Restaurant Chain Comps Kids' Meals For Families Who Stash Their Phones While Dining

Ah, the delights of going out with family to a fancy restaurant: sitting down, ordering drinks, and pulling out their relative phones/screens/pads. That way, the youngsters can enjoy their Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while parents get caught up on the never-ending delight that is Twitter. What could be better?

Oh, I know, what about putting the phones down and talking to yourselves using your actual faces? I am as big a Words With Friends addict as anyone, yet I try to keep that activity limited to my train commute. At my family dinner table, at home or elsewhere, no phones allowed. And U.K. chain Frankie And Benny's agrees with me, and will offer free kids' meals to families who turn in their phones.

The Sun reports that the "family-friendly restaurant says it wants to encourage people to focus on their food, friends and family while they eat." Hear, hear. To that end, families will put their devices in a "No Phone Zone" box at the table. Non-electronic games and coloring kits will be provided.

Unfortunately, Frankie And Benny's will only be offering this promo at its 250 locations for one week, although a spokesman stated, "If the initiative is a success we'll certainly be looking at ways to activate it on a more permanent basis." It would be great to see something like this as regular restaurant policy (as the no screen/free food combo is pretty enticing). And maybe I can craft a No Phone Zone box for my own family dinner table. Well, Christmas is just around the corner.