Thursday, September 9, 2010

A New Dining Trend? (we can only hope)

Here's a question for you - and I think I know what your answer will be: If you knew of a restaurant that had a "Screaming Children Will not be Tolerated" sign on their door, would you be more or less likely to patronize that restaurant?

Kudos to Old Salty's Restaurant in Carolina Beach, North Carolina for enforcing a No Screaming Kids policy. Have a kid who is carrying on and screaming bloody murder? You're out the door. Can't control your kids and don't care how they are disrupting the dining experience of other patrons? Hit the road, Jack. Don't have the common decency or consideration to take your kid outside if he is throwing a full-blown tantrum? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Of course, no matter how reasonable and sensible something is, there's always someone who will take offense. Watch this clip from the Today Show and witness a mom getting her panties in a twist over Old Salty's policy. How dare someone require her to control her child! How dare someone prevent her kid from annoying and ruining the meal of everyone in the restaurant! How dare someone not kiss up families! This is America! It's all about babies - and mommies -and families and look at us - we are the circus and we have come to town!!!

I say kudos to proprietor Brenda for having the guts to put her foot down and say enough is enough. I hope more restaurants will follow her lead. In fact, why stop at a No Screaming Kids policy? How about a Kid-Free Dining Section? Let the families with kids have their own rubber-walled dining room where the kids can stand on the tables, eat without utencils, smear food on each other and have screaming matches while the parents pin awards on them for being exceptionally expressive. Let the rest of us dine in peace.


18 comments:

CFVixen said...

Another great topic!

I found it amusing that the mother said she couldn't help it if her baby cried. Um, no. But you could help that you were in a restaurant disrupting others! DUH!!

Surfie said...

Way to go Brenda! More restaurants should enforce this. If your child is out of control and you can't keep them behaving when out in public, don't take them into restaurants. I might just have to make the 2 hour drive to Carolina Beach to eat at Old Salty's!

nymftbg10 said...

I love this! Why not change those old smoking sections/rooms into "family dining"?

Mudflappus said...

It never fails. The most uneducated idiots are the first to have a shit hemorrhage over a sign like this. Look at them. Somewhere in their diaper addled brains there has to be a tiny voice saying "If you don't like it, take your squalling post suburban monkeys somewhere else.". Come to think of it, the woman looks an awful lot like the one that threw a fit about the doll that cursed at her daughter. Same ilk perhaps?

liashke said...

LOL. I love the demonstration the owner gives of a screaming child. "Aaaah! Aaaah!"

Bec said...

This is great! Although I wish signs like this weren't even necessary and parents had the decency to take their kids outside when they start throwing a fit.

Sabrina said...

A little baby crying a bit is one thing. I think the real issue is screaming children who should be able to be quiet and aren't for whatever reason and are never told otherwise by their parents.

debbie said...

Can we put a sign like that on planes, too? Uncontrollable kids kicking the back of your seat? Just signal a flight attendant and they can escort the kid to the "emergency exit" ;)

Spectra said...

Oh, that's awesome! This is part of why I hate eating in family-style/buffet restaurants that cater to families with little kids. I can't eat in peace with little munchkins screaming next to me. It's beyond obnoxious.

Daghain said...

Oh, I LOVE this! I would also love a childfree dining section as well. My local hangout has a restaurant side and a bar side, and I *really* wish they'd make the kids sit on the restaurant side - I'm sick of them using the bar side as their playground.

Kudos to Brenda!

zarina said...

OMG!! Have you seen this video clip? The women are sooooo condescending. I thought I've heard it all, but now apparently you have a deeper connection with god once you're a mother...lol. These women are so smug. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgySBcttEfQ&feature=related

Fanboy Wife said...

I wish there were some screaming-free zones in my region. I really hate going out to dinner only to have to listen to someone's child screaming (while the parents are too busy texting to deal with the problem). It wouldn’t be such a problem if more parents would take the time to teach their children how to use their “indoor voices.”

Christy said...

I agree. Rubber rooms for them---and I loved that description, btw! But don't you know? Parents don't want to have to be around other children! Just their own little perfect angels. They shouldn't have to be around all of those other ill-behaved children. Ever notice that any parent you talk to has the most well-behaved children ever?

Just like when I tell people I don't really enjoy children, parents always say, Oh, I don't like children either, but you will like your own children. They just don't get it. Survey says: chances are high that your kids are awful.

