Life

Restaurant Angers Parents with Ban on Children Under 10

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A New Jersey restaurant sparked a firestorm on Facebook when it announced a ban on children because of the way some of them have behaved.

“We love kids. We really, truly, do.” That’s how an Italian restaurant in New Jersey began the Facebook post announcing a ban on children under age 10.

Despite loving children, the restaurant and its staff apparently hasn’t been in love with accommodating those young diners.

“Between noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant, we have decided it’s time to take control of the situation,” the post states. So, starting next month, they will no longer allow kids to eat there.

The post then addresses the anticipated backlash.

“We know that this is going to make some of you very upset, especially those of you with very well-behaved kids, but we believe this is the right decision for our business moving forward. Thank you for understanding.”

Clearly, some parents didn’t — or more likely, simply refused — to understand.

Some were quick to condemn the move. Others predicted with what seemed like enthusiasm that the call would drive the restaurant right out of business.

Some talked about how “sad” it is that they’re suddenly no longer welcome with their “well-behaved 9-year-old.”

And, since we love to boycott anything we disagree with, some have demanded exactly that. Presumably even by customers without children.

But there are plenty of posts from diners who fully support the move. I would guess most of them don’t have children.

Some parents went into a tizzy over the new policy

Whenever there’s a new policy like this, someone will always chime in about how it’s unfair. It’s unfair, they claim, because they’re punishing everyone because of a fraction of their customers.

But if that fraction of customers with unruly children they aren’t willing to deal with on their own caused the policy change, why blame the restaurant? Why aren’t these angry parents angry with their fellow parents? Why aren’t the calling out the adults who refuse to make their children behave.

Yes, there are parents who have well-behaved children under the age of 10. When I was that age, my parents had a well-behaved child as well. But my parents made sure I knew I was expected to behave. They made sure I knew there would be consequences if I didn’t. So I behaved. It wasn’t that difficult.

The angry response from some parents made me wonder if they’re the ones who allow their children to run amok.

Some parents argued that the restaurant should allow everyone in, but make a point to ask parents of unruly children to leave immediately. But that means putting restaurant employees in a ridiculously uncomfortable situation. A server isn’t a police officer or a landlord. She shouldn’t have to evict people who don’t have enough common sense to keep their children at bay.

I’m sure they’d never believe their little angel was part of the problem.

But it sounds like there were enough problems that the restaurant decided they needed to change the policy for everyone.

just because of a few.

Is it a reasonable policy?

In most areas, a business can refuse service for a variety of reasons. Assuming this reason isn’t legal, I support the restaurant’s motives.

Not everyone actually wants to eat in a restaurant where children are being allowed to be out of control. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find a restaurant with a policy like this. But I wouldn’t think of boycotting a restaurant that takes this action after listing the issues they face.

Nothing the restaurant says indicates that they hate children. It doesn’t say all children are bad. But they’ve had enough bad apples to make them fear for the safety of the bunch.

Maybe instead of parents trying to school the restaurant on how it should be run, someone should school parents on how to do a better job of discipline before they lose another popular restaurant to a similar policy change.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.