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

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

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans on February 4, 2013 

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?

More from The Stir: Rude Waiter Calls Customers ‘Fat Girls’ on Restaurant Bill but It Gets Worse

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. 6, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Replies (21-30):
FrogSalad
by Sooze on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I wonder if this is a standard practice across the board for this restaurant or maybe it was a one-time thing where a server/hostess/manager just felt the urge to give the family a discount and pat on the back.

While I wouldn't want a policy of charging families extra for misbehaving kids, I think this one incident is a nice gesture on the part of the restaurant.

onethentwins
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I think the restaurant is asking for trouble..."why didn't I get a discount? my kids we're good" or "why didn't I get a discount just because I don't have kids? I was well behaved." Yep, this good deel is going to bite them in the ass.

quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

I worked in a restaurant in college.  The well behaved kids actually cost the restaurant less.  Yes, that's right.  Your little snowflake that throws food on the floor, gets food all over the chairs and in the booth, and smears the table with goo, costs the restaurant.  They have to pay staff to clean that shit up while the table sits empty.  Often other customers complain and the restaurant either ends up discounting the meal or the server gets stiffed on the tip.

My kid would probably love a good behavior discount.  We're saving for a trip to Brazil with our savings by choosing lower priced items or coupons.  He'd be stoked to throw another couple bucks in when all he has to do is just eat his food.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

 I have no problem with giving a discount..I have been complimented on my well behaved children a number of times. 

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:42 PM

My son is autistic and stems( repeats phrases and does a repetitive hand movement).  He is usually quiet about it, if he's not we get him out of the restaurant.  If people near us are really loud it is worse.  We usually only eat out for lunch on the weekend and the same restaurant.  Would his "behavior" cost us more?

I do not agree with a behavior policy.

Denisethedaring
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:53 AM

No, as that's a pretty subjective judgement.  I prefer restaurants to either completely exclude children or welcome children with a clearly stated policy on the subject.

abecee
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:20 AM

No. Definition of well behaved children would be different for everyone.  This would create more trouble than its worth.

I would however welcome a separate dining space for people who enjoy eating a meal without the noise and often chaos of children, kind of like a kid free zone.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM

I'd want to see posted standards of behavior that get or forbid the discount. Its one thing to have a child making a few upset squeals, but its another for a family to leave the area literally trashed, in a manner that requires the server to take valuable time away from other tables to clean up the floor, seats and surrounding area of food and debris.

romalove
by Roma on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Can they double the bill if they decide your kid behaved poorly?

I think (silly me) restaurant bills should reflect the price of food and service and be predetermined before you sit down.

LIMom1105
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM
You bring up a good point. What about childless people who aren't especially well-behaved? Loud, disruptive, cursing, etc. Not so long ago, we went out to eat and some guy near us keeps cursing a blue streak, loudly. I asked him to watch it, pointing out my then 4 year old, and his response was F You! Nice, this from a grown man.

I'm sorry you need to leave at times because other people are loud. This isn't fair.


Quoting tooptimistic:

My son is autistic and stems( repeats phrases and does a repetitive hand movement).  He is usually quiet about it, if he's not we get him out of the restaurant.  If people near us are really loud it is worse.  We usually only eat out for lunch on the weekend and the same restaurant.  Would his "behavior" cost us more?

I do not agree with a behavior policy.

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