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Grant Central Pizza to customers: Take crying kids outside

Should we take the kids to McDonald's instead? PHIL SKINNNER/PSKINNER@AJC.COM

Should we take the kids to McDonald's instead? PHIL SKINNNER/PSKINNER@AJC.COM

Grant Central Pizza and Pasta, a neighborhood pizza joint in Atlanta, recently found itself in the national spotlight after adding an etiquette lesson for parents to its menu. News outlets such as Fox and TODAY.com reported this story — a story about children in restaurants, a topic which often sparks debate.

Here’s what started the “nationwide conversation,” as Grant Central Pizza referred to it on its Facebook page:

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.

Grant Central Pizza’s co-owner, Donnie Parmer, told TODAY.com, “We’re just trying to have general happiness across the board… We understand that kids will be kids, but we want parents to be parents and have everybody act neighborly at the dining table.’’

This story is one told time and time again with different characters. In fact, last July, Jon Watson reported about a Pennsylvania restaurant’s ban on children under six, which resulted in a great discussion on our blog about children and restaurants.

Parmer identified the issue: parents need to be parents. We parents need to take our children to family-friendly restaurants and then we need to ensure that they are not disruptive to other customers. I agree.

Yet, as a parent, I can also empathize with patrons who try to stretch the minutes their children will cooperate. When my daughter was born (my first), I immediately moved from the “I want to have a nice meal without screaming kids” camp to the “I just want to eat out, too” position.

With an incredibly colicky baby that seemingly cried the better part of every waking moment for her first six months of life, restaurants were out of the question. We lived in Florida with no family nearby and no babysitters. But we did try it once, when she was about four months old. All I wanted for my birthday was a restaurant meal.

We chose our neighborhood Mexican restaurant for our first attempt. We timed it ever so carefully so that she might take her afternoon nap while we ate. We were armed with bottles, toys, sleep sheep — you name it.

How did it go? It was my last restaurant meal for another four months until we moved back to Atlanta, where our families (a.k.a. free babysitters) live. My husband and I took turns walking our screaming little bambino around the parking lot while the other scarfed a few hurried bites.

So, I can empathize with parents who want to grab a meal out. But, in the end, Parmer’s right. Parents need to be parents.

Do you agree?

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

66 comments Add your comment

sansho1

February 21st, 2012
6:55 am

Bub

February 21st, 2012
7:57 am

Kristen

February 21st, 2012
8:03 am

Parenthood means sacrifice, and in this day and age of having it all, parents don’t seem to understand that. I support this policy 100%, and hope other restaurants, whether family-friendly or not, follow suit.

Mark

February 21st, 2012
8:09 am

Mark this up as another example of the decline in manners. My parents’ generation would have been mortified at subjecting other patrons to their children crying, screaming, running out of control up the aisles. We did what they would have done–take out, or a babysitter, or just leave.

I remember a fancy meal we had reservations for during a trip to Baltimore. When our daughter melted down, we had them put the food, just arrived on the table, into to-go boxes and we trooped back to the hotel to eat in privacy. We paid our dues, and that is why we have the “right” to complain when others fail to do their parental duty.

Theresa

February 21st, 2012
8:11 am

It’s a shame that a restaurant has to tell parents how to behave. It is common courtesy (well, it used to be common) to take crying children outside so they don’t disturb others!

Jenn B

February 21st, 2012
8:17 am

Yes, yes, yes! We have a three year old and he was actually never a problem in a restaurant until he became a toddler. If he acts up in a restaurant, he immediately goes outside. If we need to leave, we leave. But we’ve never had to leave and usually never takes more than one or two five minute trips outside before he sits down and eats quietly. Babies should always go outside, but if you can’t soothe a crying baby with diaper/bottle/cuddle, then something else is probably wrong and they probably shouldn’t be out anyway. We have no family in town either so I sympathize, but one kid (or family) shouldn’t ruin dinner for everyone else. And Chuck E Cheese serves beer!

reds

February 21st, 2012
8:34 am

Not a single issue IMO, especially if they have a covered/warm patio area. My parents would not hesitate to jerk us out of a restaurant if we misbehaved. I think the restaurant handled it in a respectful way, and I appreciate it!

