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.

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.

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.

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).

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?

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.

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'?

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

froubylou, I enjoyed your sensible post.

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!

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

Trip Advisor.

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).

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.

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.

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

I like hearing children singing smile

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).

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Tue 25-Jun-13 14:46:33

My worst ever cafe encounter was having to listen to a very loud man telling his friend ALL his medical problems. Waaaaaay to much information. shock. I would have left but we had just started eating. sad

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 25-Jun-13 14:32:06

More of a response to the thread as a whole: Some people NEVER learn to behave in cafés/bars, end-of-story. The closest I have ever come to leaving a cafe was when two drama students were practicing two lines of dialogue over and over and over and over again, at full voice. I'm too cheap/greedy to leave my food though.

I work in a fairly well-heeled pub, yet I have told fully grown adults to stop playing tinny music on their laptop and to stop blowing full-blast and out of tune, into a recorder, and that's without even starting on the general rudeness/drunkenness. We have no children's menu (except on Sundays), no changing facilities, two high chairs, but still get quite a few babies in the afternoon shifts. Occasionally they're squally, but I think because our place doesn't appear child-friendly, parents are more aware of their children's behaviour? Long story short, the under-tens are often our most well-behaved customers...

CuChullain Tue 25-Jun-13 14:06:41

A bit late to this thread, have only read the OP.

"but got a little high spirited in each other's company, started singing."

Sorry but your idea of a little high spirited behaviour could well be another persons idea of hell.

Kids are not impeccably behaved all the time, they can be illogical and very demanding and a little bit of consideration on the part of others can go a long way in helping parents to deal with difficult situations. I also think some parents need to realise that perhaps not every environment is suitable for their children, I like to think that adults are entitled to a bit of peace and quiet in places that are supposed to be ‘relaxing’ areas for adults to go to. Additionally, just because there is a kids menu it does not mean that any children being a 'little high spirited' would be tolerated by patrons or staff alike. Whether you like it not children, especially in large groups (and yours was a large group) are often noisy and on occasion very annoying if not properly supervised. I have lost count of the times I have seen the militant ‘we have just as much right to be here’ parents barrel into a previously calm restaurant or cafe like a wrecking ball destroying any ambience as ‘Archie’, ‘Lulu’ , ‘Oscar’ and friends fight, run, scream and squabble over toys rendering any notion of a chilled out lunch/coffee impossible. I also think some parents seem to think that the staff in some cafes are stand in baby sitters while the parents have a good catch up over a coffee and a sticky bun. It’s a tough one. I think there needs to be a bit of compromise on both sides of the fence on this issue but on this occasion I think you are being unreasonable in your expectations and talk of 'revenge' makes you look a bit silly to be honest.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 13:25:04

Careful how you word that Mintyy, remember her children are suffering for equality just like Apartheid all over again. Not something to joke about. sad

Mintyy Tue 25-Jun-13 13:22:03

"Parents can underestimate just how annoying our children can be to others." Never a truer word spoken.

Am properly laughing at EmilyT and her children who have all these rights!

mignonette Tue 25-Jun-13 13:14:30

Might be a good idea to check the menu before you enter? A lot of it was not necessarily your fault but complaining about lack of vegetarian options/kids foods when you didn't check the menu is not theirs. It costs a lot of money to have a wide menu because all that food has to be held in stock. Not saying I approve but that is the situation.

Parents can underestimate just how annoying our children can be to others. We become inured to it to a certain extent. Parents do not teach their children appropriate behaviour whilst eating out in so many cases. Many people find the every day noisy chaos of piles of children and parents pretty annoying. Just the amount of shuffling about, organising and re-organising of tables, chairs and food orders does create a bit of a kerfuffle that may not be evident to you because you are busy dealing with it.

sameoldIggi Tue 25-Jun-13 13:07:11

Sugarmouse, none of your examples seem to involve protected characteristics under the equality act though.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 13:03:46

Okay kinda off topic but seriously: Does anyone truly believe three toddlers are capable of singing quietly in a cafe while being well behaved with the four other toddlers?

>Looks at children, realised I have failed as a mother<

Pagwatch Tue 25-Jun-13 12:35:28

grin @ hissing 'don't sit me near the kids'

I moved once when a woman sat near me with a toddler. She had a go a me. I had moved to be nearer the light because I was trying to read my paper but had forgotten my glasses. It was quite funny.

SugarMouse1 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:30:02

I cannot believe Emilythorne's
comments!!!

So it's discrimination for a nightclub to refuse entry to shabbily dressed people in tracksuits and trainers?

Or large groups of young men?

Or establishments to refuse to serve football fans?

Homeless people with offensive body odour?

A group of Neo-Nazi's?

pinkballetflats Tue 25-Jun-13 09:41:36

Just dont bother going back. Word of month is a powerful marketing tool: if they're that crap people will notice. No point wasting your time on anything else....food was crap anyway, why bother wasting your money on going back?

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