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Restaurant chain offers free kids meal when parents ditch phones at table

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 14:31:34-05

(RNN) – Perhaps it will start a whole new trend in family dining. Perhaps not.

A UK family-friendly restaurant called Frankie and Benny’s is offering a free kids meal when parents give up their cell phones while they’re eating.

"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," the chain said in a statement.

It’s called the “No Phone Zone” – a shoebox to hold iPhones and Androids hostage during the meal.

“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,” Frankie and Benny’s said.

The free-meal offer is good through Dec. 7.

"If the initiative is a success we'll certainly be looking at ways to activate it on a more permanent basis."

The folks at Frankie and Benny’s said they were inspired by a nationwide study they commissioned.

The poll of 1,500 children and adults found that 46 percent of little ones would like to see their parents' phones taken away during meal times.

Another part of the study said as many as 72 percent of kids wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and more time talking to them.

And more than 15 percent said their parent’s phone “addiction” made them feel their mom or dad preferred going on their phones than talking to them.

The idea might just work. Let’s see how customers respond.

Just one other thing, there’s a bit of a contradiction in the “No Phone Zone.”

Frankie and Benny’s encourages its patrons to pay their checks via the Pay My Bill app. It might be smart to make sure your server gives you your discount, before you pull out your phone to pay.

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