Friday, January 11, 2008

What Think Ye?

Disney World Restaurant Bans Children.

I found this article interesting in the wake of last summer when a certain restaurant in the big city close to us banned children under a certain age. The said restaurant was getting considerable complaints from patrons about certain other patrons letting their children run around treating the restaurant like a MacDonald's or Burger King. This particular restaurant decided to cater to the majority of their patrons who happened to be adults by giving them a place where they could go to relax without a Burger King type of atmosphere. This restaurant just for your info, is a chain type of restaurant but of the "classier" kind, but not fine dining, located downtown in the business district where a lot of business people partake of it. They cited that if patrons with the younger children still wanted to go to this particular restaurant, that there were several of them scattered throughout the city. Some in the city stood and applauded them and they gained much business, but other's cryed foul and were highly offended and took it to the news and complained to city hall. The restaurant manager stuck to his guns.

After reading the News article link and the above paragraph, what do you think? Should restaurants have the right to cater to patrons only above a certain age, whether they are fine dining or not, or should they have to open thier doors to everyone regardless of age and behavior to the consternation of the majority of thier patrons. Is it discrimination to cater to a certain crowd? Would you be offended if you walked up to a restaurant only to see a sign or be informed that that your children had to be a certain age? What say you?


Sister Honey Bunch said...

I think it's fine to cater to an older crowd. I have a five year old and I would never take him to a restaurant like the one cited in the article where the men are required to wear ties and women dresses.

I find nothing more annoying than when parents let their kids run around a restaurant. It's not their home. Kids either should be at the table, or hanging outside with one of the parents while everyone finishes the meal.

Melanie said...

It is all about marketing. I do find it interesting that Disney has done this.
As for being offended, I am not really. In a capitalistic society, it is all about choices and competition. If people like it, the restaurant will be successful. If not, the place will close.
The dollar is mightier than the customer satisfaction form. :>)
Thanks for the link!

Faith said...

Personally, I think it is ridiculous that some parents/grandparents would even THINK about bringing young children to a "finer" restaurant. Most fine restaurants don't even have a children's menu. I speak from experience. Took our 2 yr old to what we thought based on outside appearances to be a family style place (we were on vacation in mts.) and it was actually a fine, upscale establishment. I won't go into details here but let's just say, we ended up taking turns eating while the other one played with C. outdoors. The waiter was great though and gave us free crackers and chocolate milk for her. (there was no children's menu). To answer your question: yes, restaurants should have the right to say no young children if they are catering to a more mature crowd. And parents should stick to kid-friendly places when children are young...not to mention teaching them how to behave in a public place!

annie said...

At first I thought it was offensive, until I read the article... then I really could not understand taking a child to a restaurant that would not be "fun" to them anyway, and the possibility of ruining the experience for other adults if the child is unhappy. Like they said, there are so many other restaurants. I hate when anything excludes anyone, I like everyone to be welcome... but it's business I think.

Barbara H. said...

So many parents think it is ok to let their children run around in any venue. Even though in theory I don't like the idea of banning children, in real life I can see why it would be necessary -- especially in a place like Disney where there are a lot of other alternatives just for kids. A lot of adults go to Disneyland, some even on their honeymoons, so I can see it would be nice for one restaurant to be adults-only.

Here there are even adult-only apartment complexes.

Anonymous said...

I can see both sides of the argument to be honest.

Our favourite Italian restaurant near our home has been so good to us when the children are with us. Pedro the head waiter heard us telling the children to 'shush' and 'sit down!' he said 'no don't worry we love the children' 'you have fun little ones'. One thing I noticed when I travelled round Europe (as you know I'm English) is that the French partly but particularly the Spanish and Italians are so much more open to children being in restaurants, etc. The little ones are always welcomed with affection. They are not seen as a hinderance but a gift and a joy. I love that.

Such restaurants didn't have a 'Children's Menu' but just gave smaller portions of the adult meals to the children.

But I do understand that a couple might be a little annoyed when they have gone out for a romantic meal and there are 20 kiddies at the next table throwing food!

In the UK there is much fuss about people who refuse to invite children to weddings.


A Chelsea Morning said...

I think I'd take my dining dollars elsewhere. I will say this, however. Although I don't think children should be banned from a restaurant, I see nothing wrong with management approaching the parents of unruly kids and asking them to please control their children.

It would only have to happen to me once and I'd either teach my kids some manners or I'd find a babysitter.

Of course, the world is full of cluelss people. Still, I'd be very offended by a sign like that at a restaurant and I wouldn't eat there.

Linda said...

I'm with Melanie. People vote with dollars. Personally, it doesn't bother me much. If there were not a plethora of alternatives, it might be a bigger deal.

Michelle said...

I can understand'll have to let me know which one it is..I hope it's not a favorite??I'd heard this in the news?I think that McKenna does very well as long as she has stickers and colouring pages.I always grab $$store stickers and put them in the bag.:)

Beck said...

I think that if parents are not going to have their children behave appropriately, then having ONE child-free place is not a bad thing - but I worry about it as a trend.

Kathleen Marie said...

Banning Children in a restaurant at Disneyland? Wow! That is crazy in my opinion. I doubt if Walt Disney would agree but I am also sure there are many other places to eat that do allow children and are designed for children. I think McD's did a marvelous thing in creating a playground for children.

I do agree that when I go out to a nice place to eat with my hubby that I prefer not to be bombarded with noisy and unruly children. In fact I have often asked to be seated in a different area if the hostess takes us to a place and I notice children nearby. I am getting old! Ha!

I know when my kids were little we never took them to fine dining places, McD's, Pizza Hut, etc... sure and they loved it.

God Bless!

{Karla} said...

i have no problem with it, at all! it's not like they banned children at the park. But some couples do go there on their own, and it's nice to have a quiet romantic spot to go to to get away from the hubbub of the day.

Unfortunately, many will be offended. But it's probably the same people that the restaurant is trying to keep out anyway.

Good discussion!


Be Inspired Always said...

I heard about that. I think it's ok for one hotel, which by the way is super nice - to ban kids from it. Parents need a place to escape to once in awhile.

Just like my bedroom over the weekend, I banned my kids from going in there. :)


Much Ado said...

oh interesting topic Susanne, I came in to the comments to see what people thought! :)

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I think it's probably fine. The problem is that someone with well-behaved young children (definitely in the minority--and I'm included myself in the majority!!) might be penalized unfairly.

Business owners can make whatever decisions that they want, and even if it becomes a trend (as Beck worries it might), eating out is not a right. That said, we eat out as a family, and I would be sad.

Think about B&B inns--most of them are for people over 12.

D said...

I've been the mother of 4- 2 yr olds in my life. I wouldn't dare take them to a place more pricey than say appleby's or a pizza joint. Toddlers are just that...toddlers, no reasoning with them, loud,can't sit still, ect. (even ones who have been taught better)
On the other hand if we have the chance & money to go to a nice restuarant, chances are I AM EXCAPING MY OWN & DO NOT want to hear yours! If I wanted to hear all that I could stay home for free.
Our local mall movie theaters have the same kind of policy. no kids under I think age 3 after 6:00 PM for obvious reasons.People come to the movies to SEE & HEAR them not to listen your kids cry. That's why I don't take my kids there either.
The price of a nice dinner out and going to the movies costs as much as a weekend vacation now. I understand when you pay that much money you don't want to hear my kids screaming and crying and running around your table.
I take no offense. I take the younguns to McD and try to teach them manners for another day and/or year.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Because it is a "fine dining" restaraunt it does not offend me. But if just a regular restraunt put limits on ages of persons allowed it would make me upset. (I just mean like regular places we go out and eat)