A mom group was asked to move in a family restaurant for disturbing men who wanted to read.
Dining with kids is a challenge, but sometimes it’s your fellow restaurant-goers that truly make it difficult. A group of UK moms was recently asked to move to the back of a restaurant because some men expected to have peace and quiet while they read their newspapers.
The Derbyshire moms, who all have babies around seven months old, regularly meet for lunch at a local chain restaurant called Brewers Fayre. One of the moms, Marie Barron, says they’ve met there about six times, but in recent weeks they’ve begun having issues with men who frequent the establishment and think they’re disruptive. Last week, their group was asked to move and sit near the bathrooms, and it was all because these men wanted a quiet place to read the paper. Barron explained to the Huffington Post:
“The week before we were asked to move, the manager asked us how long we were planning on staying at the restaurant and told us a man who was reading his newspaper was unhappy. It was then the next week that the manager told one of our group – who is deaf – that we would have to move. She came back to tell us that we had to move, but she hadn’t be able to understand why… We were told that there are men who come in and read the paper and don’t want to be disturbed by women and babies, and it was better if we were out of the way.”
Men want to read their newspapers undisturbed by women and babies, huh? Well, then Brewers Fayre must be one of those places where adults go to eat with a reasonable expectation of peace and quiet. I mean, surely it doesn’t have a kids’ menu or a playground, or boast on its website that they offer daily catered children’s parties. Oh wait — actually, it does. These are all from the official Brewers Fayre website:
Barron says her party was never disruptive, and she thinks the mens’ frustration actually had to do with the fact that they were breastfeeding at their table. That’s speculation, of course, but it’d hardly be the first time people have gotten their boxer shorts in a bunch over breastfeeding moms.
Barron complained to a restaurant manager, who said their employee acted in error by asking the moms to move. A spokesperson for the restaurant also told the Huffington Post, “Brewers Fayre is a family restaurant that always welcomes breastfeeding mothers, parents and carers with young children to enjoy all of our facilities, including the play areas.” Still, the moms say they won’t be going back.
Obviously there’s no excuse for being blatantly disruptive, regardless of the type of restaurant, but I feel like when you go to a restaurant that serves “GRRRRRLIC bread” next to an attached playground area, you should check your expectations about parents and children at the door. A group of moms eating with their babies at midday in a family restaurant is totally within the bounds of propriety, and you’re delusional if you expect a place that caters kids’ birthdays to be as quiet as a library. If you want to read the newspaper on your lunch break, that’s fine, but maybe find somewhere more appropriate to demand total silence while you twirl your mustache and skim the classifieds.