2/22/2012 12:47:00 PM

Open Call: Should Restaurants Be Allowed To Ban Crying Children?

Image via Flickr/Upsilon Andromedae
We're taken a look at the issue of banning children from restaurants before, but very recently, a casual Atlanta-based restaurant called Grant Central Pizza decided that they've had enough of crying children disturbing their customers, so they decided to post a sign outside that reads:

Dear all present and future patrons: GCP is proud of its reputation as a family restaurant, a title that we will work to keep. Unfortunately a number of our diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside.

News of the sign has garnered national attention and both positive and negative reactions from outraged parents and fans of the ban respectively. Upon learning of the news, funnyman Bill Maher tweeted: "Atlanta restaurant is tossing out crying children - begs the question, Can a restaurant win a Nobel Prize?"

Do you think a restaurant has the right to ban crying children? Let us know in the comments.

32 comments :

  1. Yes, yes, and YES. Is bad manners an american thing? Is rudeness so prevalent that we now have to be TOLD to do something that should be done naturally out of courteousness ? You never see crying children at restaurants in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! My parents took me out to dinner from the time I could sit up in a high chair, but if I acted up, I was immediately swooped up and taken outside so as not to bother the other diners. So, I'm not opposed to children in restaurants, it's the only way they learn how to behave, but PARENTS, do your job and teach them how to behave. And if you fail to do that, then the restaurant must invoke policies such as this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ABSOLUTELY! I love seeing well behaved clean children out for a family dinner. I do not however want to have to try to tune out a screaming, whining, banging the spoon on the table child whose parents are eating & conversing right next to them while doing nothing...
    When did it become acceptable for parents to ignore bad behaviors of their children at the expense of everyone around them. I get it.. it happens that kids have meltdowns occasionally, but, please do as my parents did with me & my siblings and I did with my son. Remove them from the situation, let them calm down, explain that is is not acceptable to behave that way & tell them how you expect them to conduct themselves. Don't be afraid to parent & discipline your children! Our society is headed for disaster beginning with issues such as these. Just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  4. Realize one thing. Grant Central Pizza did not ban crying children.
    They said, and I quote "To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside."

    But at Pangaea in Toronto last Saturday night, there was a toddler making a great deal of noise. Fortunately for us, they departed shortly after we sat down.
    I, for one, don't wish to dine next to a crying baby when I am in a fine dining establishment. Especially when I am paying many dollars for atmosphere, service and food.

    ReplyDelete
  5. YES!! Of course. I have had some very bad experiences with crying babies and children who are unsupervised. It makes for an overall negative experience. I wish more people would realize their crying baby/toddler walking around is disruptive to everyone around.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A "Family" restaurant should not ban crying children. A fancy place? It makes more sense. Either way, where do we draw the line? If my son is screaming, I will take him outside or leave all together, it isn't fun for anyone. But sometimes he is a little loud because he talks loud, or is laughing. He settles down after a few minutes. Should we get kicked out just because he isn't quiet? I don't take him to more upscale places because I already know it could be an issue. BTW, children do scream and cry in restaurants in Europe too. They are children, they scream and cry everywhere. Depending on their age it has nothing to do with manners and everything to do with the fact that they just don't have another way to express themselves. Please think of that next time a little one is crying their heart out. Maybe it'll help make the noise less offensive. Or perhaps be grateful that you will get to leave the restaurant and have a full night's sleep, and the parents who finally ventured out to have a meal probably won't get that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because you chose to have kids and not have a full night's sleep is not anyone else's problem. You want to venture out to dinner, then go to a restuarant suited for children. Most of us don't have problems with kids talking loudly or laughing. It's the screaming children and the parents' attitude that's irritating, because you feel that we just have to put up with it.

      Delete
    2. Wow. Did I not just say that I don't go to upscale places with a kid? But I would expect that at a kid friendly restaurant I don't have to worry if my child is a little loud. I also said I take him outside or just leave if he starts screaming. No need to attack me here!
      I simply think some tolerance is a good idea.

