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Whenever a customer eats in any restaurant anywhere in the world, he or she wants to have an enjoyable and pleasant experience. Distractions, such as cell phones, can negatively impact that experience. So, in January, a Chick-fil-A franchise owner in Georgia launched a challenge to his guests that would, ultimately, allow them to have a better experience and be rewarded at the same time.
Brad Williams of Suwanee, Ga., came up with the idea for a “Cell Phone Coop” program, whereby customers at a particular table place all of their cell phones in a small, square box with a simple challenge: Enjoy a meal without the distraction of cell phones and receive a free Chick-fil-A Icedream. Guests complete the challenge successfully only if cellphones remain in the Coop untouched for their entire meal.
“The Suwanee, Ga. restaurant was the first to offer the challenge,” Carrie Kurlander, Vice President of Public Relations, Chick-fil-A, explained to Loyalty360. “Because of the interest and excitement around the idea, 350 more franchisees have requested the Coop boxes and are either offering now or will soon be offering the challenge.”
According to the company’s Inside Chick-fil-A section of its website, Williams explained how this unique CX challenge came about.
“I’ve seen this addiction to technology worsen at such a rapid pace in just my lifetime,” Williams explained.
“People have gone from having meaningful interactions with one another to constantly being on their phones and other technology.”
Williams wanted to ensure his family stayed connected in this technological age, but admits, it’s difficult. His solution – a “no cell phone” rule at the dinner table.
“My kids know when they sit down for a family dinner, they can’t be using their cell phones or any other technology,” he added. “This is the way I was raised – to truly value meaningful conversation around the dinner table. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and, over that time, I’ve seen customers at our restaurant go from spending quality time and talking with one another to being on their phones the entire meal. There’s just a major disconnect.”
Williams is excited about the challenge and attendant feedback.
“The challenge has completely taken off,” he explained. “We have families who don’t make it the first time, either because they ended up texting or something else, but then they come back in to try it again. Now we even have people asking to take the boxes home with them!”
Chick-fil-A restaurants across the U.S. are offering guests the opportunity to take the Cell Phone Coop challenge.
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