Friday, August 1, 2014

Opinion Bad behavior shouldn't be babied at restaurants

Parents take note: Your delightful little darlings aren't welcome in every dining room.

That's the unsubtle message to patrons at Shake's Old Fisherman's Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey.

As a mom of two mostly well-behaved toddlers, I absolutely support the spirit of the Northern California restaurant's policy.

A sign at the restaurant reads "Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room." (I think I might have a sign like this made up for our dining room, too.)

The restaurant says it wants to provide a certain dining experience for all of its patrons, and it has the right to curate its clientele, within reason, to accomplish that.
This story has been making the rounds of news sites and social media recently, highlighting parental outrage. But this parent is outraged that this is even an issue.

What's wrong with a restaurant setting a behavior code along with a dress code? And they aren't saying no to all kids -- even if they are saying no to child-specific accommodations such as strollers, high chairs and booster seats. They are saying no to unruly children.

Who wants to be assaulted by wailing and screeches while trying to savor a $45 lobster tail melting in your mouth with a $345 bottle of Opus One? I'll take the hum of pleasant conversation accented by violins and reserved those other strains for a hot dog outside Costco or split pea soup at Norm's. Heck, I get that for free at home; why would I want to pay for that while I'm out?

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