Frankie and Benny's offers free meals to families who surrender their mobile phones on entrance

·Freelance Writer
Frankie and Benny’s is introducing a ban on mobile phones this Christmas [Photo: Getty]

Frankie and Benny’s has become the first UK restaurant to ban mobiles at the dinner table.

As an incentive, the Italian chain is offering free children‘s meals for families who hand over their phones before taking a seat.

The newly-launched rule comes after a study conducted by Ginger Research discovered that 72% of British kids wish their parents would spend less time on their phone and more time talking to them.

The poll – which involved 1,500 parents and children – also revealed that 77% of parents feel guilty about the amount of time they spend on their mobiles.

Meanwhile, a further 67% admitted that their digital device had led to a divide in the family.

Are you guilty of scrolling at the dinner table? [Photo: Getty]

More than a quarter of adults check their phones during family mealtimes according to the survey and 23% are guilty of scrolling while talking to their children.

The no-phone zone will come into play in over 250 of Frankie and Benny’s UK restaurants and diners will be encouraged to place their mobiles in a box upon arrival.

On the restaurant’s bold move, a spokesperson for Frankie and Benny’s said: “We want family to come first when you step into a Frankie and Benny’s and even more so around Christmas.”

“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 restaurant’s move comes after new research found that more than two hours of recreational screen time a day could seriously affect a child’s cognitive development.

The campaign will run until December 7 in a bid to help families come together this Christmas – the perfect opportunity for us to tuck in without having to wait for someone to take a flat lay for Instagram.

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