So many business deals are made with a handshake over a good meal. It’s critical that you plan the proper business dinner to make sure you can concentrate on the conversations and not the dinner itself. We’ve got the 9 tips you need to plan a proper business dinner.
Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Whether you are inviting clients to dinner to build a lasting relationship or meeting some co-workers for supper to hash out a plan, the first step is deciding who’s coming to dinner.
There’s so much more to planning a business dinner than just picking out food.
If you are meeting some potential clients for the first time, check out your dinner companions through their LinkedIn profile to get a glimpse into their career and potential hobbies. This allows you to come up with some good conversations that will set the tone for the business dinner.
Keep the Date
Make sure the business dinner date works for everyone ahead of time. If you have to postpone or reschedule the dinner, you’ll come across as disorganized and you run the risk of wasting the time of potential clients that will think twice before agreeing to reschedule.
Check on food restrictions early on in the planning process.
We now live in an age where diet restrictions are as common as the conversation. Find out if any of your business dinner invites have diet restrictions before the dinner. Restaurants should be able to accommodate vegetarian-only and gluten-free dishes. Making sure the restaurant meets the needs of your attendees will please your guests and start the dinner off on the right foot.
Get There First
If you planned the business dinner, it’s important that you’re the first to arrive. Make sure the table meets your needs and welcome guests to your table. You don’t want to be seated near the kitchen or the restrooms so ask for a better table if you don’t like the location.
Also alert the wait staff to the names of the participants you are expecting. Business meeting guests should never walk into a restaurant wondering if you have arrived and where they should sit. If potential clients know you’re prepared for dinner, they are more willing to trust your business capabilities as well.
Utilize Small Talk
Everyone who sits down at the business dinner knows they were invited to talk business. Talking business during the entire meal can be a turn off though. Use small talk to get to know everyone a little better. Small talk should be used before the entrée is served and at the end of the evening.
Pay for the Meal Discreetly
Even though business dinner guests aren’t expected to pay for any portion of the meal, it still makes it awkward when your guests see the check arrive.
Allow your server to run your credit card ahead of time and designate a tip percentage for the meal. If you’re not comfortable pre-paying, tell your server you will stay behind and pay for the meal after your guests have departed.
Match Meals with Guests
If your guests decline an appetizer and choose an entrée, you should do the same. If they order alcoholic drinks, don’t have more drinks than they do. It’s okay to urge them to try a dessert or a night cap but if they decline, you should skip dessert too. This makes everyone feel more comfortable and able to focus on the business side of the dinner.
Ordering Tip: Make suggestions for entrees so your guests feel comfortable ordering what they want and aren’t worried about menu prices.
Mind Your Manners
If you’re hosting a business dinner with prospective clients, the way you treat the wait staff and those around you is very important. A business dinner is not the time to get upset if a dish or the wait service isn’t up to par. If clients see you get upset at the dinner or talk down to the wait staff, they think you act that way at the office too.
Make the Business Dinner Count
Business dinners should lead to a future connection. If you tell the rest of the dinner party you plan to connect them with some third party clients or that you will be in touch with more information, make sure you follow through. This will keep clients much more willing to RSVP to future business dinner invites.
Do you know where you’re having your next business meeting? Conveniently located in the middle of Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, The Roberts Centre has an in-house restaurant and offers catering options to put together a private business dinner utilizing some of the facility’s 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Request a proposal for your next business meeting.
We also have an on-site Holiday Inn to accommodate your meeting needs. Contact us today at (937) 283-3272 to schedule your business dinner and other special events today!
About Roberts Centre
Roberts Centre is home to the region’s largest convention center, a luxurious Holiday Inn hotel, and Max & Erma’s Restaurant. The flexibility of our space, combined with our location between three major cities in Ohio, makes us the perfect venue for weddings, banquets, meetings, pet shows, and other special events.
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The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is a new resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners. This guide will walk you through resources available to help you plan, register, operate, and grow a business in Pennsylvania while working smart and living happy.
If somebody has taken drugs and becomes unresponsive, call 911 immediately. These resources are intended for preventive measures only.
