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Restaurant bans young children

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jaybett

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The Wall Street Journal reported on a restaurant in Pennsylvania that banned children 6 or younger. A recent poll by a news station found over 60 percent approved of the ban.

I am sympathetic to the problems a parent can have bringing a child to a restaurant. I've never understood, though why I should have to endure a child's melt down.

Jay
 

JohnnyChance

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If it is the type of restaurant that children wouldn't enjoy or appreciate, then I could easily see it helping business, not hurting it. I know parents have to take their kids out, but it doesnt mean you have to take them to a high end place. Go there when you have a babysitter.
 

MadMel

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It's a good move if it's one of those high-end places, or even just a semi-fine place. I get really pissed off when I hear children screaming and crying when I'm trying to enjoy the whole dining experience. Unless of course you have really well behaved kids.
 

mainaman

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Young kids can be a handful, some behave some are pain in the butt to deal with .
Parents should be considerate of others when it comes to restaurants and may be not take their kids where they will not be able to endure the entire time with no meltdowns.
If the kids are brought up properly, it should be no problem I think.

I wonder of all that posted so far how many have kids?
 

ecchef

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I totally agree with this. I wish they would impose the same restrictions on young children as they do on smoking. :rant:
 

99Limited

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I wish all restaurants with a bar area would ban everyone under 21 from the bar. This should be THE one safe haven from family with kids.
 

Eamon Burke

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Shoot, I used to love checking out new places to eat. Now I have 2 toddlers. We eat at 4 restaurants, and one is in a grocery store. My kids are very well behaved and happy, but they are happy because we don't take them to restaurants that we can't deal with them in.

Blows my mind when I see people bring kids into places with lit candles, stools, no kids menu, or too much ambiance(tvs everywhere, loud music). Take your kids to a place where kids do well--with short wait times, booths, coloring placemats, healthy kid-friendly meals(good luck with that), and few distractions. We eat at Panera Bread, Freebirds, a local Mediterranean place, and a grocery store(Central Market).
 

Hattorichop

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Children should not be seen, nor heard.
WOW.........I'd hate to be your child

On a more serious note, I do agree that a mojour part of the dining experience has alot to do with the atmosphere and ambiance of the surroundings. A whining child could ruin a pleasurable evening out in an instant.

Parent should be more selective on where they take their children for
dinner but some parents just do not care. So I think it's only fair that the restaurant has the right to allow who it wants to dine in their establishment.
 

Dubsy

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my fiance's aunt left town for a week and we were looking after them (they're 4yr old twins, and a 6 year old). my friend called, and asked us out to a local mediteranean place, quite like a tapas bar. it was one of the higher end places in town. my fiance refused to go unless we bring the kids, even though i could get a babysitter, and my parents love those kids to death. i'm scared for when we have kids :'(
 

mr drinky

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Interesting conversation as I may be pissing some people off in a couple of days by bringing my kid to a nicer place. Our babysitter cancelled on us and it is in a different city (so I don't have a back up). What I did was I called the restaurant and asked if kids were 'acceptable' or not. I was ready to cancel but the guy actually convinced me that it could work. He also put a note in the reservation so that we could get a table that is more child friendly.

Here are some additional considerations though as I don't think this issue is black and white.

* Very young infants are often the best to take as they sleep the whole time. Past 6 months kids become much more difficult to take to restaurants.
* Book reservations really early or right when the open. Few people are there and you get your food quickly.
* Be prepared. Order right away and if the child starts crying accept that one of you may have to leave the restaurant, tag team it, or get your food to go.
* If all goes wrong and you really disturb the people next to you, then buy them a drink or ask the waiter quietly to pay for their bottle of wine and take it off their bill.

But with that said, I hate it when parents bring a child that they know will cry. It ruins it for all the parents who know their children well and have well-behaved kids.

k.
 

JohnnyChance

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I used to work at a family restaurant with an open kitchen. Obviously there were kids there. Mostly they were fine, but sometimes parents with an infant/very young child would just let the thing cry and cry and cry. Like Drinky said, if you go out with a young kid, you accept the risk of it cryings its brains out and you have to get up from the table, at least for a break. Maybe you are used to it, but not everyone is, just be courteous.
 

unkajonet

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I wonder if people take note of how many times they've been in a restaurant and the children present were well behaved?
I think Drinky's suggestions are more than fair. It's commendable that someone is willing to expose the younger ones to a different environment, with different people, and food other than McDonald's. If the kid has a meltdown of some sort, by all means, be courteous to the other patrons and take action. But don't blame the restaurant for opening their doors to families. If you don't like restaurants that allows children, isn't it on you to find a spot that caters to your wants?

And no, I don't have kids. But I believe that children are "he" and "she." Not "it."
 

ajhuff

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We took my daughter to Au Pied du Cochon in Montreal at age two, no problems. I've had to carry her out screaming and flailing at our local BBQ joint. I find an out right ban to be over the top. I think parents take their kids out because most times kids behave. You have no idea when they will melt down. It's out of your control. How you deal with it is what is important. It actually irks me when I get glares from other people.

