Should restaurant ban kids?

Tell me what you think of this. Do you think a restaurant owner should be able to ban children under 6 years of age from dinning at their restaurant? Here’s the ladies from The Talk’s view on it.

Me personally, I don’t really think it’s a big deal. After all, it’s not my place of business. I’d just go somewhere else if I wanted to take my kids to dinner. There are plenty of places I’d never go for some reason or another so if someone didn’t want my kids to dine there, I’d go somewhere else if we were going out and the kids were with us. I don’t really think that much about it. I also agree with his reasons.

“He says by numerous customer and staff complaints about unruly children and parents who fail to control them is the reason for the ban.”

I’ve also seen many, many kids who shouldn’t be in a restaurant and there have been many times I wish they weren’t eating where I was trying to. Many of them run amok and I’ve never understood how a parent could let their kids run wild because it’s very dangerous. I also find some parent’s think their kids are so “cute” and they think whatever they do is alright and everyone will just love them as much as you do. But, sadly, we don’t. Besides, isn’t it sometimes a good thing to go out to eat without your kids? I knew a couple who took their kids everywhere with them and I don’t know, why is that? Isn’t it kind of nice to be “free” for a few hours? I know I’ve been out with “someone” and her kids were ALWAYS with her. I never go to talk to her. It ruined my time out without mine.

I do admire this man for doing this so open and honestly. There’s a restaurant in St. Cloud that we just love to go to but we haven’t gone in many years. They don’t welcome kids in any way, shape or form. There are no high chairs or booster seats nor is there a child’s menu or crayons or one single thing that says it’s okay for them to be there. It’s like the kids aren’t welcome but they don’t have the guts to say “we’d prefer to not have kids eat here.” I admire this man’s honesty. In my opinion, I’d rather not go there if I have kids if they’re going to be treated like that. But I wish it was more upfront about it.

I see both sides of it. It’s illegal to ban seniors but not kids.

What do you think? Is it a big deal for you to eat somewhere else if kids aren’t allowed or more importantly, welcomed?

This entry was posted in adults, behavior, children, choices, differences, discrimination, eating out, emotions, feelings, kids, people, restaurants, things and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Should restaurant ban kids?

  1. mssc54 says:

    Kids, the last (indefenseable) group of US citizens to descriminat against. All kids or just the white kids? Surely you can’t mean colored kids.

  2. SKL says:

    I guess I am a little confused. Maybe this is a regional thing. Where I live, kids whose parents take them to actual restaurants usually behave pretty well. Of course there are exceptions, but not to the extent that I’d say I don’t want to eat in a restaurant where there are kids.

    I’m one of “those” parents who takes my kids to all kinds of restaurants, and always have. I expect them to behave, and they rarely disappoint me. (If they do, we leave, and I spend the rest of the evening making sure they know not to do it again.) I have to say that the majority of the time, someone much older than my kids is creating a bigger distraction. The “nicer” the restaurant, the more likely you have some entitled drunk jerk, and oddly (?) the restaurant staff and owners don’t seem to have a problem with that. Then again, they make more money on a drunk than on a toddler.

    My kids are not so unique that they have special abilities others don’t have. The difference is that I have expectations and I am not afraid of discipline. I don’t take the easy way out (e.g., taking them to Chuck E Cheese, which seems counterproductive). So I am really bummed that some parents hold their kids to no standards, and potentially ruin it for the rest of us. If things are really bad in some places, to the extent that someone decides to ban kids, of course that’s the owner’s prerogative. I won’t go there, but others can do what they feel. The only thing that would bug me is not knowing in advance to pick a different restaurant. Now if this becomes a trend, to the point where there are no nice restaurants that will allow kids, that would aggravate me. Those of us who know how to manage our kids deserve to have some real restaurants where we can take them.

    So far, I haven’t gotten any crap for bringing my kids to restaurants. Like I said, it could be regional. I would not want to hear a kid screaming while I’m eating, but that is truly a rarity in these parts. A lot of commenters at the Stir made it sound like every time they go out to eat, their ear gets screamed off or some kid comes up and snatches something off their plate. Is that for real?

    I will admit that I am not a great conversationalist when I’m with my kids. However, I’m not about to hire a sitter for the dinner hour. It’s not that enjoyable to me to have dinner away from my kids. I’m not much of a talker anyway, in a group. If someone wants to get with me for some grown-up conversation, there’s always lunch.

    • Joy says:

      I agree that this would be a sad state of affairs if a lot of places started to do this and one of the things I do admire about this man is he is telling everyone ahead of time. It would really suck if you didn’t know and went there.

      I never had any problems with my boys either when we went out. I got complimented to the other side. I demanded manners and please and thank you’s and I wasn’t afraid to make them sit in the car if they were naughty. I know you can’t do that now but I did it with Toby once and he was never naughty again. I also feel if kids are never exposed to things they’ll never know “how” to act in situations.

      I’d hate to see it happen a lot but in some cases I don’t really mind. There are millions of places to go out to eat.

  3. Joy says:

    Another thing that really REALLY bothers me is when you hear parents saying “stop it, STop IT, stop it, STOP IT, stop IT for an hours meal and in the meantime the child has been a terror the whole time and really, the parents did nothing while everyone else heard it for their entire meal.