Welcome to Pennsylvania
You often hear that you can’t have it all, but in Pennsylvania, you’ll start believing you can. Pennsylvania’s founding principles of freedom, tolerance, and innovation first established by William Penn have echoed throughout our history and growth as a commonwealth, and continue to guide our progress today.
No other state can rival Pennsylvania and its unique mix of culture and tradition, innovation and entrepreneurship, and technology and talent. The Keystone State is proudly leading the way for successful businesses and communities with innovation, imagination, and a legendary can-do spirit. Learn more about who we are .
Plan: From Idea to Action
Pennsylvania is committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their business dreams by providing the right training, guidance, and resources to help individuals make good business decisions as they plan and launch a new venture. Whether you’re just starting your business plan, choosing your business structure, or looking for business counseling and advice, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re like millions of Americans, you dream of starting your own business. But of course, there are dozens of obstacles that may keep you from actually doing that. You might not have enough motivation, for example, or time to actually see the work through; or you might not even have a solid idea to begin with — yet.
But where most people get stopped cold is their realization that it takes money to start a business — money they don’t have.
Still, consider: There are loans, grants, and other fundraising options, like crowdfunding, available to get you what you need; so money is not a good excuse not to start a business. And, beyond that, there are certain types of businesses you can start with almost no cash.
What it takes to start a business
Your first step is to explore what it takes to formally “start” a business, and which of those items cost money.
- Planning. You’ll need to come up with a business plan and financial model, of course, but you can do this on your own, for free.
- Business license. If you’re planning on creating a partnership, LLC or corporation, you’ll need to file some paperwork — but it probably won’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars, depending on what licensing you need. The Small Business Administration has plenty of resources to help you figure out what you need, how to obtain it and how much it will cost.
- A domain name. You’ll need to invest in your online brand early on; while I suggest going as professional as possible, you could also use a bare-bones approach to launch, if yours is a minimum viable product. Often, a catchy domain name is all you need to define your brand at the start, and one can be bought for as little as $10 (if you can find one that isn’t taken!). I use GoDaddy to buy domains.
- A website. Website builders these days are free and intuitive to use. You won’t expend anything but time to build your first site. I recommend starting simple with a widely-used website platform, like WordPress or Wix.
- Marketing. While marketing has a reputation for being very expensive, there are actually a ton of really effective tactics that can be performed with only an investment of your time. Social media marketing, SEO and content marketing all fit within this category — and, honestly, those are really all you need. Entrepreneur has a great selection of how-to books and online courses that cover this subject.
- Equipment. Equipment, offices and other tangible assets are cash killers, but not all businesses need them. Some businesses don’t require any of these things, as I’ll explain shortly.
- Products. Finally, all businesses need to sell something, which usually means some up-front investing. However, many services can be performed with an investment of time rather than money.
Types of businesses to start
So, which types of businesses can be started without a heavy financial burden in any of the above areas? Read on to find out.
It’s the most stressful time for so many moms. This makes it so much better.
You don’t need a whiteboard in your kitchen to plan meals like a business would.
As a working mother, I find dinnertime to be a royal pain in the you-know-what. Dinnertime involves … determining, deciding, picking, shopping, chopping, cooking, cleaning and arguing. It’s all so laborious. Not only is it hard on any given day, but it also has to happen every single day. Even if you nail dinner on Wednesday and everyone eats what you make, you have to muster the energy to start the whole machine all over again on Thursday. And again on Friday. It makes me tired just writing about it.
Now, when I say that “I find” dinnertime to be harder than hard, I’m not just speaking from personal experience. My entire career is built around researching the highs and lows of working mothers across the country, and I’ve seen time and time again that the number one pain point of mothers is dinnertime. Every day. And the research doesn’t lie. Dinnertime is challenging. For every mother. But I might have found something to make it a little easier.
A friend recently told me that one should run the household like it’s a business. It’s an interesting metaphor. As a general rule of thumb, at work, people are organized and buttoned up, communication lines are clear, everybody knows who is doing what and when assignments are due. Nobody walks into a meeting at work and says, “Wait a second. We’re talking about whaaaaaaaat today?” However, at home things tend to resemble more of a circus. Even when I manage to get home on time and get a healthy meal on the table, my efforts are rewarded with shock and awe almost every time. “Wait a second. We’re having whaaaaaat for dinner tonight?”
