Macca’s sneaky restaurant smartphone tactic
In an unexpected move encouraging people to go offline during dinner time, McDonald's has introduced phone lockers at one of its outlets in Singapore.
The new initiative, the first of its kind in Singapore, is called "Phone off, Fun on" and encourages people to lock away their devices and "unlock hours of fantastic fun for your entire family".
A survey of 302 parents conducted by McDonald's last month found 98 per cent of parents and 91 per cent of kids use mobile devices whenever they are together, with more than two-thirds of respondents using their smartphones during mealtimes, according to Channel NewsAsia.
However, most parents surveyed also said the use of mobile devices had decreased their interaction with loved ones and that they would like to be more disciplined in staying away from digital distractions during family time.
"As a popular restaurant destination for families, we have observed that the use of mobile devices during meal times may sometimes get in the way of family bonding," director of brand communications and customer care Linda Ming told the Channel News Asia.
While it sounds like a genius initiative, the locker designed to hold 100 mobiles might be a little too ambitious.
One McDonald's customer shared a photo of an empty locker on social media, writing: "Will we ever see 1 phone in da box?"
Another customer said his family made a genuine attempt to lock their mobiles away but "failed within five minutes".
It's not the first time the fast-food giant has tried the idea. McDonald's urged youths to ditch their phones in India in 2015 with an advertisement that showed people missing real world moments because they were glued to their screen.
Customers were asked to tweet how long they went offline for and what they did during that time.