Continuing the ongoing debate of whether or not kids belong in restaurants, Stuff.co.nz reports about a bistro in New Zealand that just doesn’t allow any small kids at all. It states the policy succinctly on its website and with a sign on its window: “Out of respect for other diners we no longer accept reservations with children under 10 years old.” Akaroa’s The Little Bistro owner Richard Uttley says that he’s actually had the policy in place for a few years, but it recently came under fire after a patron complained.
But Uttley says that the complaints are in the minority, and are usually from grandparents, instead of parents. The bistro space is small, which made straying children problematic. “There was also an incident where a waitress carrying a tray of glasses was cut badly when bumped by a child.” He also points out that the area has a number of restaurant options, so it’s not like families with kids can’t eat out elsewhere.
Restaurant proprietors can set the guidelines for behavior at their establishments, like dress codes, as long as they’re not discriminating against race, color, religion, or national origin (you’ll notice “age” is not on that list). Any maybe Uttley’s policy, while a bit constraining, makes more sense than the English curry restaurant we reported about last week that offered a laminated notice with guidelines for child diners. It’s certainly more straightforward, and instead of trying to make kids adapt to an untenable situation that’s destined for failure, parents may want to just take them to a place more family-friendly, with fewer breakable plates and more chicken nuggets, at least until they age past their most destructive tendencies.