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Frankie and Benny's becomes UK's first family restaurant chain to ban mobile phones

Frankie and Benny's is the first family restaurant in the UK to implement a mobile phone.

The Italian-American chain's decision comes after new research revealed that their parents would spend less time on their phones, while they thought their parents enjoyed more screen time than they were.

Upon entering the restaurant, diners will be asked to deposit their phones in a place with the duration of their meal.

The initiative is part of the restaurant's "No Phone Campaign", which is aimed at champion families spending time together without interruption of buzzing smartphones and runs from 29 November to 7 December.

As for whether or not the ban will be upheld after this period, a spokesperson for Frankie and Benny's told The Independent that this will depend on the success of the trial, which will be judged on customer reactions.

From Thursday, diners will be able to opt in to the campaign and will be offered free kids meals as an incentive.

"Our staff are actively encouraging customers and families to take part in the campaign, but of course, we can not force them to hand over their phones," the spokesperson clarified.

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

The campaign came after the bosses looked into ways they could encourage people to wake up at a dinner table.

"We've found giving families a chance to part with their devices for a great way to bring them close and embrace family time," reads a statement from the restaurant.

Parenting expert Susan Atkins concurs that eating away from screens will help foster family bonding.

"I am delighted to see Frankie and Benny's leading the way by banning screens at the table," she comments.

"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."

Atkins added that the parents who spend their phones will help set an example for their children when "when and where technology use is appropriate."

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