TELL US: Should cellphones be banned in restaurants?

Elizabeth Di Filippo
<i>Getty Images</i>
Getty Images

A U.K. restaurant chain is testing out a new promotion in an effort to encourage families from ditching their cellphones while dining.

Frankie and Benny’s, an Italian-American themed restaurant, is launching its “No Phone Zone” campaign, offering free kids meals to customers who put away their phones during their meal.

The restaurant says it wants to encourage families to disconnect from their mobile devices and spend more time focusing on their food and family.

“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” said a restaurant spokesman.

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The restaurant cites the results of a nationwide study which revealed that 72 per cent of children wish their parents would spend less time on their cell phones.

Until Dec. 7, all 250 of the restaurant’s locations will offer guests under the age of 14 free meals from the kids menu, so long as the entire family abides by the no-phone rule.

This would mean no texting at the table, and no watching YouTube for the kiddos while they eat.

“Our staff will be actively encouraging customers and families to take part in the initiative but of course, we can’t force them to hand over their phones,” the spokesperson continued. “If the initiative is a success we’ll certainly be looking at ways to activate it on a more permanent basis.”

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