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Take it outside! Pub chain puts phone calls in same category as smoking

The UK brewery and pub chain Samuel Smith has had enough of people loudly talking on their phones in its 300 locations around Britain.

The noted brewer is banning all smartphone calls, according to a company memo obtained by the Manchester Evening News. Sam Smith isn’t stopping there either. It says laptops, tablets and iPads must also be prohibited whether they’re inside or outside the premises.

The watering holes, which don’t have televisions or play music, also points out that customers aren’t allowed to broadcast sports or music using their own devices.

Using a laptop or tablet to  “receive transmitted pictures of sport,” as the memo terms it, has often been a solution for groups of friends who want to watch a game in the pub when it isn’t being screened. Those who wish to continue doing so won’t be enjoying a pint of Samuel Smith’s Pale Ale.

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Instead, the company tells landlords that “pubs are for social conversation person to person,” rather than chatting on the phone, or idly sitting around browsing social media. Indeed, the company says tech users are to be treated in the same way as smokers, who aren’t allowed to spark up inside inside a pub, by law.

The memo, which has a heading “mobile phones and other transition equipment”, was posted publicly at a location in Rochdale.

Yorkshire-based Samuel Smith, which makes popular beers like the Pure Brewed Organic Lager and the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, is not commenting on the new policy. The brewery has been making and selling beer since 1759 and seems keen to maintain some of the values of that time.

What do you make of Samuel Smith’s policy? Is the pub a place where phones should remain stowed in pockets? Or is the memo a little Draconian? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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