Want free food? Just talk (Picture: Old El Paso)

Fancy free margaritas and fajitas?

Old El Paso is hosting an event on Friday 20 September where diners can get themselves some complimentary grub – and all they have to do in return is to talk to their dinner mate.

The pop-up is quite literally fuelled by the chat; the sound is channelled through converters, which will generate small amounts of electricity. This in turn will power parts of the restaurant, including the process where the team warm up your fajitas.

To ensure that the conversation keeps flowing, Old El Paso has also installed a push button at each table – press it and you will receive a card with a ‘conversation starter’ tip.

If that’s not enough to loosen your tongue, the fajitas will also have questions ‘toasted’ onto them, to help you along.

So, how is the electricity generated?

Old El Paso will be using piezoelectric technology and specialist microphones, which are placed at each table, and linked to a virtual battery.

The more you chat, the more volts you generate and the more free treats you earn.

For instance, once you hit a certain voltage level, you might get a margarita tap for your table (in limited amounts) and you can also affect the table lighting. As for the food, guests can munch on nachos, meat or vegetarian faijtas and a tasty dessert.

It’s a continuous process, meaning that if you stop talking, your battery will stop charging and the goodies will stop coming.

‘There are many benefits for family and friends connecting over a meal,’ said Lionel Morgazo, a spokesperson for Old El Paso.

‘But we undertook research which revealed that a shocking 22% of British families sit and eat dinner together less than twice a week, with 8% admitting that they never sit and share dinner together.

‘And even when they do make the effort, there are distractions from things like mobile phones and the TV.

‘So we wanted to create a fun space where friends and family are encouraged, and rewarded for really connecting in a meaningful way with one another over a delicious meal.’

Got a particularly chatty mate or family member? Bring them along, as the table that generates the most voltage will win a special prize.

The event, which Old El Paso have dubbed National Fajita Friday, will take place for one day only on Brushfield Street in Spitalfields, London, from 7pm and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

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