      Delete
    3. Isn't the restaurant in question SUPPOSED to be a 'restaurant suited for families'??? I agree, if I am so silly as to bring my toddler to a four star restaurant, that I would excuse myself and my child if they were crying, so we could figure out what the problem is away from the crowd. But at a 'family pizza place'??? Isn't that the place that they are supposed to go with their kids? That IS the kind of place where you teach your kids 'how to behave in a restaurant'!!

      Delete
  7. Banning children from restaurants might not be the right answer, but banning rude and selfish parents who do not tend to their crying children is absolutely acceptable! If I wanted to get interupted and stressed out while I'm having dinner, I would go to Chuck-E-Cheese to keep you and your children company, otherwise, keep out of venues, where some of us go to enjoy the food and the service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. YES, YES, AND YES AGAIN!!!!!!! Obviously there are some parents who are too stupid or too oblivious to the situation to know what to do in that situation so they need instruction. If they knew how to raise their children properly they wouldn't be in that situation. If you can't control your children, then keep them home with a sitter. I understand that you can't stop a baby from crying (see sitter solution), but there is no excuse for a child to be out of the chair and running around the restaurant. Other patrons are paying to have an enjoyable meal and should not have to tolerate the consequences of others inept parenting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No family restaurants should not ban crying children. Children cry all the time. Yes, the parents or whoever they're with should try to calm the child but banning them is a bad idea. Many restaurants around here would lose much of their business. When my daughter (13 months) cries while we're out eating, which is rare, I stop what I'm doing and try to get her to stop. I won't take her outside just so others can stuff their faces. My daughter will not have to pay because they get interrupted with shoveling food in their faces. She has a very bad immune system and I refuse to chance her getting sick by standing outside because she does something a normal baby/toddler does. She can't tell me what she wants or what is wrong so crying is the only way for her tom communicate. People who don't like hearing babies cry should start going to non family restaurants so they won't chance hearing one if it offends them that badly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why would you say to go to a non family restaurants? that is like if i told you to teach your kid some respect for others.and not to go to any restaurant until your kid could eat without screaming and crying! I meet family from out of town at restaurants and would like to have a Conversion without hearing a screaming kid.Just so you know I have 4 kids (1-boy3-girls)and they will not or would not act like that in a restaurant.and if they did, it would be my Responsibility as a parent to take my child out of the restaurant.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like you don't want to be interrupted while stuffing your face. If your child has a problem with being outside, how do you go anywhere? Take her in the restroom, or is that off limits too? BTW, there are germs on that table and especially the high chair....I have two grown children and respect for the fact that people are spending hard earned money to go out and enjoy themselves, including the parents of the crying child...does it not stress you out to sit there and try to deal with it in the middle of the restaurant? Again, sounds like you don't want to be interrupted while stuffing your face.

      Delete
    3. Its clearly evident that those who are for the ban on children in restaurants have no children, probably because they are too self centered to even consider sharing part of their life with a child. A child may "cramp" their style...and god forbid...*gasp* they have to be responsible for someone other then themselves. I think people without children who cry about their dining experience being ruined by a loud toddler is probably someone who should never have kids to begin with...they couldnt handle it!

      Delete
  10. It sounds to me like most of you that want the children banned don't have any. Maybe you are in the corporate world, and you think they!!! If you have a problem with them, then go to the "very expensive" ones that most parents could not afford to go to anyway. I have never in my life seen our country so easy to judge. You need to get a life and learn to walk with God, he created you too!! Everyone is equal in His eyes. Maybe you upper class ones think you are better then God. Think about it, as I said, everyone is human, and they have to learn to grow up, didn't you? SHAME ON YOU!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much for your post....

      Delete
    2. You are not quite right there. I have 2 grown sons and we never had any problems in any restaurant. We were the typical military family so not the corporate world. They were taught how to act at home and that carried over to restaurants. I will always ask to move to a different area if a parent can't calm their child or make him sit down so he isn't hanging on the back of MY booth. Children need to "learn to grow up" at their parents inconvienance not mine!

