If you’ve ever beenout to eat and wished your lunch buddy would put down their phone, you might want to start bringing them to Frankie & Benny’s. UK-based Frankie and Benny’s is running a voluntary “No Phone Zone” promotion where a box will be provided for adults to deposit their phones prior to the meal — if they so wish. Participating families will receive free children’s meals as an incentive.
The promotion was inspired by a study — commissioned Frankie and Benny’s — showing that children wish their parents would spend less time on their phones. Of the 1,500 families surveyed, 25% of parents admitted to checking their phones during family meals and 10% of children say they have attempted to hide a parent’s phone to encourage real conversation.
“We looked at various ways we could encourage people to engage more at the dinner table,” a spokesman for the restaurant chain told BBC News, “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.”
It remains to be seen whether or not patrons are willing to part with their beloved phones, but a successful run at Frankie and Benny’s could encourage other restaurants to try similar tactics. The promotion will run on a trial basis from November 29 to December 7 with the possibility of becoming permanent if successful.