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Restaurant chain to offer Phonetentiaries – Pentientiaries for Phones to Encourage Conversations

The Tea Terrace Restaurants and Tea Rooms will soon be offering their customers free use of what they are calling a Phonetentiary™.

As the clever name created by The Tea Terrace suggests, the Phonetentiary is basically a “penitentiary for phones”, says Ehab Shouly, Managing Director of The Tea Terrace which owns and operates 3 restaurants and tea rooms at the House of Fraser department stores in London and Guildford.

The Phonetentiary is a small box with a combination lock which will be offered to customers to use at their tables. The box looks like a normal book on the outside and has a concealed compartment for the phones under the book cover. “We wanted it not to look out of place at the dining table so made it in the shape of a book”, Shouly said.

Only the waiting staff of The Tea Terrace know the combination lock number. Guests can out their phones on silent mode and lock them in the Phonetentiary for the duration of their meal or until they request their server to open it for them. The Phonetentiary stays at the guests’ table at all times and its use is free of charge.

The idea behind this is to encourage customers to have more quality conversations at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table away from the digital distractions of their smart phones.

“We want to bring back good old conversations. Very often we see guests, especially families with tweens or teenagers, not engaging in conversation because the children are on their smart phones. Or sometimes friends would be busy posting photos of themselves at our tea rooms or their food or our lovely throne chairs on social media. We want yo offer them a chance to really engage with each other more”, said Rowena Shouly, Director of The Tea Terrace.

“In the old days the tradition of afternoon tea was a social occasion for the guests to enjoy conversations and a bit of gossip! The Phonetentiary will definitely help people go back to conversation especially those addicted to their smart phones”, Rowena added.

The Phonetentiary will also be available for customers to buy to take home with them in case they want to try this social experiment at home to see if it helps create better quality time for the family.

“The Tea Terrace is all about creating fantastic and memorable experiences for our guests. We are confident those who choose to utilize the service will have more time to enjoy each other’s company and the quirky surroundings of our tea rooms,” Rowena said.

For further information please contact Ehab Shouly on [email protected]

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