Families with young kids may want to dine somewhere else
People are giving a restaurant in Monterey, California a piece of their minds after one of their patrons posted a picture on Yelp of a sign posted in their restaurant, basically saying, “take your kids and get the hell out of Dodge if they are loud or need any help sitting upright.”
Old Fisherman’s Grotto, which sounds more like Hugh Hefner’s retirement community than a relaxing place to eat broiled shellfish, apparently have a sign in their dining room which reads: “No Strollers, No High Chairs, No Booster Chairs. Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.” According to Delish, the sign has been in place for years, but a recent photo posted to Yelp has everyone chiming in with their opinions.
This certainly isn’t the first restaurant to ban kids for their behavior; in fact, some restaurants have made it clear kids aren’t allowed at all. And while this is super frustrating for parents just looking for a night out, it’s usually because of inappropriate or rude conduct; which is allowed, or at the very least, ignored by their parents. But this sign goes even further, because if your kid can’t sit in an adult chair without support, you best be moving on.
The restaurant’s owner told KTVU they’re known for their quiet dining experience. “We have many families who dine with us with their children who are well behaved and understand our policy with respect to other diners,” he said. “What we have found on those who write negative reviews about our policy are those who have not dined here but become offended by the sign and our policy.”
The Yelp reviews are a total mixed bag of diners thrilled that this policy means no young kids around while they enjoy their dinner and those mortally offended that children aren’t exactly welcomed by the establishment. “I support your child-free/no screaming kids policy! The irony of these self-centered parents complaining is that THEY are the reason this exists in the first place,” writes one reviewer. “Always loved going to this place as a kid with my family. So when I came back from living overseas with my own kids, I was appalled by the sign that basically said no kids allowed,” writes another.
Personally, I think it’s difficult to take a hard line one way or another. If you’re a parent, you need to get the hell out of the house and not always to McDonalds or Chuck E. Cheese, because fuck that. Sometimes, you want to bring your kid with you to enjoy a nice meal and if they act up, as children will do, most parents would calmly take them outside. (read: grab their arm hard enough they know you mean business, but not hard enough to leave a visible mark.)
On the other hand, when you do get a night out, it’s nice when you aren’t distracted or annoyed by other people’s kids acting like little shits. You’ve got little shits at home; this is why you left the house without them in the first place.
The thing is, kids are kids. They throw down and scream for a million reasons and no particular reason at all. It’s up to the parents to notice said behavior and take appropriate action. If they don’t, perhaps the adults are the ones who need a sign that says, “No parents allowed unless you can control your kids. If you can’t, we get it. We’ll try to help because they are patrons, too. But if they’re still being assholes despite all our best efforts, maybe leave and try again another time. Also quit talking on your phone like you’re the only one in here. You aren’t that important.”
It’s hard pleasing everyone when you’re a business owner, but denying an entire population entry into your restaurant because of a few bad experiences may not be the answer.