Popular chain restaurant Frankie and Benny’s is banning all mobile phones from their diners.
This is in a bid to get customers talking to each other whilst they are enjoying their meals, the Mirror reports. The campaign will run for a week across all 250 UK restaurants and will include a ‘kids eat free’ offer for all customers that agreee.
A spokesperson from the American-Italian restaurant said: “We looked at various ways we could encourage people to engage more at the dinner table, and we’ve found giving families the chance to part with their devices for a mere couple of hours is a great way to bring them closer and embrace family time.”
Frankie and Benny’s believes it is the first large company in the UK to impose this kinds of scheme and it comes after a nationwide study.
The study found that as many as 72 per cent of kids wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and more time talking to them.
Worryingly, one in ten felt their parents preferred going on their phones than talking to them and many admitted to hiding their handsets in a bid to get attention.
The restaurant will give customers the option to lock their phones away.
Parenting expert Susan Atkins said: “I am delighted to see Frankie & Benny’s are leading the way by banning screens at the table.
“We live in a busy, fast-paced 24/7 digitally-connected world, unless we consciously plan not to be, so I love the idea of families sitting together, eating and chatting together away from screens.
“Parents are role models in everything that they do and in everything that they say, so by managing their own screen time parents are teaching their kids by example about when and where technology use is appropriate.”
After being seated customers will be given a lockable box to put their phones in, meaning their devices will remain near them at all times.
If diners really do not wish to take part in the campaign they do not have to.
The NO PHONE CAMPAIGN will run from November 29 until December 7 when bosses will decide whether to continue it.