One of the busiest restaurants on Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, Calif., has posted signs prohibiting strollers, high chairs, booster seats, loud kids and crying babies.
The signs say children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.
As you might imagine, the restaurant’s policy, which is also outlined on its website, has caused controversy among parents on the wharf who say the signs are offensive.
There’s no question that the owner of the restaurant is well within his rights to institute this policy. He’s taking a financial risk that there will be more people that want a quiet meal than customers he’ll lose because they were offended.
It’s his business model. Maybe it’s not one you’d choose, but it’s certainly his prerogative.
If you’re offended, don’t go there. It’s that simple. There are plenty of other family-friendly restaurants in that area.
The restaurant’s owner, Chris Shake, said he isn’t backing down.
“If a place has rules, that’s what the rules are,” Shake said. “You go in and abide by the rules or you find a place more suitable for you.”
When you go to a nice place for dinner and spend big bucks, I think it’s safe to assume that many people don’t want to deal with screaming kids. It’s really no different than an adults-only pool at a resort. Those parents want a break, and adults who don’t have children want a relaxing day or evening. It has nothing to do with whether you like kids and everything to do with the dining atmosphere you’re looking for.
Some people have a problem with how blunt the sign is, but I believe it’s better to know how the restaurant feels about kids up front.
So far, the signs haven’t hurt Shake’s restaurant. He’s been in business for over 20 years and said sales have never been better.
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