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Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

Last year, we started to see an influx in restaurants starting to ban children from dining at their restaurants.  There were people on either side of the fence on this issue, and we spoke to why catering to the yougins’ could help boost revenue, but we also understand that sometimes little ones just aren’t welcome in restaurants, and here’s why.

In a long awaited closing to this 3 part blog post, here are a few reasons why restaurants hate to see kids in their establishment.

1. Kids are messy.  Yes, a spaghetti smeared face may be cute to you, but to others around you that are trying to enjoy their meal (without losing their appetite), well, it’s just gross.  Oh, and not to mention that spaghetti being flung around the room and left for the server to pick up is just rude.

2. Kids are loud. Trying to get away from an exhaustive day, just to be met by a neighboring table with a screaming, shouting child is one of the last things any diner wants to be met with.

3. Parents don’t tip enough.  This, like a few more on this list, could be seen as stereotyped, but if you’ve ever been a server, you know that the likelihood of getting a decent tip with tables that have kids is slim to none.  The servers are likely in the back of the house throwing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets stuck with your table.

4. Kids can’t stay seated.  Well, they can, but you let them run amok.  It’s already busy in a restaurant, and to have to step over rowdy children makes it even harder to get the job done.  Besides, the patrons trying to enjoy their meal as little Johnny runs around screaming, aren’t going to enjoy their experience either.

5. Kids don’t like fine dining.  To be honest, some of them do, but why would you pay for a filet mignon, when the kid would be completely happy with chicken nuggets?  And to that point, bringing your child to a fine dining restaurant and asking for grilled cheese is rude too, especially when it’s not on the menu.

6. Kids like snacks.  Servers understand that you brought in snacks to keep your little one calm until the food arrives, but if you’re going to be okay with smashed crackers and Cheerios winding up everywhere, you should at least offer to help clean it up.

7. Kids don’t like clothes.  Not sure what it is about keeping pants and shoes on, but when dining out, the “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” applies to children as well.

8. Kids love to be social.  Again, it may be cute to you that your child has learned to explore his/her boundaries and likes to make friends with everyone, but other patrons are trying to enjoy their meal, not make friends with a tot.

9. Kids need babysitters.  And your server is not a babysitter.

10. Kids like to let everyone else know what’s going on.  Which includes when it’s potty time… food and an abrupt announcement of potty time never mixes well. Never.

Need some more (anti) kid love in the restaurant?  Here are a few of our favorite sites that share the passion of what it’s like to work in a restaurant around kids…

If you need help learning what you should do when your child misbehaves in a restaurant, take a hint from this dad:

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4 Responses to Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

  1. Brent February 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    This was funny and I enjoyed some of the links. Surprised more upscale restaurants don’t do the same thing as the Sushi place in Del Ray.

  2. Flora February 25, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    It’s not the kids – it’s usually the parents that are the problem – adults in a “self” centered world allowing their kids to run amok because – after all “they” are more important than anyone else.

    Depriving well behaved kids of going out to experience fine dining is a shame. Ask a chef when he first experienced dining out and tasting something totally different than what he ate at home. An epiphany for many.

    My sons eschewed burgers and macaroni and cheese when dining out – they wanted Lobster or Duck!

  3. Nancy February 25, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    I agree with Flora. It’s the parents’ at fault for not teaching their children how to act in public and they are left to themselves to do what ever they want! There does exist children that are well behaved because they were taught to respect and have manners. If the parent knows that they have a problem child and they have tried to teach them values then they should not bring them in to situations that will further incite this kind of behavior at everyone else’s expense. Get the child help or wait until they are mature enough to understand, whichever comes first.

    • alan February 28, 2014 at 5:23 am #

      i agree training starts at home

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