-AJ
 

99Limited

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I wonder if people take note of how many times they've been in a restaurant and the children present were well behaved? ...
I've actually gone up to parents that had well behaved small kids and complemented them. I know it makes them feel good and I glad I did it. Families with noisy kids, I just let them slide.
 

dough

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haha this restaurant is in my area. oddly enough on saturday we had three barefoot children running around our restaurant... in and out the bathrooms... tried to go behind the bar and into the kitchen while the parents happily ate and drank.
them sorts of things dont happen often at our restaurant... more often we have crying kids that need to be appeased with a food or treats or going outside. i think they even have some little bendable wax stick thing as toys so kids can play a bit at the table.
i am happy to see the ban because restaurants are at a disadvantage dealing with this issue. one mother that commented on this said something to the effect just because my kids are the center of my world they shouldnt be the center of yours. i think that is a more thoughtful response then the many outraged parents that claim to boycott the restaurant.
its a bad situation because im sure most restaurants arent in a position to discourage potential business but on the other hand disruptive kids at one table can hurt business by causing other tables to rush their meals... not buy that extra drink or dessert. sometimes ya gotta choose between the lesser of two evils.
 

Eamon Burke

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It is worth noting, however, to the general public that when single people see parents with kids that are throwing a fit and ignoring them, they assume they don't care about the fact that their kid is annoying everyone. And when a parent is snapping at their kid constantly while the kid fusses, they assume it's because the parent doesn't have control of their children.

The truth is, the snapping indicates the parents have no control over themselves, and the parents ignoring their kid are doing the best thing to keep their kid from turning into a 15 year old that cries at the table because they were told to put their phone away. When my daughter was 1, she'd scream bloody murder in the grocery store, and I never budged or looked at her. She doesn't do that anymore!
 

steeley

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Kids can be sticky .
most of the time the F.O.H bends over backwards to help parents with kids .
i say bans are stupid.
we are there to feed are guest .
 

steeley

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I was with some kids at a fine establishment
food and drink was outstanding and all were very well behaved.
and the fine host could not have been nicer.
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and they had party favors and this happy couple could not have been more pleased
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[/IMG]
 

MadMel

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Mr Drinky has probably hit on the "best" answer to this problem that has been present since like forever. however, I think what prompted the ban was the general "to hell with it" attitude that most parents with not so well behaved kids take with regards to discipline...
 

AnxiousCowboy

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I work in a fine dining restaurant and we have a similar policy. We have, however, bent the rules on many occasions....... I always know when I see "buttered pasta" show up on a ****** dupe.... Seriously? you're bringing a little kid to an oldschool classic french restaurant who can only stomach buttered pasta?
 

mr drinky

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So my outing with my 6-month-old went well. The couple next to us complimented us on how well behaved the little one was. I took her out of the restaurant one time, however, to change the scenery when I could see things might deteriorate.

The restaurant was fabulous too. It was a semi-finalist for the James Beard best restaurant 2011.

Here were some highlights:
* Sweetbread agnolotti with pretzels, mustard and radishes
* Berkshire pork tongue with house made sauerkraut, salt pork, potato and rye bread
* Duck fat fried duck egg with house made ramp and asparagus kimchee and miso paste
* Broiled swordfish belly with yuba knot, hon shimeji mushrooms, spring onion and tofu puree
* Veal chuck roast with king crab, fava beans and spinach

And my baby had 6 ounces of milk ;)

k.
 

Eamon Burke

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That's what I'm talking about, Drinky.

My daughter(2yrs) eats what we eat. She hates onions and shrimp, but she always tries them(sometimes after spitting at us a little).

At the sushi bar, we had customers who would bring their kids in when they are little, and then when they are like 10-13, they are leaning over saying "Oo, mommy, can we have the Toro Sashimi?" and "They have Mirugai, daddy!". Good parents.
 

mano

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When our kids were younger we took them out all the time to kid friendly places including sushi bars.

But even then the moment they cried, whined, screeched or did anything that might bother another patron, one of us took the kid outside until they settled down. We had it arranged ahead of time whose turn it was. I remember comforting my baby daughter outside for 15 minutes while my wife enjoyed her lobster!

Kids are going to act like kids inside a restaurant or outside. They don't know the difference but the paying customers do.
 

BertMor

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Its not so much the kids that are the problem, its the parents. It is they who decide whether to allow their children's behavior affect others. One of my pet peeves is the ultra sonic shrieking that parents find so soothing.

Yo Parents your freaking kids are bothering everyone in the room... Take em outside dammmmmit!
 

monty

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I've actually gone up to parents that had well behaved small kids and complemented them. I know it makes them feel good and I glad I did it. Families with noisy kids, I just let them slide.
I can't tell you how helpful this is for parents. This has happened to us a few times and we remind the kids before we enter restaurants how much people appreciate it when they behave - and remind them about the times when people have told them they are well behaved. It makes them proud - and us ,too! Good on you!!!
 

monty

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I'll continue to take my kids wherever it pleases me to take them. If folks around me appear agitated, I encourage my kids to talk louder and, if need be, throw their food. When they were younger I took great delight in changing their diapers on the table. When people stomped away because of the smell I always felt like I had essentially marked my territory. Felt good!

O.K., maybe I haven't done those things - but my kids mean more to me than anyone else in the world, and if I want them to join me for a nice dinner the last thing I'm worried about is if some fool doesn't like a little commotion. And for "chefs" who don't appreciate "dumbing down" the order because my kid can't handle spicy food: just put what we asked for on the plate, and I'll pay the restaurant 10 times what it's worth. That way we are both happy. (maybe that was a bit over the top...)
 
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