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  1. #1

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    Restaurant Bans Kids Under 6: Discrimination or Smart Move?

    Yahoo! Article

    Thoughts? Would you even pay more for a meal at a restaurant if you were guaranteed to not hear disruptive children? For those of you that are parents, does a restaurant doing this make you upset? Think childless people are selfish? (And trust me, I get that feeling from many people who have kids.)

    I am divided over this. As much as I don't like policies that blanket all kids as disruptive, it amazes me how many people let there kids misbehave - whether it is at a restaurant, movie theater, concert, or sporting event - and they do nothing, with TOTAL disregard to everyone else (and many of them are also parents) who have also paid sometimes A LOT of money to be there.

    I think I was well behaved as a child and would have gone most places without bothering anyone. But: 1) My parents didn't really take me out to restaurants, movies, etc. AT ALL until I was about 4, and 2) if I had a habit of misbehavior, I am 100000% certain that I wouldn't be going anywhere.

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    If the restaurant owner thinks the restaurant can survive with a no-kid guarantee (or can survive boycotts by people without or with kids who think the policy is wrong), then why not? I assume that families in the area of this restaurant have other choices of restaurants to take their kids to.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    There are already movie theaters, planes, and resorts that don't allow children. It's not an unprecedented move. There are clubs that don't allow you to go in till you're 27. There are clubs that are based exclusively on sex or religion or politics. There are all sorts of places that don't let people in based on some criteria or another--I don't know why this is considered newsworthy besides it falls under the "what about the children" mantra. It's not even the first restaurant to do this.

    It's a private establishment--it's within its rights to do this. The public can vote with their wallets. While I think it's extreme, I would also have to conclude there was some pretty extreme behavior on the part of parents letting children run rampant that led to this. It's like anything else--if you behave badly enough often enough, it will come back to bite you on the ass.

    I've seen many, many, many well-behaved children in restaurants--I've seen more parents or groups of teenagers/early 20s that are worse--but I've also seen parents that expect the waitstaff to babysit their kid(s) or don't do anything when the kid(s) leaves the table and bothers other patrons. Uncontrolled children can be a liability for a restaurant in way loud teenagers are not--what if a kid wanders into the kitchen and no one notices till something horrible happens?
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    I TOTALLY support this! Yes, I am childless.

    And, no fault of the children. They don't know any better. The blame lies with the parents who need to call Super Nanny--those who are either clueless or simply unable to control their loud, screaming, disruptive brats.

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    "If they're so concerned about noise, what do they plan to do about the loud people at the bar?" asks one local resident.

    Ask them to shut up and tell them to leave if they don't? They're adults; they can be reasoned with.

    I do think it's interesting that the problem as described in the article is noise from crying children; that wasn't what I was getting from this thread . But I don't have a problem with age limits on restaurants. They already have them in a lot of places because of alcohol.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    There are already movie theaters, planes, and resorts that don't allow children. It's not an unprecedented move. There are clubs that don't allow you to go in till you're 27. There are clubs that are based exclusively on sex or religion or politics. There are all sorts of places that don't let people in based on some criteria or another--I don't know why this is considered newsworthy besides it falls under the "what about the children" mantra. It's not even the first restaurant to do this.
    Exactly.

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    I support it in this case because the restaurant isn't meant to be a family friendly place. It's an upscale restaurant, no children's menu, and a third of the seats at the bar. It doesn't cater to kids and families anyway, and the owner had been getting a lot of complaints about disruptive kids. There's plenty of places that are family friendly and would be more suitable for kids.

    I understand why people don't like the blanket policy, but there's no way to immediately determine which kids are well-behaved and which ones aren't and pick and choose. It's either no kids or all kids.

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    I'm all for this. You're not going to have a business meeting at Chuck E. Cheese, so why assume it's appropriate to bring a 4 year old to a fancy restaurant? I wish more restaurants would do this. If you really want to go to the restaurant, hire a sitter, otherwise stay home. Just because you have a kid doesn't mean it's your right to bring him/her everywhere you want to go. Sometimes it's just not appropriate. Not only is it not going to be fun for the child, it's rude to the other patrons and disrespectful to the owners. There are many other places you can go to eat, it's hardly a life or death matter.
    Last edited by triple_toe; 07-12-2011 at 11:51 PM.

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    I wonder if a restaurant could refuse to serve any other age group? Would it be legal for a restaurant to refuse seniors?