Meredith

February 21st, 2012
8:36 am

I have a two year old and she is pretty well behaved in restaurants. But I come armed with books, stickers, goldfish crackers and juice. It is my responsibility to keep my child occupied and behaved so that she will not disturb anyone else. The other night we went to a sushi place that had a fish tank in the front. After eating, she kept craning her neck to see the fish and started saying “Fish!” very loudly. So my husband and I took turns standing in front of the fish tank with her so she could see the fish while the other one ate. Not ideal, certainly, but with a small child you do what you have to. Another point is there are children-friendly restaurants and non-children friendly restaurants and some people just don’t get that. I won’t take my child anywhere that doesn’t have a kids menu. No kids menu = no kids allowed.

AJ

February 21st, 2012
8:44 am

He is so right. Makes me want to dine in his restaurant more often to show support. I’m not a parent, but I have parents. When I was a kid eating out was a rare exception and when I did have that “privilege” I was on my best behavior, OR ELSE!! But the part about parenting reminds me of a flight I took and the kid kept kicking my seat. I turned around and the mother said, “He’s a child. What do you want me to do?” I looked at her and said “PARENT!” The kid stopped!

George

February 21st, 2012
8:53 am

Parents should always be mindful of others when dealing with their young children in public. Allowing children to be a nuissance to others at a restaurant is unacceptable. On the same token though, it can be difficult to be a parent having to bring an infant into a restaurant.

If the restaurant wants to post a sign, make a rule about it, etc.; that should always be their right.

If we didn’t live in an entitlement society this would never be an issue.

Hi AJ

February 21st, 2012
8:58 am

Exactly, you are not a parent, so you have no idea. I don’t jump on a blog about being a no nothing person and criticize how you should be a better no nothing person.

Susan

February 21st, 2012
9:05 am

Yes, I agree! When you choose to have kids remember that not everyone around you made the same choice. If your kids are well behaved, great. I have to disagree with Meredith…we limit our well behaved kids by giving them chicken tenders and hot dogs.

Rodney

February 21st, 2012
9:08 am

I don’t see the controversy – if an adult were disturbing other patrons, they’d certainly ask him/her to leave so why not a child?

And Kristen (8:03am) – my sentiment exactly.

LiasMom

February 21st, 2012
9:14 am

There is a family-owned italian restaurant on the Marietta Square (La Famiglia) that has had this policy for years. Their menu states it clearly. They are parents themselves and understand that children sometimes mis-behave. However, if they can’t sit still and respect the rights of the other diners, the owners ask that you remove them from the restaurant so that others can enjoy their meals. It’s not a fancy place with expensive plates, it’s just a good place to go for a decent meal and nice company.

Mark

February 21st, 2012
9:14 am

I can’t count the number of times my better half and I would take a bored, noisy kid out to a place that wouldn’t bother other patron while the other one ate. If we could do it then other parents can too. Yes we understand kids but sometimes a parent has to be a parent. Too many parents just ignore their children in public places and “don’t see any problems” with what is happening and then get upset when it is pointed out to them. A lot of parents need to grow up.

hogmtndawg

February 21st, 2012
9:14 am

One thing I have noticed is parents are much less likely to attend to their disruptive children when they’ve ordered alcohol. They are pretty much going to finish that drink before they will leave. How about you don’t take your kids with you (or just don’t go) when you plan on ordering a pitcher of margueritas?

Christina

February 21st, 2012
9:16 am

It’s sad when a restaurant has to give parenting tips to their patrons. People just have no courtesy or common sense these days. Take your sick/tired/misbehaving children HOME. Take your food to go.

CP

February 21st, 2012
9:29 am

Wanting to eat out with your children does not mean you have the right to do that, until the children have manners. No excuses. If you can’t control your child then stay home.

