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AIBU?

Having to clean up after myself in a cafe?

592 replies

goodmorningsunny · 16/11/2022 10:14

I go with a group of friends and out babies to a cafe each week. Apparently the week before last the cafe manager had a go at one of the mums because she said that her baby made mess under his high chair and she didn't clean it up before she left.

This week, as I was packing up to leave (with a screaming overtired baby who is refusing to nap because of teething!), she gave me a dustpan and brush and pointed at the few bit of food under her high chair and asked me to clean up after myself.

It's advertised as a very family friendly cafe.

To make it clear, if she had made an unreasonable mess I would of course have cleaned it up (or tried, it's a bit difficult when you don't have any cleaning materials). But it was a few bits on the floor. I've offered to clean up in other cafes and they've said "don't be silly, we'll do it!".

I guess I'm going to be way more conscious about allowing my baby to make a mess in the future (good luck!). But after I told my mum, she said I should leave a negative review about it on their cafe page and seemed to think it was unreasonable.

Is it unreasonable to ask a parent to clean the floor after their baby? I'm torn because on the one side, I can see how it would be annoying for the staff. On the other hand, I don't bring cleaning materials with me and it's advertised as family friendly... which I would think would mean they're aware that babies make mess!

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Lastqueenofscotland2 · 16/11/2022 10:18

I’d say food on the floor is beyond the realms of normal mess and I’d expect to be asked to clean it up. People are absolute rotters in cafes and restaurants.

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bigfamilygrowingupfast · 16/11/2022 10:18

It's very odd and certainly not something that's ever happened where I've been, but then I always tend to pick up the "big bits" and then the rest can just be hoovered round.
It's super odd to be handed a dustpan and brush!!!! But then how much mess was there?!!!

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CMOTDibbler · 16/11/2022 10:19

When ds was at that stage of dropping things from a high chair (and note that I always bought all his food from the cafe or whatever) I would ask for a dustpan and brush or use wipes to tidy up. Its just polite to the staff

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caringcarer · 16/11/2022 10:19

If they offer you the dust pan and brush and your baby made the mess with food I would clean it up before I left. Surely you sweep it up whilst baby still in highchair? It would take 1 minute to do it.

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Yellowpotato · 16/11/2022 10:20

I think they are telling you that they don't want you in there each week!

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Excited101 · 16/11/2022 10:20

It sounds like they’ve got a bit of an attitude about it and I’d be taking my business elsewhere. Giving you a dustpan and brush?? Wtf!

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weathervane1 · 16/11/2022 10:22

I look at it a bit differently. If I walked into a cafe and there was food in the floor, there's a good chance I'll walk back out. I don't want to sit surrounded by mess and my mind says "if it's like that where the customers sit, what's it like in the kitchen?". If the staff are busy and I had caused the mess, I'd think it only right that I should clean it up - to make it look like the sort of place I'd like to eat in. It's only fair.

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Parkopedia · 16/11/2022 10:23

You should have cleared up after your babies.

I'm shocked how often I see people walking out leaving mess all over the floor. If an adult dropped food they'd pick it up. So you should do that for your baby too.

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RocketPanda · 16/11/2022 10:23

It's just good manners to clean up after yourself and your baby.

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ABJ100 · 16/11/2022 10:23

Well they are clearly fed up of you and your mum friends making a mess for them to clear up. Why do you think it's beneath you to clean your own child's mess??

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ZeroFuchsGiven · 16/11/2022 10:24

They are obviously fed up of you and your friends leaving a mess.

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TurquoiseDress · 16/11/2022 10:24

weathervane1 · 16/11/2022 10:22

I look at it a bit differently. If I walked into a cafe and there was food in the floor, there's a good chance I'll walk back out. I don't want to sit surrounded by mess and my mind says "if it's like that where the customers sit, what's it like in the kitchen?". If the staff are busy and I had caused the mess, I'd think it only right that I should clean it up - to make it look like the sort of place I'd like to eat in. It's only fair.

I totally agree with this!

