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Rainham restaurant encouraging customers to lock up their mobile phones and talk to each other

A restaurant will knock 20% off customers' bills if they lock up their phones in a padlocked 'jail' on the table.

The initiative at Spice Fusion in Rainham aims to get people talking rather than looking at their screens.

The phone jail at Spice Fusion in Rainham
The phone jail at Spice Fusion in Rainham

Diners will be given a small cage with a padlock and a key.

The restaurant in Deanwood Drive has introduced the idea after its chef saw it in a London eatery.

Manager Rajeev Gupte said: "Our chef and his wife saw it in London and he suggested we do the same here.

"We often people watch in the restaurant and see families come in and they are on their phones.

"A couple of years ago we had a large group come in for lunch and I noticed something was different. As I watched them I realised they were all engaged talking to each other, none of them had their phones in their hands."

Manager Rajeev Gupte wants to get people talking
Manager Rajeev Gupte wants to get people talking

Rajeev took over as manager four years ago and wants to offer something different to a traditional Indian restaurant.

He has done away with the white linen table cloths, hand towels at the table, and chocolates at the end of your meal.

Chef Abul Hussain has also introduced some more unusual dishes. Naan bread with Stilton cheese has been a big hit, and the new spring menu which launched on Monday, includes a Yorkshire pudding filled with chicken tikka.

This week the restaurant will launch its Let's Get Fishy nights. Every Thursday it will offer a new seafood menu produced with Hales and Moore fishmongers in Rainham.

The restaurant also works with another local business, Ellinor's Ice Cream which provides desserts.

Rajeev said he is a firm believer in being part of the local community.

During lockdown they cooked and delivered 8,000 meals to families in need.

They recently held a fundraiser for the Ukraine aid appeal and raised almost £6,000.

Rajeev said: "I think it is really important to engage with the community."

The mobile phone offer is available every Monday for tables of four or more. To find out more click here or call 01634 933123 to book.

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