Effectively asked to leave cafe..AIBU or was he?(403 Posts)
Today my husband, 3 yo and 2 yo twins went for lunch in a small local cafe that we go to maybe once a month. It's quite informal and I took the pile of kids toys as an indication that families were welcome. The twins were fractious and hungry, and having a bit of a shout, but we ordered food and waited for them to settle. There were about two other tables of people in there at this time.
After we ordered the owner made a comment along the lines of 'give it a rest now kids' which I took as a joke, then about 5 minutes later, after the children's food had arrived, but before my husbands and mine had he came over and said,'your going to have to stop them making this noise, they are disturbing everyone else lunch. It's just not on.'
So, my husband ate a bit of his lunch then took the twins to sit in the car while I picked at mine. Just after he left a lovely lady on the table next to us came over to say she'd heard what he said and was disgusted and wanted me to know she hadn't complained to him about the noise, and that she planned to say something to him when she left. I'm ashamed to say that I was so embarrassed and stressed that this made me cry.
As I went to pay my £30 bill for the mostly uneaten food, he asked me if everything had been ok?! I said I was mortified by what he'd said. He got all chippy and defensive about it so I didn't say anymore.
It has ruined what should have been a lovely day. Twins aren't easy and I am very conscious if not impacting on other people negatively, but this place gives the impression of being child friendly, and we weren't letting them run wild or anything like that.
So what do you think, was he out of line or should we have left sooner? It was a terrible mortifying experience.
How noisy were they? Just normal kid chatter or shouty screamy noise? That's what would make the difference. Most people would be fine with it having been in this position, but I guess if someone complained he would have to deal with it?
Not nice. I would maybe understand if you were in a restaurant which was obviously not child friendly but if they have put toys out they are saying that children are welcome. I would not go back and tell all your friends with dc not to go there either. Perhaps after a few days of not having many customers the owner might see the error of his ways.
Vote with your feet. Take your money elsewhere where you and your family will be welcome.
Even if your kids are noisy (and surprise surprise children are!) as long as you do your best to hush them/distract them I wouldn't have an issue.
I think he was an arse. So sorry you felt crap afterwards.
It doesn't sound as of he was very polite about it.
On the other hand, I'm not sure how long & loud we're talking about, with 'having a bit of a shout'?
I think this is one of those 'had to be there' scenarios. The noise of small kids screaming goes right me (I know you said they were shouting).
But given the other woman told you that noise wasn't a problem for her, this does sound like he's being a bit OTT. Did any members of the other table look at all annoyed?
Whatever the case, he's lost your custom anyway, hasn't he? I would just try to chalk this up to a bad experience and score it off the list of child friendly eateries.
I would have refused to pay (or eat it for that matter). If he doesn't want you in his store, he doesn't want your money either.
This is why I'm dreading going back to the UK with my 18 month old twins next month. The UK is so unwelcoming to kids. I think his attitude sucked.
Kids are worse when they are hungry, people go to places that serve food when tgey/tgeir dc are hungry so personally I think they have to expect quite a bit if they suggest they are a family place. Running around is different
It's hard to say without being there; DH and I went out for dinner last night and there was a very
obnoxious lively child on the table behind us - the parents were into the 'loud parenting style' ie: encouraging his enthusiastic chatter but in my opinion it was a bit loud and grated on my nerves <especially as we had left our DS at home and gone out for a 'child free meal' >.
You say your twins were 'having a bit of a shout but we waited for them to settle' - when my DS was loud in a cafe or restaurant one of us would take him outside so as not to disturb other people.
But not having been with you I can't really comment if YABU or not.
a bit of a shout waited for them to settle
Just because a place is family friendly doesn't mean it's ok to let your kids holler and disturb other other patrons. Your post makes it sound like you just left your kids to it without making any effort to quiet them down. Though not having been there personally it's hard to judge what exactly 'a bit of a shout' adds up to in terms of decibel levels.
i would have handed him back the food and walked away with my kids no way would i have paid for food that can't be eaten if kids are hungry they are going to be a bit rowdy
What does having a bit of a shout mean?
If its like dd3s bit of a shout which is being really loud when she talks and often everything over exaggerated then I would take her outside as other people want to eat and have a conversation without dd being a foghorn.
Totally depends on just how much noise they where making impossible to say without being there. I also would have been upset. Tough day.
Just to add you were not asked to leave the cafe effectively or otherwise, you were asked to quieten down your children.
so hard to say
on the one hand
they were shouting
you waited for them to stop rather than took them out or otherwise dealt proactively
you ignored his hint about settling them down
you took 3 under 4s to a small cafe on a weekend (not technically wrong but somewhere bigger might be better)
it is ridiculous to still serve your food and expect you to eat in as you described - sounds unreasonable
other woman didnt seem fazed and she saw everything
I wasn't there so can't say. Excessive screaming of more than one kid is probably irritating for others but they could have handled it better.
However when my boys were under 5 they would have made so much noise in a café I would have stayed home or had a picnic. I did find it limiting at the time and we got around it my paying for babysitters so we could eat out as a couple etc. With my two boys it was soft play or ice-cream in the park or walk on the beach. But it does improve and now age 10 and 12 they love a fancy restaurant and will quieten down on command.
The trouble is, you've described them as being "fractious" and then "having a bit of a shout". Generally, parents often become accustomed to the noise their toddlers make, and don't realise that their "fractious" is for everyone else, "deafening squealing", "annoying shrieks" or "booming chatter". It sounds as though he asked you once nicely, and the fact he had to ask a second time suggests there wasn't any reduction in volume/impact.
Providing toys isn't carte blanche for unrestrained volume.
It sounds like someone else may have complained.
and it is hard to judge whether you were being UR without knowing what 'having a bit of a shout' means. The levels of noise that a parent is used to may still disturb other people without children.
'The uk is so unwelcoming to kids'
No it's not. But feel free to stay where you are.
Can see both sides.
The UK is horribly anti child. In other places I'd imagine staff would see it as their job to entertain grumpy DCs.
But then you do get some selfish parents who take really disruptive DCs into cafés etc and dont do anything about it.
But if it was me I'd probably have walked out before being served and not paid. And not gone back.
How loud were they actually being?
That woman may well have complained and simply felt guilty about how it was handled, so told you she hadn't.
Someone on the other table may have complained.
I've never actually complained about loud children but I have been irritated to the point of teeth grinding by them.
More often than not I think "awww, cute" or "maybe we should hold off on ttc a bit longer, that is not cute at all, poor parents!" and then zone them out.
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