ROB

February 21st, 2012
9:29 am

I use to be one of those people who was very upset to hear a baby crying. I am embarrassed to say I now have my own crying baby. He is so loud! We only go out once a month because of him. Yes we tell him to be quite but my 11 month old wont listen. Frankly I blame my wife. She did not want him to have a pacifier. Sorry folks, we have to go out sometime.

Mark

February 21st, 2012
9:40 am

We chose to not have children and we try to avoid children at all costs. I think this policy is absolutely in the right direction, but it could have gone a few steps further. I put crying babies in the same category as second hand smoke & try to avoid the little creatures like the plague. No one should be subjected to the misbehaved, loud, dirty, annoying, rambunctious children of other people. Parents should understand that when they decided to have children, they are making a sacrifice. Just like parents don’t go out to bars with their children, they should not frequent adult dining spots as well. Parents: get used to going to McDonald’s until that little bugger shuts up.

Jessica

February 21st, 2012
9:42 am

I raised my children to go to restaurants starting age 3, without toys or coloring books. That happens when you take the time to prioritize family meals at home where your child is expected to behave without external entertainments. I would never walk a child to look at a fish tank and disrupt the other patrons, that’s making the child’s needs a priority over the adults’. It’s not rocket science, it’s what was the parenting “norm” before the 1980s. Teaching children good table manners starts at home at the dinner table, and it should be based in the idea that childish impulses are not priorities over adult needs. My job as Mom means teaching my children impulse control and how to function as acceptable, productive members of society. It’s not about feeding into their unchecked immature little human egos.

tom

February 21st, 2012
9:46 am

crying babies are not the major problem. The parents who allow their kids to create havoc around the dining area are the problem. Make them sit and be quiet. If you cannot, ask for your meal to be a to go.

Joe

February 21st, 2012
9:47 am

Amen! There are a lot of parents out there that need to step up to the plate and do their job as parents.

Parent

February 21st, 2012
9:51 am

As a parent of two now grown children I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I spent a meal with one of us going outside with our children. Not because they were ‘bad’ but because they were hungry bored or just finished with their meal. It is just common courtesy to take a screaming or crying child out of a resturant. It dosen’t mean it isn’t family friendly just not everyone in the resturant is your immediate family.

Jim

February 21st, 2012
9:56 am

Crying children need to be removed from the restaurant but unsupervised kids are the PARENTS’ fault and both the kids and the parents need to be banished. I see way too many parents who ignore what their children do in a restaurant, shouting, screaming, running around. I don’t hesitate to discipline the brats myself.

rebelliousrose

February 21st, 2012
10:01 am

AJ- I accidentally discovered the perfect stopper for a seat kicker (besides “Parent!” which is also excellent). I was on a Delta flight at Christmas to Philadelphia, and all I wanted to do was sleep through the crowded flight. So not only did I get a seat kicker, I got one who was apparently training for a career in demolitions- with his feet. Every time I dozed off, wham! After about half an hour of this, I flew up over the back of the seat, about to give the father a piece of my mind, and somehow, instead, what came out of my mouth was this (to the child): “How old are you?”

The child holds up four fingers.

I replied, while holding up five fingers, “You have to be this old to kick my seat.” and slept the rest of the flight undisturbed. I have since used this method with great success- kids are always being told that you have to be this old to do anything, so it makes sense to them.

As an ex-manager of fine-dining restaurants, I’d like to thank parents that take their children out when they act up or misbehave. I can’t tell you how many times I have received complaints about the children (or the parents of children) from other patrons or my staff, all along the lines of “can’t you say something to those parents?” and honestly, the answer is, no, I can’t. I’d love to. But I can’t- their patronage is valuable to my restaurant as well as yours, and I can’t take the risk of offending them. But you can absolutely walk over to the table and ask them as a fellow guest. In fact, I’ll give you a free dessert for it, quietly and unobtrusively.

So thank you to the responsible parents of this thread. Good job.

Stormwatch

February 21st, 2012
10:04 am

Preach it. So true. We take our daughter out from time to time and she usually does well. However when issues arose in the younger years we would take her outside. If she didn’t calm down in relatively short order, we would bail and leave a good tip. It was the proper thing to do. The selfishness of some parents is astounding. Anyone who dares to contest the truth of this commentary is an unfit parent.

