Last week, two submissions were sent my way that had something in common: Babies in restaurants. This is a subject I’ve tackled on the blog before, from puking babies to half-babies to dirty looks from other customers, and each time I come to the same conclusion: babies + parents + restaurants = potential for bad stuff. And yet, parents continue to bring their babies into restaurants, because that’s just kind of what you do when you have a baby. You can’t leave them to fend for themselves every time you leave the house, and babysitters can be rather expensive (I think even 10-year-old babysitters can make around $40K a year nowadays!).
That said, one thing that’s always irked me regarding this subject is the attitude that restaurant owners shouldn’t have a voice in the matter because “the customer is always right.” But really, why shouldn’t restaurant owners have the right to complain about a couple that came in with a fussy baby, took an hour to eat and then left the table a mess? They should! The question is, TO WHOM should restaurant owners complain? One woman decided to complain on her restaurant’s Facebook Page, which resulted in a whoooooole lot of outcry. Here’s what she had to say:
Yikes! I was sort of on the fence here. While she has a right to say whatever she wants on her Facebook Page, and offended fans can always “unlike” the page and can take their business elsewhere, she does come off a bit harsh. Ultimately, though, I admire her balls. She says what so many restaurant owners and chefs have thought over the years and is completely unabashed in her rant. She even goes on to address her dissenters in the comments section, saying, “No, I do not want to delete the note. I do not agree with revisionism.” Once I read that, I decided I like this woman and am more on her side than not.
But what really sealed the deal for me was the irony of receiving this submission the following day:
I think it was Aaron who finally pushed me over the edge. There’s nothing “too cute” about a child screaming in a restaurant as her mother sits by and watches. I’m usually pretty sympathetic about screaming/crying babies, but after reading this and the Le-Petit Cafe rant (and subsequent comments) back-to-back, I think it’s safe to say my feelings are shifting. Call it discrimination, call it ageism, but no one wants a special night out to be ruined by the screeching of a baby no matter how cute her mother thinks it is. Instead of restaurant owners and other patrons “sucking it up,” maybe parents should take the big, fat hint: No one is amused by your baby’s vocal prowess but you.
(submitted by Anonymous)