Frankie and Bennys bans mobile phones from its Doncaster restaurant

Restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has banned mobile phones at its Doncaster restaurant in drastic bid to get diners talking.  

The chain is introducing the policy at all 250 of its UK restaurants starting this week after shocking research about the use of mobile phones.

Frankie and Benny's has banned mobile phones. (Photo: Rayboy8).

Frankie and Benny's has banned mobile phones. (Photo: Rayboy8).

The firm is barring customers from using their mobile phones while eating dinner and the American-Italian restaurant has taken the extreme step to encourage diners to focus on their friends, family and food when dining.

The chain has a branch at Lakeside in Doncaster. 

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It believes it is the first large company in the UK to impose the scheme, and is offering a 'kids eat free' bonus to anyone who agrees.

The campaign will run for a week at all of the company's 250 restaurants, and may be rolled out permanently depending on how it goes.

A spokesperson for Frankie and Benny’s said: "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."

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The decision comes after a nationwide study found as many as 72 percent of kids wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and more time talking to them.

Parenting expert Susan Atkins said: "I am delighted to see Frankie & Benny's are leading the way by banning screens at the table.

"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.

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After being seated customers will be given a lockable box to put their phones in, meaning their devices will remain near them at all times.

If diners really do not wish to take part in the campaign they do not have to.

The NO PHONE CAMPAIGN will run from November 29 until December 7 when posses will decide whether to continue it.