HDD3

February 21st, 2012
10:10 am

As a parent, I agree 100% with this restaurant’s policy. We take our kids out at 1-3 times a month and do not have issues. It is common for other patrons to stop by our table and comment on the kid’s good behavior.
However, I find loud talking, self- centered adults more of an issue than crying kids. Restaurants should expand this policy to include obnoxious adults as well.

Devil's Advocate

February 21st, 2012
10:10 am

Amen Jessica.

I never had a strong opinion on this topic before my child was born. In my younger days I’d probably ignore crying babies and toddlers as background noise like with clanky dishes, employee and patron conversations, and everything else. This is where I think the setting matters as multiple issues are at play here and this extends beyond just eating out.

There’s a difference between a crying baby and a toddler or young child (and even older kids) with attitude problems or parents who pretend like the child isn’t being annoying. Yes, children can have attitude problems if their parents haven’t raised them to act properly in public. No one says it’s easy being a parent.

1. Frankly, I don’t care if parents “just want to eat out too”. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean your life is over. If you have a fussy child and want to go out then go to establishments designed with that in mind. Yeah, adults don’t think Chuck E Cheese’s is a great dinner out but it is what it is, and this too shall pass. Soon enough you’ll be back to dining at more desirable places and you’ll enjoy it more than having to manage your little one.

2. Movies are an absolute NO unless it is a flick targeted at toddlers and young children. Even then, a crying baby needs attention so a parent should exit the theater and tend to the need. As for toddlers and older children, these are teachable moments. If you child has no interest in the movie to sit quietly and watch, then leave and go home. FWIW, I cannot stand when parents take noisy little ones to a PG-13 or R rated movie.

3. In quieter establishments that welcome families, take your child only if you believe the child can handle it. Some places are noisy but not tailored specifically for little kids and babies so other patrons would appreciate not hearing a lot of crying or unnecessary noise from throwing spoons around the table or yanking clothes from shelves or racks.

4. MOST IMPORTANT: If you have kids and ignore them you should be ashamed of yourself. I’ve seen parents pretend like their kids are not misbehaving as they run around, throw stuff around, or just generally act unruly. Teach children manners and stop chalking bad behavior up to “their just kids”.

All that said, my child was a great “go out” baby. He only cried or became fussy if something was wrong (dirty diaper, hungry). As such, either my wife or I would take action to correct the issue and he’d be back to “good” again. It was really that simple. As he grew into a toddler he was well behaved and other patrons often like interacting with him if we dined out. That doesn’t mean he was a perfect child, it just means we taught him how to act everywhere and that embarrassing us with misbehavior isn’t good at home, at the mall, at school, at sports, or anywhere and there would be consequences to misbehavior…that notion still applies today!

PJ

February 21st, 2012
10:13 am

I have 2 young boys who have mostly good table manners. They have both been going out to restaurants their entire lives. No, they are not always perfect, but if either is having a moment, he is taken outside to cool off & then allowed to return to the table. We do allow “quiet toys” like activity books, paper & crayons – waiting time at restaurants can be unpredictable, but no electronics (for kids or adults – loud cell phone conversations are more annoying than crying kids). I do feel sad that some restaurants are having to put this type of advice on the menu, movie theaters are having to add that to the pre-show (along with no texting in the theater – so annoying!) & even places like The Center for Puppetry Arts, with most shows geared for kids, reminding parents to take all crying & restless children out in the hall to catch their breath. Though I may not get to eat every meal out in peace, uninterrupted, I believe taking my children out to restaurants is important to let them practice proper behavior. It won’t be long before they are heading out to eat with friends, without us there to guide them, and I want to be sure they know how to act.

donkey200

February 21st, 2012
10:27 am

Absolutely. The alternative is to go to expensive restaurants that aren’t kid friendly. Guess I’ll stick to ethnic restaurants and barfood.

Native Atlantan

February 21st, 2012
10:51 am

No children here but often dine out with friends who have an infant and a toddler. Our time limit is generally 1 hour start to finish to ensure the kids don’t start getting too antsy. If they do start getting restless, we pack it up and head home. Easy enough.

