Restaurant Bans Kids Under 6: Good Idea or Bad?

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A Pennsylvania restaurant riled some parents recently when it announced a new policy banning children under the age of 6 from its dining room.

As of Saturday, McDain’s Restaurant of Monroeville will no longer admit children under six, according to an email its manager sent to customers:

“We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”

Unlike senior citizens, children are not part of a protected class, so there’s no law that prevents a restaurant from banning them if it chooses to do so.

One commenter at Huffington wasn’t very pleased with this manager’s explanation:

“I hope HIS restaurant GOES under with in [sic] a YEARS [sic] time. Who HATES children??? The owner sounds like a real LOOSER [sic] with no sense of humour and a personality of a ROCK…

But there seems to be a fine line a business owner is forced to walk.

He can either admit everyone and potentially lose customers who are bothered by children who are screaming, or he can refuse to serve young children and lose customers who want to bring theirs into his eatery.

I’ve talked to friends who have children, but who have complained about other people’s children screaming and throwing fits in restaurants. So it isn’t entirely a parent vs. non-parent issue.

How would you feel about a restaurant that took such a stance? Would it make you more likely or less likely to eat there? If you have young children, would that policy make you consider going there on a “date night” without your kids?

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