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OT: What Do You Think of This Resturants "Well Behaved Child" Policy?

Cafe MichelleP
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Yesterday at 10:46 AM
Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM
  • 14 Replies

Restaurant Gives Parents Discount for 'Well-Behaved Kids' & Sets Dangerous Precedent

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

restaurant receiptAs any parent knows, eating out in a restaurant with children can be a bit of a dicey game. Sometimes your kids are angels, and other times you just want to crawl under the table ... if it wasn't such a horrific mess from all the food they'd thrown down there. But what if your bill depended on how well-behaved your children were?

A Reddit user recently posted a picture of a receipt from an Italian restaurant in Washington named Sogno Di Vino with a title "If only all restaurants did this for people with kids ..." On it there was a $4 discount for "well-behaved kids". A sweet gesture, and I bet those parents were pretty proud.

But the whole thing makes me kind of nervous.

Can you imagine if you were charged more for those times when your children aren't quite so good (as plenty of commenters suggested should be standard)? Or if the next time you didn't get a discount?

Eating out with children is already filled with plenty of pressure for parents. Every raised voice, every dropped spoon can make a mom feel like all eyes in the joint are searing into her. And yes, sometimes children are out of control and should be removed from a restaurant. No one deserves for their meal to be interrupted by kids gone wild, but there also needs to be a certain amount of tolerance for families dining out without parents feeling like they're being judged even more. Most children just aren't going to be seen and not heard, and as long as mom and dad are making sure they're not heard too loudly, they deserve a little bit of  a break. Having a random waitress decide what "well-behaved" is could be all sorts of problematic. I also can't imagine that restaurants really want to get into a battle over the bill with "those" parents who always deny their precious little ones ever do anything wrong.

Would it be nice to be rewarded when the planets align and you all make it through dinner delightfully? Absolutely. But I'm not sure it's worth the price you'd pay for the days when your kids act more ... like kids.

Would you welcome a policy in which your restaurant bill was adjusted according to your children's behavior?

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM

 I would not eat at a restaurant that had that as a policy.

by Sonja on Feb. 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Where's the discount?

As far as I can see, they added it back in PLUS added a .64 cent charge as well.  

My kids know to behave well just because they know they won't get to eat out for NOT behaving. So that little incentive really isn't an incentive at all.  jmho

by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I'm sort of torn on the issue.  I would love to see a discount like that, but my kids are usually well behaved when we go out.  If they wern't well behaved we wouldn't have gone in the frist place.  But people who have rude, loud and unruly kids should maybe get a surcharge....that may be the incentive that they need.

I apologized a week ago to a waitress for the mess my 4 yo made.  She took one look under the table and said that was nothing and she had seen worse.  We had 6 adults and 4 kids.  The kids all took a booth by themselve and we took up 2 more with that many adults.  My 4 yo had shredded a napkin under the table.  It just needed a quick swipe with the vacuum, but I offered to clean it up for her.  I felt bad b/c my DD almost never does this kind of stuff.  I don't kno what she was thinking.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:57 PM
The $4.64 is the tax. The discount was taken pre-tax.

I don't think any owner should feel it necessary to need an incentive like this. Parents need to be parents and teach their kids how to behave.

Quoting kirbymom:

Where's the discount?

As far as I can see, they added it back in PLUS added a .64 cent charge as well.  

My kids know to behave well just because they know they won't get to eat out for NOT behaving. So that little incentive really isn't an incentive at all.  jmho

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by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:29 PM
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I think this kinda thing would make me nervous. I stay stressed when we eat out as it is with 4 kids 3 of which have autism. Just about every noise they make above a whisper seems to attract attention even when they are behaving due to thier stimming behaviors. and that is as long as nothing happens to trigger a meltdown that would require removal from the enviroment both for them and other guests. So all a policy like this would do is ensure I never went anywhere period out of fear of having to pay extra possibly for things that mine can't control and most are very intolerent of.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:37 PM
1 mom liked this

I think this is not something I would appreciate, even if I was the one given the "Well behaved Child discount". To me this is plain out Judgmental! Still, I completely understand the issue of noisy kids and wanting a calm and relaxing dinner out. I have went out with out my children and asked to be seated away from the noisy children in the restaurant. My advice to any Restaurant is to just make a point to seat family's with children on one side and Adults with out on the other. I guess it's like having a Smoking and Non-Smoking area. Why not a Children and Non-Children area ;)

Keri ~ A Homeschooling Mom who is a Student too! ~> A College Student that is !  ;')

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:13 AM
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People need to understand not every loud kid is being bad/unruly! What about special needs kids should they just not be allowed to eat out!!! My son has aspergers and he cant help his meltdowns, every tantrum is not a,meltdown he does get in trouble for being bad so i dont use aspergers as an excuse! But when we are out if the people next to us are too loud (not normal loud but a loud that would irritate anyone ) he cant handle it, if people stare at him he cant handle it, he orders the same food and drink every time if they are out of it he cant handle it, sometimes its just im upset for no reason but he has meltdowns and issues and should we be not allowed in restaurants or pay more bc of it? NO THATS DISCRIMINATION. There is an episode of what would you do with parents eating out with a child with aspergers everyone should watch it! Now yes some kids are just being bad and their parents are letting them, thats wrong but unfortunately you dont know if they child could have some disability just bc they LOOK like they are being bad doesnt mean they are! My son had a meltdown at my docs office one time and it was bad, a woman actually said i cant believe you are letting your child act like that, he needs to be smacked, i flipped on her bc no he doesnt he has a type of autism and he cant help his meltdowns! Would you smack a kid for not walking if they are paralyzed ? NO this is the same thing!!! So again just bc you think a child is being unruly and the parent is letting them YOU DONT KNOW THE WHOLE STORY
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by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM
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Yes, I think it's fine. If they are giving a discount for something it doesn't mean that if you don't get the discount they actually add money onto the bill. OK, here's my example...It's not like if you're not a senior citizen you get 15% added to you bill, you just dont' get it taken off. So you end up paying full price instead of getting money off. I don't see any problem with it, it's an incentive, a nice bonus, an acknowledgement that the restaurant appreciates well-behaved kids. People, including parents, need to get over the "I'm feeling judged" thing. Every parent knows that sometimes your kid is having an off-day or is just going through something, and if you seriously feel unfairly judged by your kid's behavior then stay home. The other option is to take your kid  out, do the best you can, and if you get the discount then great, and if you don't oh well. If you went to any other restaurant you'd be paying full price whether your kid behaved or not anyway so you're not losing anything. Time to get a grip.

by Julia on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Totally up to the store. As long as they treat all families with respect than it doesn bother me. As far as special needs kids, i would hope they would have the sensitivity for that as well. I have a brother with ds and autism, he does get pretty loud, especially in a crowded area.
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by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:50 PM
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I have a personal "zero tolerance" policy for my children when we're at a restaurant. They've been eating at very nice restaurants - the kind people don't normally bring their children to - since they were toddlers. I had one woman in Venice sneer at my kids once. They hadn't done anything wrong, they weren't making any noise, she was just offended that there were children there at all.

I don't think a well-behaved child policy would have influenced us one way or the other. In fact, it sounds a lot more like a restaurant we would avoid because it sounds like a gathering place for people whose children are NOT well-behaved!

Sometimes kids are noisy. Sometimes it's because they're not being parented and sometimes it's because of something out of everyone's control. It happens. What's important is how it's handled by the parents, not by whether you're going to get a $4 discount.

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