A Restaurant Kid Tax or Ban? Sounds Good To Me!
There's been recent buzz over a buffet restaurant in the UK that tacked on a three pound fee because a woman's baby stroller was taking up space. According to the London Evening Standard, another woman at the same restaurant was also charged a fee for her six month old.
Media backlash was so bad that the restaurant issued a formal apology on its website stating that "COSMO is a very family-friendly restaurant and we pride ourselves on making children and parents feel valued - which is why we serve thousands of families every single week. The Minimum Charge Policy is intended for toddlers who eat but not as much as a child. It was and never will be intended as a charge for Prams or for babies."
The other day one of my friends posed a question on Facebook. Apparently she had watched as a woman changed her baby's diaper in a restaurant booth. Is this normal behavior, she pondered? Most said it was disgusting...but a few parents said "what are ya gonna do?"
While dining at one of my
favorite restaurants in New York on a recent trip, my husband and I sat
down to a very late lunch. A family came in - man, woman, child around
five. The bored kid started throwing around stuffed animals. Mom would
pick up the toy, and the child would do it again. This lasted a few
minutes..until the toy hit me in the head. I walked over and told the
parents they needed to curtail their kid. Their response was, "She's a
Just last weekend, I was at Schnebly's Redland Winery in South Miami-Dade. It's an annual tradition
to go for a tasting and buy some fruit wine to send to folks up north -
sort of an alcoholic version of sending oranges from Florida. As we
were halfway into our tasting, the woman next to us placed her five
month-old infant on the bar. Like that was fine. A baby on a bar.
Yesterday evening, I tripped on a stroller as I was leaving a restaurant
at 10 p.m. What's a baby doing out at 10?
I'm tired of kids running around and screaming in restaurants and bars,
kicking the back of my seat in an airplane, and generally ruining my
day. And guess what? It's not the kid's fault -- it's the parents!
I don't even get why you would want to take a child to a fancy
restaurant, anyway. The kids are bored (unless they're being occupied by
some portable device -- usually without headphones), they don't like
the food (ask a kid whether they want the foie gras or
mac n' cheese), and they annoy everyone. Including the parents who
usually have to either take the child out between bites or pretend to
ignore the wailing and screaming because their $50 steak is getting cold
and they're going to enjoy it, damn it!
I don't have kids. I do have dogs. And I take Harry out for the
occasional beer -- at a dive bar. If he barks, he goes home. End of
story. Wish parents of human children felt the same way.
I would like to see babies and children in a special soundproofed cabin
in the back of an airplane, and I would totally love to see a surcharge
added onto a restaurant for bringing your child. Maybe that would stop
people from toting kids to restaurants altogether.
Don't think kids would ever be banned from restaurants and flights? That's what smokers said, too.
Look, I have nothing against your kid. But I don't want to see you
breastfeed or change his diaper in a restaurant. I don't want my $100
meal interrupted by a beanie baby crashing into my skull, or my intimate
conversation stifled by the wails of a distressed and bored toddler. If
your child is too young to have manners, that's no excuse for you. Have
the manners for him. And if neither of you can behave? Might I suggest Chuck E. Cheese.
Here's a video of a parent acting worse than his child. See what we mean?
Follow Short Order
on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.