SINGAPORE: McDonald’s has introduced mobile phone lockers and table service at its flagship Marine Cove outlet in Singapore to help families rediscover quality time together, the fast-food chain said on Monday (Oct 16).
The mobile phone locker, the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, encourages parents and children to put their devices away safely and focus on family bonding, it said.
“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,” said director of brand communications and customer care Linda Ming.
A survey of 302 parents conducted by McDonald’s last month found that 98 per cent of parents and 91 per cent of kids use their mobile devices whenever they are together, with more than two-thirds of respondents using their smartphones during mealtimes.
This is despite most of the parents in the survey saying that the use of mobile devices had decreased their interaction with their loved ones, and that they would like to be more disciplined in staying away from digital distractions during family time, McDonald’s said.
To allow parents to spend more time tending to their children, the fast-food chain is also piloting table service at its Marine Cove outlet, led by “guest experience leaders” whose main role is to engage with families.
Customers can select the table service feature when placing an order at the self-ordering kiosk, it said.
Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, McDonald's said there is no extra charge for customers who use the table service feature, and that the service is open to everyone, not just families or parents.
"We have introduced the service in our Marine Cove flagship restaurant as well as selected restaurants, and have received positive feedback especially from families so far."
McDonald's added that mobile phone lockers would be locked with physical keys. To make sure that customers do not forget to retrieve their phones, staff members will remind them about their phones before they leave the restaurant.
The fast food restaurant chain will be "actively gathering feedback" from customers about the new initiatives, to decide on whether to expand them to other restaurants.