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Restaurant Bans Kids Under 6: Discrimination or Smart Move?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    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.
  3. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    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?
  4. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    "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 :shuffle:. But I don't have a problem with age limits on restaurants. They already have them in a lot of places because of alcohol.
  6. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

  7. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. triple_toe

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

    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: Jul 12, 2011
  9. JJH

    JJH Well-Known Member

    I wonder if a restaurant could refuse to serve any other age group? Would it be legal for a restaurant to refuse seniors?
  10. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

    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: Jul 13, 2011
    flutzilla1, mag, numbers123 and 3 others like this.
  13. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad Well-Known Member

    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. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    Not if you want to eat anything resembling good food. :shuffle:
  15. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. ilovesalchows

    ilovesalchows Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    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. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    There should be Family Restaurants and Adults only restaurants.
  20. marbri

    marbri Hey, Kool-Aid!

    I wish they'd ban cellphones in restaurants :D
    Cyn and (deleted member) like this.
  21. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Headcase Addict

    I usually never curse when having a conversation in public. But...

    Am I the only f**king person who deliberately laces their f**king conversations with f**king curse words just to get f**king parents with disruptive f**king kids to f**king leave my f**king vacinity?.....It really f**king works.
  22. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I have kids and I think it's fine too. I have plenty of dining options both with and without kids, so it's cool by me.
  23. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    LMAO! This reminds me of a story. Some friends and I went out to eat at a rather nice place, definitely not some place you take your children to if you can help it. It was getting late, about 10 PM (!) and we were having drinks and cutting up and enjoying ourselves. We weren't being loud but we were right next to their table and not in a booth so there was no sound barrier at all. They finally asked us to watch our language and our conversation topics. We told them to put their children to bed like a real parent. :lol: Liquid courage, hehe We weren't saying anything too bad but we were not going to sit there with our mouths shut all night because they decided to bring their children to eat at 10pm to a nice restaurant.
  24. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    My youngest grandchild will be one next week. He is by far the best behaved of the six. Give him food, and he can sit contented for an hour and a half.
  25. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I don't have kids and almost never have issues with kids in restaurant. Unruly teens or rude adults are much more problematic.
  26. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

  27. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    I can't even think of a time I've had an issue with kids or adults or anyone in a restaurant. I'm sure there have been some, but they must not have been too traumatic or they'd pop right into my head.

    I seem to lead a much-less-troubled life than a lot of people here do. I go out in public and get things done and rarely run into annoying people who say or do things that irritate me. I don't understand it at all.
  28. marbri

    marbri Hey, Kool-Aid!

    You must live in the same alternate universe that I do.
  29. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

    I served and bar tended during undergrad. I would have been thrilled to work in a restaurant that banned kids.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  30. marbri

    marbri Hey, Kool-Aid!

    I don't think kids should be allowed in restaurants where severing is going on either :D