Restaurant Offers Free Kids' Meals if You Hand Over Your Mobile

By Gary Cutlack on at

This is a bit of a stunt being run by Frankie & Benny's to get us talking about issues, but it also seems to be a genuine way of getting a child fed for free so... why not?

The idea is that between November 29 and December 7, there's to be a Box of Shame on offer within participating branches. Should a parent place their phone in the box and commit to at least 45 minutes of interacting with their child over a dinner, the child's meal is free. That seems like a good deal, even if it does mean missing out on reading what some people you half know think about politics for short while.

The ISSUE Frankie & Benny's is using to make this sound like a clever bit of thinking and not just an attempt to get dad to book in for a cheap dinner, is that children are aware that mum and dad find their phones more interesting to look at than their button-nosed little faces. A survey of 1,500 parents and children found that around 20 per cent of kids admitted to believing their parents liked looking at and interacting with the precious little Huawei P10 Lites much more than them, while nearly ten per cent of kids owned up to hiding a parent's smartphone in a desperate attempt to get some attention.

So have a serious think about what messages you're giving out to kids while trying not to get new recipe Frankie's Classic Meatballs sauce on your mobile. [BBC]