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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 (31-40):
themissheather
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:09 AM

She poops when she eats vegetables, which is what she eats when we go there. Plus, we spend closer to an hour and half. This is the only reason that I hesitate. I can't hang out there comfortably for awhile without this option. I feel it's just general principal at this point. He is past the point of being bankrupt. He owns 4 busy restaurants. I'd think, at this point, he would be more likely to be sued for not having one. I manage a restaurant, so I'm not a novice to the industry.

Quoting jabs54:

 

Quoting themissheather:

I get what you are saying about him not wanting to be liable. The funny thing is, though, that his restaurant does a lot of family business. Maybe it's me, but the whole thing rubs me the wrong way.

Quoting sabrtooth1:

There are no laws saying a restaurant MUST provide changing stations.  You certainly do not find them in upscale places, norin bars.  The management is clearly indicating that he does not want diaper age children in his establishment, and that IS his prerogative.


Btw, if a child falls off a sink, or your lap, that is NOT the problem of the management, nor an issue they can be sued over.  They did not DESIGNATE the sink as a changing station, and have clearly discouraged the act by NOT having them on the premises.

 Why does it rub you the wrong way?  Your child goes the night without being changed.  How many times has your child pooped and NEEDED to be changed during the 40 minutes your at a restaurant that this has you so upset?


themissheather
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM

DD has a tendency to poop after dinner, which is why I have this issue. I want to point out that I LOVE your sn and image. I loved Fraggle Rock growing up.

Quoting CotterpinDoozer:

I'm sorry, I don't think that came across smug or rude. I think it's pretty awesome you got a response at all. Yes I agree no changing tables are inconvenient and a hassle, but honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to change my daughter at a restaurant. I certainly wouldn't stop going if I liked it for that reason.


themissheather
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:16 AM

I might be open to that, actually. I live within walking distance (hence no car).

Quoting Cafe Amanda:

I know, the lawyer's daughter in me would be like, look genius, you took a dumb business risk 30 years ago and paid the price, so now your clientele have to deal with this stupid and easily fixable inconvenience?

Also, even if you had a car, who wants to bundle their baby and drag them into a parking lot in the cold or rain or whatever just to change a diaper?

Also, want to meet for lunch? LOL.

Quoting themissheather:

Oops! I missed that I left the name in there. Well, if you know where I'm talking about you know I don't have to go there. I found the lack of insurance odd too.

Quoting Cafe Amanda:

Wow, I live nearby and have eaten there a TON over the years (even with my kids) but I guess never needed to use a changing table because I never noticed they were absent!

What's funny is that he admits opening a restaurant without insurance because he couldn't afford it,  and paid the price, but dude, clearly he has insurance now so you'd think it'd be a no-brainer! I mean, people can have all kinds of accidents in a restaurant. Not necessarily all with witnesses or surveillance footage.

Maybe I'd open up that line of reasoning in a follow-up email if I was so inclined. Otherwise I'd just drop it, and maybe try some other restaurants in town. :)




CotterpinDoozer
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Ah ok, well that's a different matter then. I can see how inconvenient that is for you if that's the case. Thank you, I loved it too, hence the SN. My DD will watch it on Netflix sometimes.

Quoting themissheather:

DD has a tendency to poop after dinner, which is why I have this issue. I want to point out that I LOVE your sn and image. I loved Fraggle Rock growing up.

Quoting CotterpinDoozer:

I'm sorry, I don't think that came across smug or rude. I think it's pretty awesome you got a response at all. Yes I agree no changing tables are inconvenient and a hassle, but honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to change my daughter at a restaurant. I certainly wouldn't stop going if I liked it for that reason.




Basherte
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:43 AM

If the restaurant is that nice, then I wouldn't allow a lack of a changing table to stop me from going. I would make sure that my child had a clean diaper before we left to go to the restaurant, and then change my baby when we got home. You don't have a car, so how are you getting to the restaurant? Are you walking or getting a ride from someone else who is going with you? If you aren't walking, I would ask to use that person's car that you are going with. 

If you are going to a store after the restaurant then I would wait til you get there and use their changing tables.

My son absolutely hated any changing table. He would have an anxiety attack just by being placed on one. No, he has never fallen off of one either.

I started just having him lay down in a stroller when we were out and changing him there.  In the winter time, I would just put my coat on the floor and change him on my coat.  

Quoting twinsmom2001:

I agree with Marimaru.  I didn't read his response as smug.  I am actually impressed that he took the time to respond and explain why he does not have them.  That to me shows that he does value his customers.  I rarely used the changing tables because I found them to be unclean anyway.  And I never changed them on the sink counter.  I have twins and trust me I've had to do a lot of changing of diapers.  But how long are you really at the restaurant and how many times do you really have to change your child when they are there?  I wouldn't think it would be that often.  I've take my girls out to the car  and changed them there.

If you really enjoy this restaurant I wouldn't let "no changing table" stop me. 

I wouldn't respond to him but if you do wait a day.  I am sure you will feel better tomorrow.



wedding countdown

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 8:54 AM
How about changing in a stroller.


Quoting themissheather:

So, what is your suggestion then? The floor? Not change her? Walk home?



Quoting atlmom2:

Fyi, changing tables are nasty. I would never use one.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
erikadi
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I can see both sides, but do you really want to get into a legal battle. I think that if you feel that strongly about it then you should not go there again.

themissheather
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:12 AM
I don't have one, either. We use our Ergo religiously. I think I'm just difficult, lol.

Quoting atlmom2:

How about changing in a stroller.




Quoting themissheather:

So, what is your suggestion then? The floor? Not change her? Walk home?





Quoting atlmom2:

Fyi, changing tables are nasty. I would never use one.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Jadegirl1819
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I don't see why he should have to put in a changing table just because you want one.  If you don't like it then eat somewhere else.  I don't see how it was smug or rude.  He explained why he doesn't have them and I can understand the bitterness about losing everything because of an idiot.  I think places have the signs now to help cover that kind of situation but I can see why he wouldn't do it. 

MsDenuninani
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I'm okay with his response in the first two paragraphs - he's telling you his reason.  I think his reason is stupid, but it's a reason, nonetheless.

His last paragraph, though, bugs me.  He's essentially saying that you can change them standing up, so there's no real need for a changing table at all. I don't find it smug, but I do find it judgmental, and there was no need for that.

Personally, I would respond, with information as to the other restaurants in the area who seem to not have a problem providing a changing table, and clearly believe it's worth the effort.  I also wouldn't go there anymore.

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