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Shock, horror! Restaurant Bans Children

Your toddler's in meltdown mode in a crowded restaurant – do we expect tolerance or tuts from fellow diners?

Posted: 11 October 2010
by Catherine O'Dolan

SCREAMING CHILDREN WILL not be tolerated” was the bold proclamation recently posted in the windows on Olde Salty restaurant in North Carolina. The reaction has polarized opinion, with many diners in favour of the restriction, while others feel stigmatized. Comments on the internet have been lively and colourful: “If you can afford to eat out, you can afford a babysitter,” says one, while the bitchy waiter blogs: “Waiters across the world cheer!”  One parents who clearly identify with a child-in-meltdown moment chimes: “I’m printing off a sign exactly like it to hang on the fridge at home.”
According to the owner, her brave stand has been warmly welcomed by many customers. “It has been a good thing for us,” says owner, Brenda Armes. “It has brought in more customers than it has ever kept away.” But if children are effectively banned from restaurants, how will they ever acquire the skills they need? However, Armes has said that the restaurant will ask diners to take their children outside until they calm down, instead of evicting them entirely – which is the general consensus of restaurateurs, who say they are happy to welcome families but in return they expect parents to keep their children in order.

What's your view on this subject? Visit our forum and let us know! We've got more tips on restaurant etiquette from Sara Galvin at Galvin La Chapelle, and ideas on keeping your child quiet with a bag of tricks!

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