Should Restaurants Give Discounts To Well-Behaved Families?
A Washington state family of five got a surprise on their restaurant bill -- but it was a good one -- the owner had given them a well-behaved children discount.
Laura King says her kids ages two, three, and eight, are comfortable in restaurants. She said they were just behaving as they normally do when eating out. She was surprised and delighted by the receipt and a friend put a photo online.
And then it went viral. Along with the question, should restaurants offer well-behaved kid discounts?
My answer: no, they shouldn't. I wouldn't want to see restaurants bribe families with an arbitrary behaviour rule that could be meted out on the whim of the restaurant server. My caveat is that free ice cream or even a nice comment from the restaurant when your kids do behave well is always welcome.
Rob Scott, the owner of Sogno di Vino said that he often gives free dessert to well-mannered kids but this was the first time that he typed it on to the bill. (Maybe Earl's should try it, Scott has gotten lots of positive media.)
The issue of kids in restaurants is one that is routinely debated in this space, and I am always shocked at the vitriol that people have against kids in restaurants. As a parent I can't swear that my kids have been well-behaved every time we have been out. I also can't swear that as a 20-something, my friends and I would have been good tablemates either.
My husband and I once were sent glasses of wine by a nearby table because they were smitten with our well-behaved toddler. They told us to enjoy the time, because it goes too fast. It is one of my best memories of eating out with my kids. The irony is that the neighbourhood restaurant where that happened now has a strict no child after 8 p.m. policy, which they start enforcing around 6:30 p.m.
Parents are going to take their kids to restaurants whether or not there are incentives or obstacles. It's time to put the knives away and start enjoying the free ice cream.
Do you think restaurants should offer bonuses for well-behaved kids?
Want more chaos? Last year, my kids missed a week of school for fun.