This week, out of sheer desperation, I decided to put my friend’s advice into action. I came up with two guiding principles that successful businesses follow that I vowed to start following at home when it comes to food.
1. Have a plan. Successful businesses don’t wait until the last minute to make decisions. They have plans in place, and they execute those plans, leaving little room for surprises.
2. Get some help. Great leaders don’t make decisions in a vacuum and then ram them down people’s throats. They seek input, advice and opinions from everyone on the team.
The other night, I put my plan into action. When my family showed up to the dinner table, there was a pen and a piece of paper next to everyone’s plate. The eyes started rolling immediately. I informed everyone that we were having a family meeting. Everyone’s first assignment was to write down the one thing that is most important to them when it comes to dinnertime.
The answers were as follows:
Mine: The food is healthy.
Husband’s: The meal is simple.
Daughter’s: The food tastes good.
Son’s: No fighting with my sister and try new things.
The final assignment was for us to crowdsource “five meals that everyone will eat and like” that also fit the criteria above. It was a funny exchange. Everyone lobbied to get their meal on the list. Many meals were vetoed.
In the end, we agreed on steak, pasta, pork chops, hamburgers and nachos.
Simple. Healthy. No fighting.
I have no idea how to make healthy nachos, but I’m going to make the hell out of them because it’s part of the plan. We got to determine the meals together, but I get to make them as healthy as humanly possible.
I’m excited about this plan. Like any plan, it won’t be perfect and I’ll have frozen pizza waiting in the wings. However, for the first time … I don’t feel like I’m flying blind and I don’t feel like I’m alone in this fight.
One team. One dream. One dinner at a time.
Katherine Wintsch is a working mother of two and intimately familiar with the highs and lows of trying to keep it all together. As CEO of The Mom Complex, she studies mothers around the world and helps businesses develop better products and services to meet their needs. Read Katherine’s workmom blog, In All Honesty, follow @kwintsch, or visit The Mom Complex. Also see her TEDx talk on motherhood.
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Gabri’s Restaurant & Lounge
The rapidly expanding borough of Long Branch, New Jersey ‘on the shore’ is in need of a warm and friendly place with excellent food. A place where you always know you will get the best of everything.
More opportunity than problem, actually … unless it’s dinnertime and you’re in Long Branch.
Gabri’s Lounge & Restaurant will feature a cozy dining room and an elegant lounge. Comfortable furnishings and decor with soothing warm tones. The lounge has comfy couches and antique love seats with a softly lit bar. It will be the perfect place to stop in for a bite to eat, for a drink or for a small business meeting. For extra comfort and to please a large group of people we will make up special hors d’ oeuvre platters for customers.
The outlook for the future of Long Branch is promising. Developers are recreating a $150 million first-class resort project. The old pier will be rebuilt with ferry service to Manhattan, New York City, beach cabanas, boardwalk and a bike path over a total of 25 acres. There will be 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, and over 700 residential units with condo and townhouses ranging from $200,000-$500,000; rentals from $1000-$2,500 a month, and a two-tier garage. The combination of these elements will provide the city with a year-round economy.
Our biggest competition is the town next to Long Branch, called Red Bank which has a large selection of restaurants. Currently, many people who live in Long Branch drive seven miles to Red Bank to dine out. With the redevelopment in Long Branch and with Gabri’s Lounge & Restaurant, we will convince these people to stay in Long Branch and eat at our restaurant.
Gabri’s is a great place to eat, combining an intriguing atmosphere with excellent, interesting food. The mission is not only to have great tasting food, but have efficient and friendly service because customer satisfaction is paramount. We want to be the restaurant choice for all families and singles, young and old, male or female. Employee welfare will be equally important to our success. Everyone will be treated fairly and with the utmost respect. We want our employees to feel a part of the success of Gabri’s Lounge and Restaurant. Happy employees make happy guests.