    That SUCKS for me. I hate it.

    • Ellen says:

      I agree Joy. It is fun to take your children with you to a restaurant but also fun to go without them. Here people go out for dinner much more than in Holland, so I am still surprised how packed the restaurants here are on a weekday evening. I still go out for dinner rarely. I prefer to have going out for dinner as a celebration for something.

    • mssc54 says:

      Joy, stop letting those STOP IT moments bother you. Stretch yourself a bit. Join in the conversation. “No! I won’t stop it. I like my steak.” “Me? YOU stop it!”

  4. I enjoy eating with my child at restaurants, but I do tend to take her to places that are more kid friendly because at 4 she tends to get a bit impatient at the nicer restaurants. I tend to have a backpack set aside filled with crayons and coloring books in order to keep her mind off the time when I know we are going to a place that may take a bit longer. I appreciate this owner’s honesty, and feel that since it is in fact his establishment that he can make the rules about whether or not he would like children there. It would not effect me because as you said there are plenty of places to eat. Interesting story tho, it raises a lot of good questions and opinions.

  5. Laura says:

    I don’t have a real problem with it. Currently, this guy is in a massive minority, and I like that he’s being up front about it. Perhaps he’s had an unusual amount of trouble with unruly kids. Perhaps he has one or two customers who don’t ‘get it’, even though he’s talked with them a thousand times. Perhaps he, personally, just doesn’t like kids. His place, his prerogative. I don’t think it’s that big a deal, and I just had to laugh at all those entitled mommies over there who were saying that he’s going to go out of business because he doesn’t allow children. There are plenty of adults who DO wish to go out to a place where there are no kids.

    I also laugh when folks call “discrimination”, and then become all appalled when someone suggests taking a child into a bar. What’s the difference? The fact that they serve food? Some places simply are not made for kids, and I daresay that everyone is happier for it. I cannot imagine that those kids will be happy being told constantly, “be quiet” (because, even when polite, some children talk loudly), “sit still” (because even the most well-behaved children will get antsy when a meal drags on), “no, you can’t use a flashlight” (because the lights are dimmed for ‘ambiance’), etc., etc.

    Some things are reserved for adults only. It’s a fact of life. Just like some things are reserved for kids only…. how many adults are allowed into a bounce-house at a carnival, for example? Or the PlayPlace at McDonald’s? It’s a rite of passage. Perhaps parents should treat it that way.

    • SKL says:

      This reminds me – a couple months ago we were being seated at Applebees, and Miss E (4) asked, “does this restaurant have a bar?” I am not sure how she knew what a bar was, LOL, but indeed, Applebees has a bar.

  6. Nikki says:

    I can’t say that this is an entirely bad idea! It’d be nice to have that option here in our town. Sometimes you just want a nice quiet evening out to dinner. Obviously I wouldn’t want all restaurants to do this, but to have that option would be appreciated.

    I agree too, that sometimes it is worse hearing the parents scold their children, than what the child is actually doing. Yelling gets you ZERO results. I was lucky, Bailey never threw fits. I also always had a ton of stuff to keep him busy-coloring books, his favorite toys. I also taught him at an early age to listen to me! Even then, like SKL said, the most well behaved kids can get loud and restless, so again…this “no kids” option would be very appealing to a lot of people.

  7. Oh, Joy, I love reading your opinions about things. You have such a no-nonsense, common sense, practical approach to things that I really admire.

    I agree that it isn’t a huge deal. If a restaurant owner chooses to do this, I think that’s legitimate. He knows that he’ll lose certain customers because of his choice and he will accept the consequences. Also, there are bars that allow only 23 or 25 and up, for instance, even though the drinking age is 21, and nobody makes a fuss about that.

  8. Phyllis says:

    If you click on the picture of the sign to enlarge it the sign actually says: Restaurant and Golf Center. It does NOT peg itself as a “Family Restaurant”. Therefore I believe it is the owners prerogative to set an age limit. Now, if the sign did, indeed, say “Family Restaurant” then it would be ludicrous to set an age limit since families include a variety of ages. A matter of semantics.

    There are plenty of places to choose from for lunch or dinner when you have smaller children. Smaller, neighborhood type restaurants, etc. where you can take children to prepare them (read as discipline if necessary) to behave in a proper manner.

    We have always taken the kids in the family to regular restaurants. Without fail it has taken only one time of misbehavior and a trip to the washroom or car for a swat or two on the butt for them to understand that they MUST sit down, use indoor voices and behave properly! No running, jumping on the seats or screaming would be allowed. One time when discipline was necessary and it never happened again with any of our kids.

    The problem with some parents is that they really seem to think that their little darlings, quite simply, cannot do any wrong! Reality check time! It is our responsibility, as parents, to teach our children proper behavior, etiquette, etc. I sure I don’t have to mention that those lessons begin and are learned at home. When it comes to unruly children, I believe, that the fault lies with the parents. TEACH THEM PROPER BEHAVIOR AT HOME, ADHERE TO THOSE RULES AND THEY WILL BEHAVE WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OUT!

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