      Delete
    3. I agree on teaching your children how to behave. If it's a little baby that is another thing and should be tolerated. My wife or I used to leave the room for a little while and get the baby calmed down and then come back in. As my children got older they new better than to climb all over tables and booths and scream and holler like a bunch of monkeys. Teach your children how to behave and there should be no problem. The problem is the parents not the children!!
      We all need to be a little more tolerant and considerate of others.

      Delete
  11. I do not believe crying children should be banned from restaurants, HOWEVER, parents of fussy, crying children should take necessary measures to make the child stop, whether that be removing the child from the dinning area temporarily or finding a distraction. Just last weekend my daughter was upset that she had to sit in her highchair at the table in a restaurant, so I took her to the restroom and told her she was going to sit there until she could behave. I don't think the restaurant should require the parents to take the child outside. If it is freezing cold or raining outside, you can't force someone to take a child out there. The restroom works just as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. They have the right to do what they want. As a father of a small child, I have the right to eat there or go somewhere else. That knife cuts both ways, and I think the sign the restaurant posted is done about as tastefully as could be expected. It's a thin line between this and losing customers. Restaurants have been especially hard hit by the recession, so I would think that this decision wasn't made without due diligence. It is still a very dangerous decision business-wise, because kids REALLY like pizza, and the crying-in-the-restaurant stage is very short lived. Business-wise, it isn't the decision I would have made, but as I said, they have the right to do whatever they see fit.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If a child frets or screams more than a minute or so, the parent should quickly take the child away from the table to calm the child. Most children will calm down pretty quickly if their attention is redirected with food, attention, etc. Most of the time the children who scream and cry for more than a few seconds are ignored by their parents. I am a parent and feel that it is a parental responsibility to teach their children how to behave appropriatelly in public. This includes even children under the age of one. Children can sense limits even at a young age. An 8 month old child will easily learn that repeatedly banging the table with a spoon or hard toy is unacceptable. It is the parent's job to redirect the child's attention, praise, and play with the child. No matter what type of restaurant, a child should not be disruptive...that includes family restaurants, fine dining, and even McDonalds. Children want to please their parents. Parents pay attention to your children. If you want to have an adult meal, hire a sitter. I enjoy seeing families eating together. I love babies and small children. I also believe that children being learning social skills from birth on. While there are definitely exceptions, the situation of an extremely disruptive child is a parenting issue and not the fault of the child. Children learn what they are taught.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We have three kids and I totally agree with it. If our children cry we take them outside. People are there paying for a nice dinner experience and unfortunately sometimes kids cry but as a parent I feel it is our duty to take them outside to deal with it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow... As a parent/ an early educator I have to say it appears that society as a whole needs to be trained on training and bringing up a child. Banning children from restaurants is not the answer, how do you expect the children to learn how to have manners and learn how to be respectful of others around them if they are never allowed to dine out with their families? Infants only way of communication is to cry to let the parent know that something is wrong and sometimes it takes a few mins to figure that out. Should a mother/father be made to remove a crying infant from a dining experience immediately just because it's trying to communicate it's needs? I don't believe so. A toddler is also going to do things like bang a spoon on the table or have an outburst from time to time until he/ she is shown how to act is jerking them up from the table and taking them to the bathroom or outside always the answer? NO sometimes it just simply letting the child knows who is boss. Does this mean that children should be allowed to run around a restaurant and act disrespectful of others who are dining? No Do parents need to take responsibility for the actions of their children? YES, but if a child does cry or do something wrong it doesn't mean that they need to be jerked up and removed immediately cause sometimes all that does is show the child for them to throw a fit they get to get out of the chair and go outside or to the bathroom another words their getting what they want out of the chair. So sometimes you just need to be a little compassionate and understanding your own self. I'm not saying people who have a screaming child that's been screaming for 5-10 mins shouldn't get up and take the child out but if it's a few mins of fit pitching then your just going to have to deal with it that's the only way for the child to learn.O and no children shouldn't be taken to a high class restaurant that should be saved for a mom and dad outing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. YES, YES, YES, As a parent that took a crying kid out of the restaurant when they were crying, I am for banning the crying ones. People have the right to have a peaceful meal. Now days, parents are too lazy and too stupid to teach their kids how to behave and then make them behave in public. Again, YES, YES, YES.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, as a parent of older children now, my children were growing up if we went out to eat or to church, my children were taken out side if they became upset til they were quite & then we went back in then they were expected to sit quitely. Today, parents are threatened with social services taking their children away, they are afraid to punish children in public. Resturants could have a separate room for parents with children.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am all in favor of resturants asking people to leave, or not allow crying kids into the establishment. I went out with my girlfriend the other night to a Applebee's right by my area. We were about to have a nice dinner and right next to us there was a screaming kid, that destroyed our evening. This was the first time I actually walked up to the parents and asked to take their kid outside and talk to them because it was ruining everyone's dinning experience. When they refused, I talked to the manager about the bad experience, made a compromise with the manager and we left and went to another place.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really can't stand parents who suggest that all other patrons "should have to just deal with it." That's absolutely selfish. I shouldn't have to just deal with any type of screaming child when I'm out to eat because its not my child. Luckily for all the supporters, MOST parents don't bother bringing their children out (at least not frequently), until they've been able to instill some manners, whether they agree with this tactic or not.