We will combine menu variety, atmosphere, ambiance, special theme nights and a friendly staff to create a sense of ‘place’ in order to reach our goal of over all value in the dining/entertainment experience. We want fair profits for the owners, and a rewarding place to work for the employees.
The most important assumption in the Projected Profit and Loss statement is the gross margin, higher than industry averages. We are also planning to spend more on payroll than the industry average.
We do see moderate growth over the first three years, because restaurants depend on word of mouth and we’ll be able to meet capacity requirements to grow as shown here.
Financial Highlights by Year
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$465,000 of funding is needed to finance $300K startup expense (in detail in company section) plus $85K of startup cash reserve and $80K non-cash assets at launch. We plan to put in $225K owner investment and land a $240K long-term SBA loan.
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Owning a Business
Running a business can be extremely rewarding and complicated at the same time. WeвЂ™ve compiled the top resources that can help you start, run, and manage your business.
Pro Tip: Sign up for Gov2Go to get your custom citizen timeline that includes payment of your annual franchise taxes.
Starting a New Business
So youвЂ™ve got an idea and you need to know how to get started? The Arkansas Secretary of State has a great site that will walk you through a few simple questions and will produce a customized business action plan for you.
Pro Tip: Get a customized plan to start your new business from Dream It Do It Arkansas
Existing Business Owners
If you already own a business here are a few things you might need to be aware of.
Existing businesses are required to pay franchise taxes annually. They are due each year before May 1st. The Department of Finance and Administration handles new and existing business filings and franchise taxes.
Federal Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN and you may apply for an EIN online. This is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service and you can get your EIN immediately.
Stay protected! As a business owner, youвЂ™ll want to consider obtaining business insurance to protect your business and yourself. Though business insurance is an added expense, in many cases it is also tax deductible. There are many different types of insurance and the level of coverage needed can depend on many aspects of your business.
Go to the Small Business Administration website for more information:
Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI)
In most states, even if you donвЂ™t need it, you must fill out WCI forms anyway. If your business doesnвЂ™t fall into the category that requires this insurance, you must still file a form saying that you do not provide WCI. So, be aware that you may need to file forms anyway, even if you donвЂ™t need the insurance in Arkansas.
Go to the Arkansas WorkersвЂ™ Compensation Commission website for more information:
When it comes to making a Thanksgiving dinner, it can be stressful, even if you’re only cooking for a few people this year. With a seemingly endless menu of classic side dishes, pies, and of course, a turkey, timing everything right is no easy feat. Plus, you want to leave time to enjoy yourself.
To help relieve a bit of stress, Insider spoke with Dan Holzman, chef and co-owner of The Meatball Shop in New York City, about the best timeline for your Thanksgiving menu.
“If you are the type of person that loves to get stuff out of the way, there are a bunch of dishes and prep work that you can do ahead of time,” Holzman said. “But from an efficiency perspective, there’s a lot of down time in between roasting a turkey or even making mashed potatoes.”
Here’s what you should be prepping beforehand:
Up to one week before:
- Make and refrigerate cranberry sauce.
- Prepare turkey or vegetable stock (if you are using homemade).
The day before:
- Bake all desserts, including pies.
- For stuffing, prepare dried bread one to two days in advance.
With proper planning, however, it’s possible to make a full dinner primarily the day of. It’s also possible to avoid most of the hassle and stress typically associated with the food-centric holiday.
Keep reading for our timeline of when you should cook every dish for Thanksgiving dinner.
Homemade cranberry sauce can be prepared up to a week in advance.
When you should start cooking: About a week before Thanksgiving.
Cranberry sauce will last up to a week and a half in the refrigerator, so it’s the perfect dish to prepare in advance.
Plus, making cranberry sauce requires giving it several hours to cool down to achieve the right texture, as “the thickening process happens when [cranberry sauce] cools,” according to Holzman.
Get the hassle of dessert out of the way by baking a couple of pies the night before.
When you should start cooking: The day before Thanksgiving.
Pies may be the last dish that you’ll eat on Thanksgiving, but they can be one of the first menu items that you prepare. Baking pies the night before Thanksgiving is an easy way to get ahead and avoid stress on Thanksgiving day.
