Like most moms, I know which restaurants are kid-friendly and which restaurants are not. Besides the obvious restaurants that scream kid-friendly (Chuck E Cheese types), moms learn quickly which restaurants go out of their way to cater to kids/families with great kid’s menus, lots of ambient noise, waitstaff that is friendly to kids etc., and which restaurants give your kids the cold shoulder. It isn’t rocket science to figure out, and I think most parents stick to restaurants that are kid-friendly for most outings. Frankly, because it’s easier and less stressful.
But for a restaurant to out-and-out ban children under 6 from a restaurant entirely — I am shocked and offended. Yes, that’s just what McDain’s Restaurant, in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, has decided to do.
“Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit children under six years of age. We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”
As a mom, I believe that it is my right to choose where to take my children. Albeit that when we visit a “fancier” restaurant my daughter is under strict instructions, and I have no hestiation in taking her outside for a talk should her behavior go south. But I know my child, I know how well-behaved she is, and I know how to keep her entertained (silently) while she waits for dinner. So I have taken my daughter to “fancy” restaurants from time to time — including my favorite Italian restaurant that does not offer highchairs or booster seats to its patrons.
Oh I get it. We have all sat down to enjoy dinner only to realize that the unruly child next to us seems to have the sole purpose of ruining our dinner. (And I will be the first to admit how annoying it can be.) But isn’t that mom’s job to monitor her children, and even if she can’t, doesn’t she deserve a little understanding from her fellow parents? And why does her unruly kid mean that my good kid is banned until a certain age?
And aren’t some grownups just as loud and just as rude? How about the loud talkers and the cell phone talkers? What about the lady with the shrill laugh who thinks everything is hilarious?
Shame on you McDain’s. You aren’t the parent. Hope you enjoy your quite restaurant filled with grumpy people who don’t take kindly to kids.
What do you think?