Licensee raises £20,000 for charity by fining phone users

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Phone bill: the landlord of the Just Reproach, in Deal, Kent, has raised £20,000 by fining customers when their phone rings (image credit: Jseliger2, Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/91262622@N02/)
Phone bill: the landlord of the Just Reproach, in Deal, Kent, has raised £20,000 by fining customers when their phone rings (image credit: Jseliger2, Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/91262622@N02/)
The landlord of a pub in Deal, Kent, has raised £20,000 for charity by fining customers £1 every time their phone beeps or rings.

Mark Robson, landlord of the Just Reproach, imposed a ban on mobile phones after taking over the Kent coast venue in the hope that it’d encourage customers to be more sociable.

Barman Martin Docherty told the Sun​: "It's quite an event if a phone rings on a packed Friday night.

“There's a round of applause, and all positive as it means someone's got to donate."

Also speaking to the Sun​, Michael Spicer, a regular at the Just Reproach added: “The whole idea is people speak to each other.

“One day a local was asked for his phone number by a stranger.

“By the time he’d given it out several of us had got it down and rung it, it cost him about seven pounds.”

According to Deloitte’s seventh annual Mobile Consumer Survey in September 2017, 56% of 18 to 24-year-olds, and 55% of 25 to 34-year-olds believe they use their phone too much, with Statista’s digital marketing outlook estimating that the average Brit spends more than two hours per day on their phone.

The ban imposed at the Just Reproach isn’t the first time pub operators have tried to encourage customers to switch off their phones when visiting a pub.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, the licensee of a the Ship Inn, in Portishead, Bristol, banned mobile phones in March 2017 in a bid to encourage customers to be more sociable, while the Fat Boar, in Wrexham, advertised a ‘Mobile-free Monday’ discount on its Facebook page – offering customers 25% off their food bill​ if they hand over their phone for the duration of their visit.

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