Parents who insist they need to go out just like everyone else are being totally selfish.

Sander

February 21st, 2012
11:45 am

The problem is that parents think they should cater to their children. Read the comments and note how many recount tales of taking a crying child outside to be polite. Relocating the crying child isn’t the solution. Training the child to behave itself where it sits is. Stop letting your child dictate what you have to do and start dictating what he or she has to do.

Now many people will claim that’s unreasonable but let me ask this question to those who object. When was the last time you required your child to sit quietly in its high-chair for the full duration of an adult length meal? Let me guess. It was in a restaurant. In fact, the only time your child has ever beed expected to sit still and quiet for the full duration of an adult length meal was in a restaurant. Is it any surprise then that the child goes to a restaurant and misbehaves when asked to do something for the first time in its life? How about practicing at home every night for two weeks until the child grows accustomed to the experience and then inflict it on strangers.

Sure everyone is mortified when they take their toddler out and he or she misbehaves. The question is are you sufficiently mortified and responsible enough to do something about it?

Meredith

February 21st, 2012
11:54 am

@ Jessica: You’re right, taking my child to the front to see a fish tank (which was in the front of the restaurant, where no one was) was much more disruptive than letting her sit there being loud around people trying to eat. By your methods I should have just sat there and let her be loud. I don’t think taking my daughter to a fish tank to keep her quiet while my husband pays a bill is “feeding her ego.” What an absolutely ridiculous statement, makes me doubt you are even a mother.

andrea

February 21st, 2012
11:58 am

Sander makes a great point. Kids misbehave so much more than they used to, partially because parents permit it, and partially because they have no idea how to sit at the dinner table. My family has a full dinner at the table four or five nights a week, and we dine out often. I get that a lot of families can’t do this, with crazy hours and conflicting schedules. Yet any parent can insist that their child eat his or her dinner at a table, without distractions, usually with at least one other person. This is how you learn to share food, converse and not leave until both are finished eating. Don’t stick your kid in front of the TV with a plate every night and expect that restaurant manners will magically emerge.

Kristen

February 21st, 2012
12:34 pm

Excellent point, Sander. And I agree with hogmtndawg – a lot of the kids I see misbehaving are the kids whose parents are on their second beer or have ordered a pitcher of margaritas. Which opens up a whole other topic about responsible parenting… With the exception of Rob, this thread has restored my faith in humanity a bit. :-)

RK

February 21st, 2012
1:08 pm

Never had a problem. Maybe I go to restaurants where kids aren’t…

SP

February 21st, 2012
1:13 pm

Grant Central is in Grant Park, not East Atlanta. Glad to see this policy at such a delicious place!

RealMama

February 21st, 2012
1:18 pm

@ROB (9:29 am)
Unless you are living in a separate home from your wife and child you are just as responsible for his behavior as she is. What did your parents do when you didn’t listen??? I’m figuring not much since you blame everyone else for your misgivings. Grow up and grow some. When did parents begin needing their children to validate them? They are devastated if the kid says “I hate you”. First of all, I’d be on the floor in 0.2 seconds if I even twisted my mouth to ATTEMPT to say something like that. Discipline is necessary and, contrary to what most clueless parents today think, there is a heck of a lot more to it than spanking. If you TEACH your children, that aspect is often times not even needed. It’s scary to think of where these self-centered, whiny offspring will be in twenty years. Today, tents in downtown, tomorrow…ugh, I shudder to think.

S Smith

February 21st, 2012
1:25 pm

With the exception of Entitled Rob, it looks like all posters are preaching to the choir. If so many people are raising their kids properly, how come there are so many undisciplined brats in restaurants and other public places? Many parents obviously don’t think THEIR children are doing anything wrong, and don’t see that THEIR children need correcting.

Rodney

February 21st, 2012
1:50 pm

@ROB at 9:20am – “Sorry folks, we have to go out sometime.” Uh, no sir. You don’t. But this is exactly the type of attitude that causes so many problems for the rest of us.

