Smartphone-free dining should catch on '“ Steve Cardownie

I was interested to see that Frankie & Benny's are to trial the offer of free meals for children as long as their parents hand over their mobile phones during their visit.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 9:18 am
Updated Thursday, 6th December 2018, 9:20 am
A survey found 70 per cent of children said their parents had more screen time than they did

This came about after up-to-date research showed that 72 per cent of children wished their parents would spend less time on their phones and a further 70 per cent said that their parents totted up more screen time than them.

Diners are encouraged to deposit their phones in a box, picking them up when they leave the restaurant. All this in an attempt to get people to engage more with one another at the dinner table.

The experiment ends this Friday and may be re-introduced depending on customer feed back.

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My youngest son describes me as “a wind-up watch in a digital world” as I am an exponent of actually meeting up with people for a chat (and a drink?) rather than communicating through social media.

Whilst it no doubt has its uses, I for one am in no hurry to participate having recently dabbled with Facebook – lasting about 10 days before deciding enough was enough.

It will be interesting to see how Frankie & Benny’s initiative “pans out”. I hope it is a success.

On the subject of mobiles, I telephoned “OK” magazine the other day, the person that answered said “Hello” so I said “sorry wrong number” and hung up!