to each other rather than looking at photos or responding to messages on their phone," he continued.

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2024-04-16T13:14:24Z dg43tfdfdgfd