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    It is well within the rights of the restaurant to have a no children policy. Like Matry says, the public can vote with their wallets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triple_toe View Post
    Just because you have a kid doesn't mean it's your right to bring him/her everywhere you want to go. Sometimes it's just not appropriate. Not only is it not going to be fun for the child, it's rude to the other patrons and disrespectful to the owners. There are many other places you can go to eat, it's hardly a life or death matter.
    It is surprising how many people think the entire world should revolve around and cater to them because they have kids. These people complain about the lack of family-friendly places. There should be places for people to go and bring their kids - and there are PLENTY of those places. You know what is getting harder and harder? Finding a place where adults can enjoy being with other adults.

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    As a stay at home mom to 4 kids ages 6-12... I say THIS IS GREAT! I LOVE date lunch/dinners with just hubby and HATE it when we're at a restaurant and kids start making all kinds of noises/running around etc. It's even happened at higher end steak houses. It's really depressing when we finally get a babysitter so we go to a nice place and then we hear a baby crying or a child acting up. UGH. That said, some stupid adults act up too....

    Now that I'm thinking about it.... I'd LOVE to find a nice steak house that's say... 25 and over only because teens can be just as obnoxious as kids 6 and under!
    Last edited by myhoneyhoney; 07-13-2011 at 12:23 AM.

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    I think it would be best to segregate families with kids in special districts (and special planes, busses, trains etc.). All the schools, day care institutions, playgrounds etc. would be in those districts - which is perfect, because do you know how noisy a primary school can be? These districts would have their own shops, cinemas, supermarkets, because I really think it is unreasonable that they expect me, a hard-working well-mannered adult, to shop my groceries while being in the same room with those not yet fully-developed humans (all those meltdowns! "Mommy, IIII waaaant this! Uahhh!")! As an adult you should absolutely be able to enjoy buying your chocolate, surrounded only by other adults.

    The grown-ups unlucky enough be cursed with those despicable microhumans can of course leave the districts - without their children. Then, in their adolescence the children have to be thoroughly examined and undergo strict testing in order to determine if it is safe to let them out in public. Of course, if they misbehave, they will be restricted to the districts once again.

    Actually, this isn't really a new idea. In the 17th / 18th century it was customary in well-off families to give the infants to some country woman and have them returned at age two or so - because babies - ew! In wealthier families children were with their nannies and governesses/tutors for most of time, till it was save to present them in public. The good old times...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovepaydays View Post
    There should be places for people to go and bring their kids - and there are PLENTY of those places.
    Not if you want to eat anything resembling good food.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Not if you want to eat anything resembling good food.
    That is so true, lol. I remember when my kids were babies hubby and I used to order the steaks to go. It's not the same as eating in a restaurant but at least the food was already made AND it tasted good. Honestly though, as much as I can't stand hearing crying kids on my "getaway from kids time" I can't help but feel bad for the parents of those crying babies/misbehaving little ones. Trust me, they don't like their kids crying either.

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    I approve.

    Boyfriend and I went to a Hibachi restaurant once and although we had a reservation for two, there was some miscommunication and they seated us at a table with a family with four children (apparently the restaurant didn't have tables for less than eight, but okay). All was fine until the children started picking up their knives and forks and started banging them on the plates and table. The dad looked at us, grinned, and said, "Aren't our little drummers so cute?"

    We apologized to the waitress and left.

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    We have some great restaurants in Portland that have kid's areas. We always go to Hopworks or Laurelwood when we want to go to dinner and take the little guy. Otherwise its Thai takeout or the food carts.

    I don't know who would take a pre-schooler to a nice restaurant anyway. I hate going nice places with mine. Its amazing we get through dinner at home sometimes.

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    I have fond memories of going to an upscale restaurant 1 or 2 times a year with my parents when I got to around 10 y/o. It felt very fancy to me and we dressed up a bit. I was old enough to behave and appreciate the difference in the quality of the dining experience. Banning kids under 6 y/o is personally very reasonable I think. It's important for children to go to a nice restaurant to learn proper manners in a public setting. But before the age of 6 y/o, it's pointless to try to instill that in chilldren.

  19. #19

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    There should be Family Restaurants and Adults only restaurants.

  20. #20
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    I wish they'd ban cellphones in restaurants
    Tessa and Scott: Thank you

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