    Teaching children public manners DOES NOT have to occur ONLY at a dining establishment. I would be less irritated if a child was screaming while I was shopping at Walmart, or Target, somewhere like that because I could simply walk away. I can't exactly get up and move my food to another table bc a child is screaming right next to where the hostess originally seated me.

    Small children cry. I believe all supporters understand that it's a natural occurrence. Were not upset bc the baby is screaming. Were upset bc as a parent, you're self-centered enough to allow the child to continue to scream. This debate isn't about the physical act of a small child crying, it's about how the parent remedies the situation. If you want to place blame for businesses resorting to this tactic, place it on the parent who allows the child to be a disturbance. Of all the times I've seen a small kid cry at a pizzaria type place, if it's dealt with quickly...people would be MUCH more forgiving. So all of the parents who think this is an attack on your newborn or 1 or 2 year old....it's not. It's an attack on you....and your self-centered belief that every patron should just have to deal with your child's bad behavior.

    Also...it doesn't matter where you are. Even any kind of sit down place that ranks one level above McDonalds...people are still paying money to sit down and eat. Parents need to respect that. And I can't believe what some parents let their kids get away with in terms of public behavior. When we went out, all I knew is that I didn't want either of my parents "to take me outside". I grew up to be a 23 year old RN with a good job and a husband. Discipline is discipline.....not child abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes, absolutely. Too many times and increasingly over the years I have had my restaurant experiences ruined by thoughtless parents who seem to think that restaurants are "parent-free " zones and that we the village must take and bear responsibility for enduring their offspring's growing pains. These parents can often be seen stuffing their grills and swigging drinks as their uncontrolled offspring run through the dining room, jump on chairs, roll under tables, etc. Dare you suggest to these parents that their children are underfoot, and not only rude but a safety hazard to servers carrying full trays of hot food and drinks, and these parents take offense at your temerity in suggesting that perhaps they should control and have their children sit at the table. This self-righteious behavior of these practitioners of a parent free zone in eating establishment has grown apace over the last several years. Finally, some sanity is re-entering the restaurant industry. If the parents can't and won't act like adults, then restaurants must take steps to provide a pleasant experience for patrons. Pity it has to come to this. Any restaurant with such a policy receives my full support, positive reviews, and accolades from my friends. (by the way, I have two grown children myself, however they were taught manners and the minute they acted out in a restaurant, we got the food to go and left).

    ReplyDelete