“The oven space on Thanksgiving is the number one commodity,” Holzman said.
Since pies require precious oven space and very specific temperatures, it’s best to prepare desserts ahead of time.
Turkey is far less intimidating than it seems. Simply season it the night before and then pop it in the oven Thanksgiving morning.
When you should start cooking: Season the turkey the night before, and start cooking it Thanksgiving morning.
While it’s best to actually cook your turkey on Thanksgiving day, Holzman recommends seasoning your turkey the night before. Since it’s the main event, the turkey should be the first dish you start cooking in the morning.
“The resting process is an absolutely imperative part of the cooking process,” Holzman said. Many people overcook their turkeys in the oven and overlook letting them rest, rendering the final product dry and rubbery.
By taking your turkey out of the oven before it is fully cooked, you’ll allow the heat to redistribute, allowing heat from the outside to seep in, leaving you with a perfectly cooked, juicy turkey, Holzman explained.
To finish off the process, Holzman suggests carving the turkey, and then broiling it in the oven to complete cooking and crisp the skin.
Often times at the end of the year, I jump on the social media bandwagon of “best most liked photos of 2019” or “a year in rewind”. This year, I wanted to acknowledge and pay it forward by sharing some gems that really helped me this year to manage the stress of entrepreneurship, changing family dynamics (aka homeschool!), and grow in my faith.
I have always loved following entrepreneurship accounts, self help, and encouraging podcasts. This year in particular, I got a little bit burned out from all the “business advice”.
I’m not proud of it, but when the whole world pivoted last March, I had a realization that no one truly knows what they are doing. Life is full of trial and error.
There was no book for how to survive business in a global pandemic. It wasn’t written. There weren’t any podcasts.
Sure, I had followed and listened to the advice of those brave enough to start a business during the recession of 2009…but the whole mask, social distancing, and varying rules from state to state really confused everything from inventory to freight, hiring to trimming, and to say I felt “ill-equipped” would be stately it gently.
I had to make some really tough decisions last year.
But, thankfully — my friends on Instagram opened my eyes to a few new ways of doing things and shared what worked for them.
They took a minute on their platforms to be vulnerable and share what they were doing to manage the stress.
And it really changed my year.
Here are a few of the many tricks I used to realign myself into a peaceful headspace in 2020 (thanks to all of you for introducing me to these things on your social media platforms!!):
- Dharius Daniels — Dr. Daniels is the most entrepreneurial pastor I have had the pleasure of listening to. He speaks to you like a good friend and is soooo reliable each week to post his Sunday sermons on Tuesday on Youtube. He interprets and communicates scripture in a way that actually makes sense to my Bible 101 ears. Committing to listening to his sermons each week was a much needed reminder that each of us are designed with specific gifts and for a purpose. His YouTube channel was a huge blessing in my life this year to combat anxiety, fear of the unknown, and grow in my relationship with God.
2. Meditating Chimes — I found these on Amazon and they were worth every penny for three minutes of pure bliss. The random chimes always sounds so calming and remind me to take a couple of minutes to reset. It basically skips me to my favorite part of every yoga class (when you lie in the corpse pose on the floor in the darkness with the beautiful sound of chimes).
3. Cloisters on the Platte — I attended an Ignation retreat a few weeks ago and I cannot recommend enough a few days of silence and nature! I’m so appreciative that my family and team support me going off the grid for a few days (no cell phone, email, instagram). It is incredibly designed by various architects and interior designers across the country to invoke peace, beauty, and a quiet background to connect with God.
4. Getting in Water — One interesting thing I learned from my entrepreneur friends this year is how beneficial “getting in water” can be if you are a water person. For me, this is buying a day pass at a local recreation center and swimming laps for an hour. Having quiet time in the water without a phone or distractions often times gives me the solutions or inspiration I need to get back to work in a great mood!
Andy and I squeezed in time to canoe for the first time as a married couple this summer and oh boy did we learn quite a bit about each other on the river. LOL. I hadn’t been canoeing since a teen and he had never been. needless to say we tipped our canoe 15 minutes into the day long paddle. at 8:15am. I lost a shoe, Andy cut his foot, found a hat. wonderful, hilarious memories were made.