If you are really adamant that you do in fact “need” a night out, then you “need” a sitter. Choosing to have a child means you give up certain things, for many years. Trust me – you’ll have a much better time having dinner with your spouse, alone, than with kids in tow.

DD

February 21st, 2012
2:01 pm

DD

February 21st, 2012
2:07 pm

It’s all about manners and a teachable moment, like the family I saw in Murphys the father sitting there with his 12 year old son both with their cool ball caps on. Have a little CLASS punks, step up Mom and demand some resrect !

Sander

February 21st, 2012
2:56 pm

@Meredith – So when your child says “Fish” loudly and repeatedly, you get up and do what the child wants. Excellent. That’s the sort of training I’m recommending. I think you have it backwards though. You’re supposed to train the child rather than the child training you.

Jenn B

February 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

For the record, I do not give in to my child by removing him from the situation. A toddler creates a scene to get what they want. If you remove them from the situation and let them scream and huff and puff away from everyone else they figure out real quick they are wasting their time. And we eat dinner at the kitchen table a minimum of five nights a week with NO tv.

AJ

February 21st, 2012
3:59 pm

To “Hi AJ” – You’re clearly what’s wrong with today’s society. You likely bring bratty kids to restaurants and let them run amok. And you anonymously throw out insults on blogs like this. You insulted me calling me a “no nothing person”. First, it’s “KNOW nothing person” so it’s likely you who is the know nothing person. Second, grow up and be a contributing member to both society and this blog.

Jackson Pie

February 21st, 2012
4:10 pm

I would rather eat around children than the likes of all of you

[...] Ga., seem to think so. They’ve recently attracted wide notice for their decision to print a notice banning crying children from their restaurant at the bottom of their menu. It reads: Dear all present and future patrons: [...]

Egger

February 21st, 2012
5:55 pm

We went to Grant Central this past Friday for dinner and it was standing room only. The great thing is the majority of parties there were families with young kids so the policy doesn’t seem to just appeal to/resonate with people who don’t have children. I think people appreciate a business who want all of their customers to enjoy their experience there.

ere30305

February 21st, 2012
5:57 pm

and the same goes for misbehaving children in church and even yesterday during the 10 a.m. CNN tour (you know who you are)

K's Mom

February 21st, 2012
7:05 pm

Not a whole lot to add, but I am glad to see others who are fed up with the “little darlings” that run the world. My 20 month old is far from perfect, but we have firm rules at home and he has heard no and stop that before. So when we do take him to restaurants he is not shocked to hear an admonishment if he steps out of line. We also try to only go to family friendly spots with him and I know at about one hour he will get restless. If we keep those things in mind our fellow diners generally have a good experience too. If he starts acting poorly, we get our meal to go and remove him so as to not disturb others. We also hire a babysitter once a month or so and go out just the 2 of us!

Walter LIttle

February 21st, 2012
7:41 pm

I guess it’s because I’ve worked around kids – from infants to teens – most of my life, but they don’t bother me near as bad as the adult customers who either insist on talking on their cell phones or have had a little too much to drink and become loud and obnoxious. To me, this is what restaurants need to address.

lal

February 21st, 2012
8:48 pm

Parents, use some sense:

Plan ahead.

Anticipate your kid’s needs and ability to handle dining out.

If they are old enough, go over the “restaurant rules” before each visit:
use inside voices, stay in your seat and don’t run around, say “Please” and “Thank you”.

Take them outside at the first sign of misbehavior.

Be prepared to get your food to go and leave.

Tip well.

That is all.

vinny

February 21st, 2012
9:35 pm

Totally agree, we have all seen parents who try to ignore the situation, and some who even let the kids run rampant. They should look to the future { TEENAGE YEARS }, and maybe figure out they BETTER GET CONTROL NOW !<, and that starts AT HOME!!!!!

