Restaurant: "sorry, we don't have high chairs" - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-09-2010, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Would interpret that as a subtle cue that children are not welcome
Or
Would you think they were just stating a fact
?

Would you eat there?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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I would not, because I would assume that it was not a family-friendly establishment. Even if I had brought my Bumbo or something I still wouldn't.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:46 AM
 
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Is this is a posted sign at the restaurant? Or did you call ahead? Or did you just notice they don't have high chairs or...?

If it's a posted sign, I would assume they are NOT baby friendly.

If I went in and just noticed there wasn't a high chair, I'd sit anyway but make a note of it for the future... whether they're baby friendly or not, I wouldn't want to go back to somewhere where my kid doesn't have anywhere to sit.

If you called ahead and they said no high chair, you could always ask for clarification... are babies welcome if parents provide seating?

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:56 AM
 
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This did happen to me once, and we were starving and didn't know where else to go, so we stayed. They did have booster seats. I tied my baby to her chair with my Maya wrap. I was too hungry to care whether they liked it or not.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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If they said it in a way that sounded regretful, I'd just think they were stating a fact. I've been to places that didn't have high chairs for one reason or another, but they were generally accommodating.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:56 AM
 
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I would stay if my dd was behaving herself well. I would find it hard to eat there without a high chair personally. I am not so into having DD grab at my or DHs food all night! Also, the bumbo is not really safe to use in a restaurant as it can knock off the chair really easily. We have a portable booster seat that straps onto a chair that is smaller then a bumbo we can bring, if need be.

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Old 09-09-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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Here in Chicago, many establishments don't have high chairs. Ones that don't mind kids included (mostly ethnic restaurants). I don't find it out of the norm but I do avoid eating at those places. I also avoid the places that have one high chair, as I usually find myself needing it and someone else is using it or feeling guilty that I'm using it and someone else needs it also.

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Old 09-09-2010, 06:58 AM
 
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My friend has a cafe with only one high chair due to the floor space/seating ratio. Kids are SUPER welcome in his place and he puts out free bread and offers tea for nursing mamas. It's just unfortunate that he can't afford to rent a bigger space. So yes, i would probably eat somewhere where there are no/only one high chair.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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I wouldn't think one way or the other. Ive gone to many restruants were they didn't have high chairs (might be where I am though) and it isn't that they aren't child friendly they just don't have high chairs. Now if it was a really fancy restruant Id think maybe they don't want children there although most of them are quite open about it from my experience.

I actually have a high chair diaper bag that I keep in the car when the kids are old enough to need a seat but still to young to stay in it without help. When we are out I take that with me when we go in the restruant, saves me from having to wonder how clean their high chairs are.

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Old 09-09-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I don't think it's necessarily a statement that babies aren't welcome. We recently took DS (9.5 mo) to our favorite sushi restaurant and found out they don't have high chairs (we'd been getting takeout since he was born ). We made it work, sat him in a regular chair with DH supporting him, and he had a nice meal of chicken, salmon, rice and tofu. The waitresses and owner all came over to see him. We didn't feel unwelcome at all. That said, we might not go back until he can better sit on his own. But we'll still get takeout.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Depends. Is it a new restaurant? Is this a place that had waitresses, or is it a pick your food up at the counter sort of place? It the establishment run by non-americans? I would probably eat there once, and tell someone that if they didnt get some highchairs soon, I wouldnt be back. Of course, if it was a well established restaurant/bar and grille, I would leave and then write a complaint letter to our local newspaper's editorial section.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
My friend has a cafe with only one high chair due to the floor space/seating ratio. Kids are SUPER welcome in his place and he puts out free bread and offers tea for nursing mamas. It's just unfortunate that he can't afford to rent a bigger space. So yes, i would probably eat somewhere where there are no/only one high chair.
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Depends. Is it a new restaurant? Is this a place that had waitresses, or is it a pick your food up at the counter sort of place? It the establishment run by non-americans? I would probably eat there once, and tell someone that if they didnt get some highchairs soon, I wouldnt be back. Of course, if it was a well established restaurant/bar and grille, I would leave and then write a complaint letter to our local newspaper's editorial section.
These are what I was thinking. If it's a small place they may not have the funds to purchase high chairs yet.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
It the establishment run by non-americans?
I'm wondering what this has to do with anything, could you clarify?