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goodmorningsunny · 16/11/2022 10:24

@Yellowpotato I think you're very right! Or maybe I just need to be more diligent about cleaning :p

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HeddaGarbled · 16/11/2022 10:24

I think the cafe staff are fed up with your group. A big group of mum’s & babies can be noisy & messy, and often not big spenders for the time & tables they’re taking up.

Some cafes will welcome the regular custom, but, if they don’t struggle for custom, they may have had enough of you. Maybe time to find a new place.

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JorisBonson · 16/11/2022 10:25

ABJ100 · 16/11/2022 10:23

Well they are clearly fed up of you and your mum friends making a mess for them to clear up. Why do you think it's beneath you to clean your own child's mess??

This. I hate trying to go into places for a coffee and walking into food left on the floor.

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goodmorningsunny · 16/11/2022 10:26

@weathervane1 good point. I certainly won't be leaving them a bad review but I could see how others coming in after us might leave reviews saying the cafe was dirty, and I suppose they don't want that!

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Wnikat · 16/11/2022 10:26

From their perspective: You go in there every week and leave a massive amount of food on the floor. As does every other group of mums with babies. And you probably only buy a few coffees and don’t leave a tip.

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Dammitthisisshit · 16/11/2022 10:26

Yeah, when at the messy stage I cleaned up. Just grab a wipe or a napkin- wipe the floor collecting the bits, or if it’s carpet then use it to pick up the bigger bits. It won’t be perfect but it’s reasonable to make an effort. Same with any food on the table or high chair tray - use a napkin to collect/wipe and put it on a plate.

everything will still need cleaning but it reduces the mess you’re leaving for someone.

that said if someone handed me a dustpan and brush I think I’d be a bit put out.

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Fizzadora · 16/11/2022 10:27

Surely if there was mess on the floor you would mention it to the staff and ask for a dustpan and brush to clean it up. They would more than likely say don't be silly ,we will do it, but thanks for letting us know so that it can be cleared before the next customers come in and think we have lax cleaning standards.

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TurquoiseDress · 16/11/2022 10:27

Lastqueenofscotland2 · 16/11/2022 10:18

I’d say food on the floor is beyond the realms of normal mess and I’d expect to be asked to clean it up. People are absolute rotters in cafes and restaurants.

people are absolute rotters in cafes and restaurants

This is so true

I've got 2 young DC, beyond the baby stage now, but I'd be utterly mortified to leave some of the mess I've seen from babies/toddlers & their parents

Chunks of food on the floor should be picked up by the people who dropped them, not expect the staff to do it

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Katapolts · 16/11/2022 10:28

I'd always clean up after a baby/toddler personally.

Was the food on the floor stuff you bought in the cafe, or snacks you brought with you?

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goodmorningsunny · 16/11/2022 10:28

@HeddaGarbled interestingly, we were asked to use that cafe in particular by the host of a baby group we go to, who had a deal with the cafe that they should point mums in our direction! I suppose they don't need the business though. They're sort of half full most of the time so I suppose we're not very valuable customers really. It's just odd that they ask for mother and baby customers and then don't seem to be too happy about us being there!

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stuntbubbles · 16/11/2022 10:29

Of course you clean up after babies! The mess can be horrendous. I once chased a man down who was leaving a cafe (I was a customer, not an employee) having let his school-age kids drop scrambled egg all over the floor.

Employees are there on low wages to take orders, serve food, take payment, and wipe down tables etc between customers, not do the mega-clean that very small children require. Some cafes will say “please don’t worry”‘and that’s fine, but you should still always offer.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 16/11/2022 10:29

If you offer in other places why don’t you offer at this one? They expect to wipe the table and clear the dishes, not have to sweep up loads of crap off the floor or chairs. It’s basic manners to clear up any mess, I’ve always asked for a dustpan and done by best with wipes etc. Not having cleaning materials is no excuse. I’m sure you keep wipes on you, use them. When I’ve asked for a dustpan I don’t think any one’s ever said yes but it buys you a lot of goodwill and I’d be mortified to leave a sticky mess behind me, I don’t know anyone who’d do it.

By all means leave a snotty review, they’ll reply letting people know how you and your mates treat the place and probably ask you not to come back.

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Musti · 16/11/2022 10:29

i always cleared up after my kids when out with them.

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