The Lowdown: No PDA Zones

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: No PDA Zones in Frankie & Benny’s and Valentine's Day in restaurants

Related tags: Valentine's day, Restaurant, Casual dining

Italian American chain Frankie & Benny’s is to introduce ‘No PDA’ zones at a number of its restaurants this Valentine’s Day.

To be honest, in the age of smart phones, I didn’t think anyone used PDAs anymore…
No grandad, not that kind of PDA. We’re referring to public displays of affection. The Urban Dictionary defines it as: “Basically any physical (hugging, kissing, holding hands, groping, etc.) interactions (except for sex of any kind) in public, most of the time around sad single people that don't wanna see that shit.”

And this is what people like to do in Frankie & Benny’s?
Well if they do, they’re going to find themselves in for a rude awakening come tomorrow night if they happen to be sat in a ‘No PDA’ zone.

How will it work then?
Frankie & Benny’s will be introducing the ‘No PDA’ zones into ‘a select number’ of its 230 UK restaurants, in a bid to stop over-amorous couples putting other diners off their food. It says the decision was made after research conducted by the chain revealed that many of us feel uncomfortable with couples being openly tactile with each-other, and think they should save it for when they get home. Details on how Frankie & Benny’s plan to control these zones are conspicuously absent, but we assume it’ll entail stern looks and, should the need quite literally arise, jugs of cold water poured over the perpetrators.

What about those who do fancy getting a little flirtatious in Frankie & Benny’s?
Fear not. The chain is clear to point out that anyone who does want to canoodle while eating cannelloni can do so by choosing to sit in a ‘designated PDA zone’.

What about if you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent this Valentine’s Day?
Naturally, of course, many restaurants are looking to cash in on those looking to impress their spouse or partner. Some of the cringier examples we’ve seen include at Sussex in Soho, where couples will be able to order beef wellingtons marked with their initials; BaoziInn will be serving a menu of pink dim sum and dumplings at its Romilly Street and London Bridge sites throughout the day; and both the Big Mamma Group and Yard Sale Pizza will be featuring a selection heart-shaped pizzas on their menus.

And they say romance is dead. How about those for whom love is not in the air?
Don’t worry, lonely hearts are being catered for too. Market Halls West End will be hosting a broken hearts party for friends, singletons, and even couples looking to escape an evening of enforced affection; while Bocca di Lupo is reportedly putting on an anti-Valentine's offal-focused menu that embraces the ‘it's what's on the inside that counts’ ethos.

Sounds like everyone will be able to find something to do, then…
Definitely. For anyone looking to do something really distinct for their special something this Valentine’s though, how about sending a ‘Wahlentines’ card… because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a picture of Marky Mark doing his best blue steel pose.

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