Katie

February 22nd, 2012
8:57 am

Reading these comments I can’t help but laugh. If you want to know why kids misbehave more now than they did 30 years ago it’s simple. We aren’t allowed to punish them in public!! I have three kids that do go to restaurants, oh and I do have a drink at said restaurants by the way. My kids have grown up eating out with us and know proper table manners, I’ve never had to leave because my kids were acting out because they know the consequences. Seriously though I sat my child down in “time out” at a carnival once and looked the other wa,y while my friend was watching her to make sure nothing happened, and a police officer came and reprimanded me for it. Out society has gone so far to one side it’s not even funny. And God forbid you swat their butt for anything, you might as well turn yourself in to the police now…

Tracie

February 22nd, 2012
8:58 am

I agree with the parents have to be parents. I have had to leave several times with mine crying. Just so the other customers could enjoy their meal. But this also leads into another concern that I find as a paying customer should not have to tolerate. People talking on their cell phones.This is a resturant where I come to have a nice meal. To enjoy the company of my spouse or family. Not to listen to other peoples conversation while they are talking on their cell phones. The calls very in what you may hear, pleasent, rude,nasty, loud etc. This is just as offensive as screaming kids. I feel not only kids that are upset need to be removed but so should the people who feel they need to talk on cell phones while others are trying to have a nice dinner.

Raisin Toast Fanatic

February 22nd, 2012
10:29 am

I would rather eat around children than the likes of all of you

Comment FAIL

Jed

February 22nd, 2012
11:20 am

Three words: Take out takeout.

Edmond J. O'Neill

February 22nd, 2012
12:30 pm

“Parents” who object to this are just part of the narcissistic “it’s all about me” mentality. As soon as their kid(s) is (are) ready for Kindergarten until their first job they will be the “helicopter” parents, and pageant moms we see on reality TV and the media. Ugggh. Take your little basturds to Chuck-E-Cheese, and leave us dine in peace. Oh, and I’m a parent.

Mar -Atl Foodie

February 22nd, 2012
1:05 pm

I love the comments from Sander, and Realmama is spot on.
I do think the manager should be the one to tell the clueless parents that their children’s behavior is not acceptable and not the patron. The parents can get ugly, but the other patrons will cheer when the child is brought under control.

Suggestor

February 22nd, 2012
1:15 pm

If you can’t afford a sitter, swap off with neighbors with similarly-aged kids – you look after theirs while they go out, they look after yours when you go out. This worked very well for us when ours were little. Otherwise, agree with the majority of posters here. If baby cries or kid acts up, remove from restaurant (or wherever you are – church, etc.). We’ve all had to do it.

Jackson Pie

February 22nd, 2012
3:11 pm

How ironically hip your FAIL statement is Raisin Toast

janine

February 22nd, 2012
5:51 pm

StylinGirl

February 24th, 2012
6:59 am

Love how the comments started out with “Oh boy”!

hogmtndawg makes a very good point. We stopped going to a Mexican restaurant in Northlake because there were large parties of margarita-swilling adults – on three occasions!- that were perfectly content to relax at the table while their mixed gang of kids seemed to have tired of waiting at the table and decided to take their energy out to the parking lot. 10 unsupervised kids running around while I’m trying to park is a good indication that I do not want to dine at this establishment! No more. If restaurants are too afraid to speak up and not take a stand, diners will and they will dine elsewhere.

Steve

February 24th, 2012
2:33 pm

My only question is this: How is the service?
I recently went to a restaurant with my kids and was ignored by the waitstaff for 20 minutes. Young children have internal timers. If required to stay in one place for too long, especially in the evening when they start getting tired, they go off.
If the restaurant staff is doing everything they can to serve everyone promptly, go ahead and have your kid policy. If the staff is dogging it and kids are freaking out all over the place, I have no sympathy for the restaurant or the stupid people that keep going there.

Bob from Accounttemps

February 25th, 2012
12:34 pm

It sickens me when parents let their kids run around (literally, sometimes) so they can carry on an adult conversation. We raised 2 kids who dined with us all the time – if they fussed, we paid attention to them. If they cried, we removed them. We NEVER permitted electronics or DVD players and even today, with teens, prohibit texting or electronics at mealtime. Meals are time together. So many people today lack simple courtesy and respect for others. I agree 100%.