(My daughter Vivi and I — she did her own make-up complete with neon jewelry for a quiet New Years Eve at home)
5. Cooking — Maybe it was a control thing — control what you can’t control? But, I really found peace in cooking this year. Before the pandemic, it was always something I felt like I had to squeeze in between going to work, appointments, movies, get togethers, school activities…but when everything kind of stopped, dinnertime became a time I looked forward to. Some of my favorite recipes that we have tried to perfect this year include:
Serious Eats Risotto — we add bacon! My husband and I make it together (he loves to shred cheese while I prefer chopping shallots).
Rigatoni Broccoli Bake — quite possibly the only way I will eat broccoli. An alternative to pasta night…with more pasta.
Carnitas — thanks Williams-Sonoma for this gem of a recipe. Fresh orange and beer make for an insanely delicious taco.
Jambalaya — best leftover food. For some reason mine always tastes better the next day.
Homemade Pizza Dough — once you do homemade you can’t go back! Andy loves substituting honey for the sugar and I’m super spoiled that he loves kneading this by hand.
Thanks for being here for the last three years — Andy & I are so grateful for the Amethyst community and we are praying for lots of good health and blessings for each of you this coming year!
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The app that could bring back family meals: Dinner time automatically locks your children’s phone and tablet until they have eaten
- Everything from apps and the internet to texting and calling friends is temporarily disabled
- Can also set bedtimes and rest periods
Published: 21:34 GMT, 9 June 2014 | Updated: 00:31 GMT, 10 June 2014
Family meals have been decimated by technology, with children often spending their entire time tapping away on their phone – if they can be removed from their bedroom to come to the table at all.
However, a new free app claims to be able to solve the problem – by locking their gadgets at meal times.
The free DinnerTime app can show children how long they have, then lock their phone – and even show them how long is left until they can leave the table.
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Once the parent activates the DinnerTime functionality to pause activity on their child’s device, everything from apps and the internet to texting and calling friends is temporarily disabled.
WHAT CAN IT DO?
The app can set:
Dinner Time: pauses any activity for any set time, up to 2 hours
Take a Break: pauses any activity for any set time, up to 24 hours
Bed Time: set a start and end time to pause any activity while in Bed Time mode. This still allows kids to access their alarm clock
An advanced version can:
Set time limits for how long your children can use both the app and the device
Display real-time status of your children’s device and which app is currently running
See how long your child has used their device and on what apps, so you know exactly what’s distracting them
Choose which apps your child can access, i.e. only educational apps during exam time.
The app was created by Richard Sah, Co-Founder of DinnerTime, after noticing his three children were always distracted.
‘I’ve noticed that my children find technology to be addictive at times, playing games or watching videos on their tablets or phones, and are easily distracted by their devices at dinnertime and bedtime.
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‘This gave me the idea for DinnerTime, as I wanted to create something that could help my children focus on other activities, and we could enjoy quality time together.’
Once the parent activates the DinnerTime functionality to pause activity on their child’s device, everything from apps and the internet to texting and calling friends is temporarily disabled.
Children can even see a countdown clock, so they are aware of exactly how much time remains before they are able to access their device again – reducing distractions from schoolwork and family time.
The app can lock the handset according to rules set by a parent
According to a recent study of parents carried out by the firm, 89 percent of their 6-to-9-year-olds are active online, with only 14 percent of 3-5 year olds being able to tie their own shoes compared to a staggering 57 percent who know how to operate a tablet.
With parents finding the process of guiding their children to a healthy relationship with technology more difficult than ever before, the DinnerTime app is as a simple solution for parents who want to limit their children’s activity on their mobile phones.
‘ZeroDesktop’s vision is to create innovative products and tools that make everyday life easier, and the DinnerTime app is our latest invention’ said Young Song, CEO of ZeroDesktop.
‘Technology offers us an incredible source of information at our fingertips, as well as connecting people around the world.
‘Yet at the same it poses significant challenges in its addictiveness, and can cause a barrier between people.
‘For years people have been saying that technology is making us anti-social — this is something we hope to change.’