UK pub chain Samuel Smith’s bans mobile phones

UK pub chain Samuel Smith’s has banned mobile phone, iPads and laptops from its pubs in an effort to reignite the art of conversation.

Samuel Smith’s has banned mobile phones, iPads and laptops from its 300 UK pubs

As reported by the Manchester Evening News, a memo was sent out to managers and put on display at a pub in Rochdale which stated that the brewery’s policy “is not to allow customers mobile phones, laptops or similar inside our pubs”.

It states: “If a customer receives a call then he or she should go outside to take it in the same way as it is required with smoking. Whether outside or inside, tablets and iPads must be prohibited.

“Customers must not be allowed to receive transmitted pictures of sport or download music apps on the brewery’s premises either inside or outside.

“The brewery’s policy is that our pubs are for social conversation person to person.”

How the pub will enforce the ban has not been elaborated on.

The pub chain has also banned televisions and music in the past in order to maintain a “traditional, uncompromisingly Victorian aesthetic”.

It has also banned swearing in April 2017, with signs in pubs telling customers: “We wish to inform all of our customers that we have introduced a zero tolerance policy against swearing in all of our pubs. Please kindly respect this policy”.

The Samuel Smith pub chain operated some 300 pubs up and down the country, and is owned by Humphrey Smith, who is aged in his 70s.

Last year, another pub made headlines after it made £20,000 in fines after banning mobile phones. Landlord Mark Robson implemented a mobile phone ban when he opened the Just Reproach pub in December 2011, putting up a sign which read: “Your babbling disregard for others is more than a little annoying.”

If anyone’s phone rings or beeps, he fines them £1, with the money made donated to charity.

Elsewhere the Gin Tub in Hove installed a Faraday Cage in its ceiling to disrupt mobile phone signals, which means that customers have to go outside if they wish to make a call or send a text, as well as check social media.

9 Responses to “UK pub chain Samuel Smith’s bans mobile phones”

  1. John Doe says:

    Is the Smiths phone ban across the country, as some Visitors to London pubs have not been affected?

  2. Terry Harrop says:

    How wide spread is this as I can’t see this working in London where phones are used widely for peoples work. Is this also legally enforceable?

  3. Andy Earnshaw says:

    It has been enforced in the SS pubs in my local area around Blackpool. Unfortunately it will drive trade elsewhere as people don’t want to be treated this way. The pub managers and staff have been put in a very compromising position. The art of conversation will be lost as there will be no one to talk to….

  4. Boris says:

    Sam Smith pubs are a traditional pub, no loud music, no tv, i feel sorry for people if they cannot go out for a drink without their phone, families are sat there glued to their phones, parents do not talk to their children, it is no wonder the country has problems with unruly children, parents get your act together! well done Sam Smiths!

  5. Maisie says:

    Fair enough when you are there in a group, but they will lose all solo customers as they’ll have nothing to do and not be able to do any work etc inside the pubs. I was even told off for texting a friend to tell him where I was! Ridiculous.

  6. Kenneth Greensmith says:

    We are regular customers at our local Sam Smiths pub and have supported our local for many years, but we need our phones for work purposes so we will definitely be going elsewhere for a pint.

  7. Keith says:

    Its about time someone put their foot down.I drinks Sams beers a lot and at that price you would be silly to go somewhere else just because you cant use your phone.
    The Swan and Cygnet in Durham is right in the heart of the campus and is one of the busiest pubs in the area(not a mobile in sight,well done .

  8. Stuart Brown says:

    I agree it is annoying when people talk on phones in a pub,however,my phone was in airplane mode and I was showing my friend a photo,and was told,not asked to put it away.At the time there was a group of people at the bar obviously drunk shouting at each other and no action was taken.

  9. Greg says:

    We have boycotted the one near our caravan near the Lake District. They have banned phones, tablets etc. They have banned dogs. It’s the Lake District.!! Dogs are part of the lifestyle. They now don’t take card payments(It’s a restaurant too). A lot of older single locals frequented the pub with their dogs to catch up with sport etc. I find it hypocritical that the company has a website, Facebook page, twitter account etc etc. They are happy enough to use technology to promote their business but not for their customers to access it in their pubs?? Crazy

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