Cafe rewards diners who put away their phones

The owner says it was a response to customers' behaviour (Google Maps)
The owner says it was a response to customers' behaviour (Google Maps)

Forget Instagramming your food photos or replying to your messages around the dinner table, one US cafe is rewarding diners for leaving their phones at the door in a bid to get people talking again.

Sarah's Corner Cafe in Stroudsbourg, Pennsylvania, is offering a 10 percent discount for families who agree to dine phone-free.

Those who choose to do it need to switch all phones to silent mode and place them in a basket while they sit, eat and talk together - just like the old days.

But if that's a bit too much for the young kids, staff will also provide writing implements called pencils as well as games of tic-tac-toe and hangman for some quality family time.

Owner Barry Lynch told ABC News the idea for the "family recharging stations" came about after watching the behaviour of his customers who were constantly on their phones.

"I just thought it was such a shame not to have more time together just to talk," he says.

The idea has "taken on a life of its own," he says, with a lot of positive feedback.

The cafe seats 110 people and markets itself as having "the look and feel of a cozy country cafe with windows that offers an excellent view of the historic Main Street".