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Should restaurants have the right to ban kids?

Posted by on Feb. 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM
  • 207 Replies
1 mom liked this

Forget Babies, Restaurants Are Now Banning 'Too Many' Kids

by Lisa Fogarty

You know how kids are when they get to a pizzeria, right? Totally unruly, climbing the curtains, spilling soda everywhere, unable to sit still in their seats for 10 minutes in order to devour every child's favorite food. Well, that's how one upscale pizzeria in New York City views tykes, and the establishment has decided to do something about it: by declaring a "partial ban" on admitting children into its restaurant.

John Kandel, the owner of Bad Horse Pizza, which sells specialty pies with toppings like salmon and goat cheese, recently canceled a reservation for 12 after learning 9 of the guests were children. According to the understandably peeved customer who made the reservation, the owner told him 9 was far too many children to have in the restaurant at once and that they would distract other paying customers. When asked how many children was acceptable, the owner reportedly couldn't answer the question.

Kandel is sticking to his guns and has admitted that customers seeking its candlelit tables don't want to be surrounded by rowdy children who are only going to ruin their dining experience. It sounds like he fears he'll lose money if he sacrifices couples or large parties of adults -- who we all know are going to spend lots of money on alcohol at night -- for families with children.

More From The Stir: Babies Should Be Banned From Fancy Restaurants

As a mom who loves dining out, I guess I should be more offended by this restaurant owner's decision. But I really do understand it. Children -- my toddler included -- can be supremely annoying, especially when you're trying to enjoy a lovely meal out. My problem with this owner's ban isn't the ban itself -- it's the ambiguity of his "rule."

How many children is too many? Should I assume that if I have one baby and want to dine at this pizzeria, it's okay, but if I have four kids, I'll be turned away? Or if I have three kids and one looks like an unruly toddler, I'll be denied food that day?

And what if my children are teens or preteens? Is there a different rule or no rule at all for kids who are actually able to sit still in their seats and eat without dribbling food all over the place? Many teens and tweens are perfectly lovely dining companions, and I feel, as a parent, taking them to a nice restaurant once in a while is a really good thing to do. I still remember my mom treating me to a fancy dinner when I was a teen and teaching me which fork to use with which course and how to properly fold my napkin on my chair when I got up from the table to use the restroom.

If this owner wishes to impose restrictions against children -- which is always going to seem strange considering he makes PIZZA -- it would make a lot more sense to ban children under 18 from admittance after 7 p.m.

And even that doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to me.

What are your thoughts? Should restaurants have the right to ban kids?

by on Feb. 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Corieva
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM
15 moms liked this

 I get it. I don't have an issue with it. Now if they could only ban some adults...

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM
1 mom liked this

To be honest, I would not attend a place that "banned children".  I guess I don't allow other peoples kids to bother me while I am eating. I just ignore what they are doing and mind my own business. However, I have two children and we eat at places that are kid friendly.

disneymom2two
by Platinum Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:01 AM
3 moms liked this

I think restaurant owners have the right to ban children but I'd hate if that meant that I was only able to go to kid-oriented restaurants.  My kids behave; we like to go out to places that serve more than chicken nuggets and fries but I can see where he's coming from because there are so many people who think their child dancing in the aisle is cute, get offended when you don't welcome a strange child touching your hair from the seat behind you, and think you should just talk louder rather than them taking their screaming child out.  It'd be nice to ban some adults as well but I don't see that happening.

imthatgirl0607
by Ruby Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM
16 moms liked this
I would be more likely to eat there knowing there isnt a chance of having to endure large groups of kids.

I like it.
lnrmom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM
6 moms liked this
His business. His rules. You don't like it? Go somewhere else.
Sister_Someone
by Rachel on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM
2 moms liked this

I think that every business should have the right to withold service to whomever they please.

SommelierMom
by Emerald Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM
Ditto.

Quoting imthatgirl0607: I would be more likely to eat there knowing there isnt a chance of having to endure large groups of kids.



I like it.
Nicoleb9
by Emerald Member on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM
1 mom liked this
Absolutely! What's wrong with wanting to cater to a certain group of people?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Liastele
by Lauren on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM
5 moms liked this

I wish more restaurants banned children.

Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM

 Absolutely, not every business owner wants to deal with the challenges that children present, and they shouldn't have to.

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