The Fat Boar in Wrexham advertised its ‘Mobile-free Mondays’ offer on its Facebook page and was greeted with support from users.
The pub posted two photos on its Facebook page – one showing a couple both on their phones and another with no phones and the couple were holding hands.
The post said: “Spot the difference?! ‘Mobile-free Mondays’ is coming! This coming Monday, you can get 25% off your food bill if you:
- Hand us your mobile when you sit in our restaurant
- Not have the phone returned until you pay your bill
- Book in advance
- Talk, chat and enjoy your evening with no distractions!
The post has been shared more than 200 times, been liked 1,500 times, 199 users have reacted to it with a love heart, 46 reacted with a laughing face, three with a shocked face and one with an angry face.
The pub has since posted more information on its Facebook page, including a video which shows a member of staff serving customers their drinks before offering them a lockable box to put their phones in.
Bit of fun
The post said: “We have had a lot of interest in our ‘Mobile-free Mondays’ offer! Reading all the comments has been very entertaining! But just so everyone is aware:
- It is a bit of fun
- Our insurance cover is quite adequate
- No, we don’t want to sell your mobile on eBay
- Hopefully this video will help
The pub's general manager Mark Finlay said: "We are always looking at new initiatives and fun lighthearted ideas that will spark interest in our pub. We see people come in with friends, family, partners etc and then not interacting with each other.
"The dining culture has changed so much, to the point a lot of places have mobile phone charging points and offer incentives via your phone.
"We don’t want to just follow what others do. We want people to switch off to the trappings of social media for a couple of hours and just relax with the company they have in front of them, and getting 25% off their food bill is a nice bonus!
"We’ve have such a great response to our Facebook post from last Monday, news media from New York, Columbia, Denmark, Portugal, Arizona.
"We’ve also done a number of radio interviews, including Capital Radio, BBC5 Live, BBC Radio Wales and Talk Radio.
"We just can’t wait to get it started and see how people react when their phone goes off while they’re eating!"
Meanwhile, an East Sussex bar installed a Faraday cage in its ceiling to block mobile phone signals, meaning customers had to go outside to make a call.
The Gin Tub in Hove co-founder Steve Tyler likened mobile phone users to smokers and said: “We could put the smoking area with the mobile phone area so the addicts can be in there together.”
The Faraday cage, which is a metal screen used to block electric fields, was installed in a bid to encourage customers to “sit and talk to those they are with rather than be on their phones”.
However, the bar didn’t cut off communication altogether. Tyler said: “We do have telephones on the tables, so you can call other tables and people can always ring the bar if they need to speak with you.”