The pilot study, which takes place on Mother’s Day, follows research based on 1,000 customer feedback forms in which 54 per cent listed the habit of ‘constant phone checking at the table’ as the most likely reason to cause an argument.
Almost two thirds of respondents described ‘a nice chat’ as the best part of a family outing, prompting the national restaurant chain to introduce phone-free areas across its premises.
The company confirmed that Beefeater patrons who book 'No Phone Zone' tables would be required to temporarily hand their mobile phones to staff 'as a deposit'.
Hawk-eyed employees would then patrol the mobile-free spots, re-seating guests who do not comply with the new rule, it said.
"There's no denying the huge benefits our smartphones provide us, but there is a time and a place for their use and, especially on Mother's Day, we think we can do without them for an hour or two,” Sarah Tinsley, Beefeater head of marketing insisted.
“Mums don't ask much of us and rarely even let us spend any money on them – so the least we can do is give Mums our undivided attention. We hope this small adjustment to our setup enables a few more families to add some seasoned conversation to their meal."
Beefeater added phone free areas could become a permanent fixture if the trial is well received.