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I don't know how to respond to this - WWYD? Long

There is a very popular restaurant in the city I live in. They do great business and my family goes there often. However, they are obviously lacking changing tables and it frustrates me. Here is my email to them:

To the management staff,

My husband, myself, and our extended family enjoy your restaurant and frequent it quite often, if not once at week, at least every other. Unfortunately, that frequency may begin to decrease. Our daughter is almost 10 months old, which means that she is rapidly becoming too big for me to change her on the bathroom counter top. You have no child changing station I think it is ridiculous that a restaurant of your size and volume does not offer this service to your guests. Using the counter top is unsafe, unsanitary, and rude to other guests. Using a booth seat or bathroom floor is out of the question. I have lived in New Brunswick for a long time and am aware that you are not some college type hangout and that you do do business that would warrant a need for a changing station. On a recent Sunday while there for brunch, I counted four children in addition to my own that would fall into the category of needing a changing table. I have worked in the restaurant industry all my adult life and am not one to complain, but I do not want to have to look for a new regular restaurant because of this. I did a quick Google search, just to make sure this isn't unreasonable and found both the plastic, screw-into-the-wall type changing stations, and the simple, wooden, stand alone variety to be quite affordable.

Thank you,

Here is what I received from the owner:

Back in 1979, I was sued for a baby falling off a baby changing station in my one and only restroom. My belief was that the baby was left unattended for just a split second, because I have children and I know that sometimes that is all it takes. Regardless, there were no witnesses or camera footage because it was the ladies room, and because of this I was deemed responsible.

This was my first business, opened on a shoestring, just 20 seats back then. I could not purchase insurance immediately because I didn't have the money. This lawsuit forced me to bankrupt  my first restaurant in it's first three months. It is truly devistating to lose everything you have and blamed for something that just isn't true.
Five years later after working several jobs I opened (restaurant) , without changing tables. As a father, I have changed my kids everywhere also; and as soon as they start standing up, we all change them standing up.  Personally, I can tell countless stories of my close calls, some of them downright scary, but I take the take responsibility and don't blame others.
I value your business, however I cannot bring myself to install changing tables.

I feel his response was quite smug, because he does not actually need my business and he knows it. Plus, I feel like he's being petty and spiteful. I could sue him for my child falling off the bathroom counter. WTF?! Am I overreacting? Should I bother responding? I want to be rude, but my husband says not to. Thoughts would be great!

EDIT: Please do not suggest I use my car. If I had one, do you really think I'd be asking this?

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM
1 mom liked this

I think he gave you clear reasoning as to why he doesn't have them. It makes sense.  Somebody sued him because of their own careless mistake.  I can understand him not wanting to repeat it. I like him have changed my children once they could stand alone, standing up, when there was no changing table.  Not ideal but I have done it, even with a messy diaper.  I for one think his reply made sense.  Although not having a changing table is an inconvenience, it is not a necessity for the owner.  I have been in many establishments that do not have them. 

I think there is no need to respond, he gave you a good answer and I do not think he was smug, sorry.

by Dawn on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

 He explained to you why he doesnt want to install changing tables. There is no reason to send him back any response. You have 2 options, continue to go there and find a way to change your child with out a changing table, or find a new place to eat.

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:00 PM

I didn't take his response in the same way as you did, he seemed honest, really honest and sincere about his response.  I respect and understand why he wouldn't (and isn't forced to) install changing tables. He even says that he is a father and understands but is afraid, rightfully so. He was accused and blamed for something and lost BIG because of it.  

I hate going to any place where I can't find a changing table but that doesn't stop me from going, I just change my daughter either in the car or now that she's standing up, while she stands up.  Yea, it's frustrating but I can't assume every place is going to have changing tables. It's like asking an owner of every restaurant to install changing tables in the mens room, why do they assume only women change diapers?  

by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:11 PM

I think it is ridiculous that someone can sue the resturant for leaving their own baby on a changing table...people now days are so stupid...

However, I also wouldn't let it discourage me from eating there. More often than not when we go out we don't even have to change our baby in the whole time we are there, especially now, she is 9 months. I have once had to change her laying the diaper bag across the sink and her on the diaper bag, when she was a newborn at a place that had a tiny bathroom with no counter or changing table. I get his point in saying that he doesn't want sued again, people are so money hungry now days and sue people for things that are their own stupid fault...Sorry it is frustrating and is like the common saying "one rotten apple spoils the bunch" sue happy people often ruin things for normal people...

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM
You're just annoid with how he responded and its human however if you see his reasons for not providing the service you want,they are straight and obvious he wants to serve you better but whenever he looks back on how he suffered he really can't risk his life again,i would feel bad but putting myself in his shoes i just let go of the fact that the restuarant has no changing tables!
Take it easy.
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:39 PM
2 moms liked this

 Since he has the OPTION of putting diaper changing stations at HIS place, and chooses not to, would not be an issue to me. Me, being a business owner, would have found your letter very petty. I think his response was very nice. He didn't have to explain anything to you for his reasoning. Honestly, it's none of your business.

 The thought of you not frequenting a favorite restaurant because of this issue sounds very dramatic. Doubt anyone would seriously do this because of a changing station. Of course, there is always the exception, obviously.

 Are you overreacting? YES. Should you respond back? NO, it would just make you sound more ridiculous. If you don't think he knows who you are, you are likely mistaken, unless he is never there. Owners know who their regular customers are. Stop while you're ahead. Why in the world would you want to respond rudely when he sent you a very nice explanation for his reasons?

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:04 PM
I'm sorry but I don't find his response smug at all. He was honest and up front. His reasoning for NOT wanting to install a diaper changing station is very logical due to what he went through. He was sued for someone elses mistake. Which wasn't fair to him. He can't risk losing his life again. He even explained that he knows what an inconvinence it is being a father himself. I have a set of twins and a singleton. So I have changed ALOT of diapers in ALOT of different places. There is no need to respond back. And honestly if it is that big of a deal that your child needs to be changed like NOW. When you are there lay her on your lap in the stall or have her stand up and help support her.
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by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM
I like his response. You are upset for nothing. Change your kid in your car. I don't think I ever had to change my kids in a restaurant.
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by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Fyi, changing tables are nasty. I would never use one.
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by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:14 PM
I agree with this, and did not find it smug at all

Quoting Marimaru:

I didn't take his response the same way you did.  He told you the story of why he doesn't have them, while explaining that he's also a father, so he knows it can be a pain.

I think what happened to him left a bad taste in his mouth on the subject, so he's not willing to have changing tables.  I had thought there were laws on changing tables, but the great Google tells me that perhaps I was mistaken.

I probably wouldn't bother responding, but if you want to, I'd probably keep it as simple as "I'm sorry for what happened to your first place, but I will need to find some place new to take my family that is more guest friendly." and leave it at that.

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