Yes, I would be all about patronizing a restaurant like this. I hope more show up. Wouldn't it be great if something like a few restaurant signs caused a backlash against rampant pro-natalism? One can dream.

Hiliary said...

I was in a nice italian restaurant recently and a family of 4 was seated at the next table. Wouldn't have been a problem until the 6 yr old moved her chair in order to color and was constantly bumping our table. The younger kid as noisy and the whole scenario was too disruptive to enjoy our meal. What did we do? Without asking our server we simply grabbed our wine glasses and moved to another table. It was obvious to all why we did it but we didn't care.

StayTheCurse said...

I may never eat there, but I LOVE THIS PLACE!
For situations like this, I recommend doing what Mandy and I do: The Childfree Drum! Here's how it works: Purchase a cheap-but-loud toy or craft drum ( souvenir shops have good ones that aren't big ). Keep it in your car. When you're in a public place where a child is screaming, it's not convenient for you to move away, and the parents show no inclination to discipline the little shit, get the drum, sit down next to them, and START POUNDING..and DARE them to say anything! If they do, just repy,"I was just expressing myself..like your cute child is!!"

Temujin said...

There must be some parents who can see the virtue in having a kid-free or kid-quiet place. Even if you have kids, wouldn't it be great to know there's a place where you can go to get away from children?

I take a sort of "it's a free country" position. Someone is perfectly free to complain about a business policy, like free to complain to a restaurant about seating me next to noisy kids or free to complain about not letting kids in at all. At the end of the day, the customer can go somewhere else.

Smart move by Old Salty's, I say. I would guess those offended mothers with screaming children would not be the best customers anyway. (I can't help but notice, too, that this gives international internet publicity to the place. I hope it's not just a stunt.)

I hope there's a massive childed boycott of the place and it becomes a refuge for people who want to eat in peace and quiet.

bikegirl said...

Good for them! I wish more restaurants would adopt that policy. I don't think the owners will be too disappointed that the parents of screaming children don't go there anymore when the people who don't go out to restaurants because of other people's screaming children start going there in droves.

jilren said...

I am American / British and lived in England for 8 years. A LOT of pubs have a policy, no kids after 5 or 6pm. Probably the thinking is "people start to drink after dinner, so this isn't the place for kiddies."

It seems to work, (most pubs in the UK are "gastro-pubs" with a lot of emphasis on food now, and are more like restaurants that turn into a bar at night.) Families with little ones go early,(enticed by kiddie portions and specials that ALSO end after the 6pm deadline) and everyone who wants to escape for a night out goes later. I only know of a very few who find this policy offensive, and England is a VERY child orientated country. It still sucks a little if you want to go to lunch...but it does seem to be a middle ground. The British as a whole seem to be more sensitive about being obnoxious to strangers too though, and understand that these policies aren't meant to ostracize them, just that everyone isn't so enamored by a screaming child as they might be. American Mommies seem to feel a little more entitled sometimes.

My personal pet peeve is this one...since when did a coffee shop like Costa or Starbucks become a day care? I used to escape my crazy office for my lunch break and go to enjoy a mid day cappuccino and to read the paper...and over the years it has become RAMMED with Mommies and toddlers and strollers. This is a COFFEE HOUSE people! Since when did a toddler need and espresso?!

I know of a few "Kiddie tea houses" that have opened up specifically for this market, and they offer little cups of drinks in pretty teacups and pastries for the children, so the Mommies can get together and play tea party with them and still get together, and there are toys and play areas so the kids can go nuts in a safe and wanted environment. I think it's a great idea...but it seems to be slow in catching on. One Mommie I know said "But I don't want to go to another kid place, Starbucks is for adults, and I want to go there to meet my grown-up friends!"

Well DUH. Then leave your kids at home, because this is what EVERYBODY wants!

This is a fun experiment, sit OUTSIDE the coffee house, and watch how many (usually men) who walk in, look around, and turn on a heel and promptly walk out. My local pub has a "no kids under 16" policy, ALL of the time, and is now doing a roaring trade in lunchtime coffee and pastries because it is childfree during the day.

There really SHOULD be options for both groups. And the no kids after 6 thing REALLY works, because most of the people who come in for a late meal HAVE kids, and just want some peace and quiet for an hour and and not be surrounded with someone ELSE'S screaming children.