Want to take petty obnoxious revenge on child-unfriendly cafe. suggestions?

(164 Posts)

Before I lay it all out, I am a person that gets frustrated when small children act up in cafes with no interference. I sympathise with the staff who clean up after messy child patrons and if my two make a mess, I usually clean most of it up myself. Today's cafe however had no recourse for their behaviour.

Myself and two mums (I'm a nanny) were at a toddler group this morning, our bunch are very good friends and wanted to play together after the playgroup was finished. We agreed to bring them to a playground nearby but since it was just about lunchtime, we wanted to feed them first an this cafe (we'll call it BC) was between both places.

There were three adults and seven children, ages between 2 and 4, and the staff firstly gave us no assistance in getting our group seated. No high chair was offered for the very small just-turned-2 year old, I found it later in the bathroom. The children's menu was farcical, everything came with chips and although mashed potato was on the menu you couldn't substitute it for the chips without paying extra. My lone vegetarian option was pretty rank too but beside the point. I ordered 3 orange juices for me and my twin mindees, we got tap water and a thimble of squash in it.

The kids were sitting nicely but got a little high spirited in each other's company, started singing. I was mid-drink and about to stop them but the waitress jumped in before them, shushed them quite aggressively and told them they'd have to leave if they didn't be quiet. The older kids clammed up but one of the younger ones got upset and started crying.

They gave us the bums rush from start to finish. My two only left the table to use the bathroom with me in attendance and we were mostly engaged in a quiet game of I spy with one of the older girls. The waitresses kept butting in to clear the kids still mostly full plates and sweeping under and around our table which, honestly, wasmessy but not that bad. Finally the two mothers got fed up and left. I stuck around to finish my crappy salad, and when they asked me if my mindee was finished, I was sufficiently curt with her that they backed off.

In the meantime, the manager had gone outside to talk to the mums, and he told them that three people had walked out and said they wouldn't be back because of the kids. Even if that was true, and I saw nobody leave except the mums, It was a gross overreaction to an admittedly large group of small kids.

To put this in perspective, I had the twins at Yo Sushi the week before (to see the 'food train') where the waitresses were so impressed by their willingness to try yakitori, edemame and eating with chopsticks that they were over every few minutes praising them and gave them free desserts. I take them to loads of eateries and I've never been treated with such contempt.

So, revenge? I'm thinking of taking the mindees there every day after playschool and only ordering tap water and tea. Which we will nurse for three hours while quietly doing a jigsaw on the table.

SugarMouse1 Tue 25-Jun-13 17:23:21

SameoldIggi-

Which characteristics are protected under the equality act then?

Surely gender must be? (Think young men being refused entry to clubs a lot more often than women).

Or political orientation? (Think a group of BNP members being refused entry somewhere).

Owllady Tue 25-Jun-13 17:28:01

I like hearing children singing smile

cantspel Tue 25-Jun-13 17:38:41

Why is anyone going on about refused entry?

The cafe let them in and served them. The op just didn't like being pulled up about the behavior of the kids and how it affected this mans business that day.

thebody Tue 25-Jun-13 17:48:49

The trouble is when you have small kids you are in the 'kid zone' so you get used to a certain noise level and mess.

As your kids get older you get less tolerant of it all and when they are teens and older you would rather rip your own arm off than see 7 toddlers descend on you to eat at the table next to you.

sameoldIggi Tue 25-Jun-13 18:59:35

Sugarmouse- protected characteristics are: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
It's only discrimination if it happens because of the characteristics, so if nightclub turns away a man for being male, that's not ok, but for wearing trainers it could be.
I don't think (licensing laws aside) a cafe could refuse to serve children: but they would be entirely justified to not serve ones who were disrupting others (assuming NT).

expatinscotland Tue 25-Jun-13 19:15:06

Trip Advisor.

Pigsmummy Tue 25-Jun-13 19:27:32

Not everywhere is child friendly, the lack of food choices and sole high chair in the bathroom was a sure sign to go elsewhere surely? Just chalk it up to experience and next time seek a better family friendly place.

Don't put your midees through the misery of going there again please!

rainrainandmorerain Tue 25-Jun-13 19:42:21

froubylou, I enjoyed your sensible post.

SugarMouse1 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:01:47

But clubs regularly refuse to let males in just for being male!

And what about BNP/Neo-Nazi's being refused to be served places? Doesn't that come under 'belief'?

Emilythornesbff Tue 25-Jun-13 20:32:44

No intention of being "snidey"
But I quite obviously wasn't suggesting that it being "child friendly" is synonymous with apartheid; Rather, I just pointed out that proprietors are not allowed to discriminate against certain groups.

I don't expect everyone to to find my children (or any others) endearing but I think that the popular view that children should only be able to go to specific "child oriented" venues or only in small numbers is unfair. Because it is.

Emilythornesbff Tue 25-Jun-13 20:40:32

And rain

Why are parents to be labelled "entitled" just for expecting to eat out with their kids?

sameoldIggi Tue 25-Jun-13 23:08:30

What are these clubs that only want women in them? I have not experienced this.
As to the neo-nazis - do you not think the landlord etc is entitled to not serve someone who could be seen as inciting racial hatred by their presence? (Assuming they are dressed in such a way/have tattoos etc which make their beliefs clear, otherwise how would it be known).

Viviennemary Wed 26-Jun-13 11:59:09

Family friendly shouldn't mean noisy behaviour from children. I have in the last couple of months been out and small children under four and much younger have been perfectly well behaved and no disturbance to anyone. If I go in a cafe and there are noisy children I leave.

vintageclock Wed 26-Jun-13 12:39:13

A proprieter of a restaurant can decide that she or he doesn't want children under a certain age to be there. It mightn't always be good business sense but they're not breaking any law. In the same way that shops often bar large groups of schoolchildren and only allow in two at a time because they don't want gangs of noisy kids annoying other customers.

And Emily, instead of blaming people who get a bit antsy when parents with several toddlers arrive into a restaurant, why not blame the people who have created this negative perception?
Yes, the self entitled type of parents who allow their kids to scream, run around , trip up staff and annoy other customers in restaurants while sitting there beaming happily or completely ignoring the chaos and then wondering why some people seem to 'hate' children and not want to sit near them in cafes.

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