FWIW, I've often found ethnic restaurants to be very welcoming towards babies.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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I guess it would depend on the vibe. Low-key place? I'd stay. More posh place? I'd assume they didn't want kids. So what I'd do would depend on the specifics.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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We once went to a restaurant that did not have highchairs. I sent an e-mail afterwards complaining & stating we wouldn't be returning. It was not a child unfriendly place - in fact there were many children in the restaurant. I got a reply immediately & by the end of the week they had highchairs.

Sometimes it's just an oversight.

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Old 09-09-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I really wouldn't think much of it because we've never really used them. Our oldest kiddo sat on our laps until she was ready for a regular chair of her own and I expect we'll do the same with kiddo #2.

But then again we take our daughter to very upscale expensive restaurants. We've been talking about restaurant manners since she was 8/9 months old (not that we expected her to 'get' it then but we started setting the stage) and she does fabulously at $100/plate restaurants. They *love* her.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I'm wondering what this has to do with anything, could you clarify?
.

Ive been to a few Mexican restaurants that didnt have highchairs, and I used to go with a friend to a Mediterrean restaurant that didnt have highchairs. I think most of their clientle were people of their same country that were working. For example, there were mostly men in the Mexican restaurant. It was only open for lunch. They were catering to a specific group of people within their culture, and children werent really there very often.

A lot of times certian ethnic restaurants arent really catering to the average white mom, so when we patronize their establishment, they arent always as prepared. I dont think it is intentional at all. Also, I think some places may not have the funds to buy highchairs might only get used once a week.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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we never use high chairs or boosters, so i probably wouldnt have noticed?

we have 3 kids and they generally are fine to sit and eat at a table/booth. I hold the baby while i eat.

My dh was deployed/stationed out of state the first year of dd1's life and all my friends were childless and liked to meet up at upscale/expensive restaurants. I just taught her/showed her how to be calm, took her for walks when she fussed.

i definitely go to restaurants to get good food, i personally do not care if they want my kids there. we usually get those "oh no THREE kids" looks... but by the end they are usually impressed with our kids.

so yes, i would eat there and return if the food was good, regardless of the high chair situation.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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We always travelled with a folding booster type seat that has a tray. The one we had also had a clip on tray toy that DS loved when he wasn't eating solids yet.

DH and I eat in a lot of restaurants and most of them have high chairs or strap on seat booster but some don't. The type of seating offered for my baby would not affect my decision to go as I bring my own seating. Most places regardless of the seating they have for babies are baby friendly and some are not. That would affect my decision to go to that restaurant again. We have taken DS to all kinds of restaurants but the owns I feel most comfortable in are family type locally owned and run places.

We have also been talking about restaurant manners with DS since he was about 8 mons or so. He is now 2.5 and pretty respectful of others in restaurants

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I would assume they aren't kid friendly if they didn't have high chairs or boosters. I would go to a more family friendly place, not necessarily because we require a high chair (we don't) but because I try to respect the type of environment they are trying to create if that makes sense.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
Here in Chicago, many establishments don't have high chairs. Ones that don't mind kids included (mostly ethnic restaurants). I don't find it out of the norm but I do avoid eating at those places. I also avoid the places that have one high chair, as I usually find myself needing it and someone else is using it or feeling guilty that I'm using it and someone else needs it also.

I didnt think of this-- there are lots of hole in indian places I've been that don't have high chairs, but are kid-friendly.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I've only run across one restaurant in my hometown so far that does not have either high chairs or booster seats, and it is a pizza restaurant that is more popular with the college-aged crowd (but there are usually at least a couple of kids in there at any given time. When we're there, we hold DD on our laps and we are able to cope just fine. But I won't take her there alone until she's ready to sit on their bench-style seating by herself. It just takes me too long to eat with one arm and DD gets antsy about sitting at the table once she's finished her food.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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: The most welcoming places (as in genuinely welcoming, not just 'we have a kids menu and therefore have to put up with you and your kid') have been ethnic restaurants that don't often see kids. I took my nieces, aged 4 and 8, to a Japanese sushi restaurant with my friends. They were so please to see the kids, and so happy watching them try new foods that when it was over the owner dug into the stash of popsicles he kept on hand for his grandchildren and gave one to each of the girls.

They all commented that they couldn't understand why more people didn't bring their children in.

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Old 09-09-2010, 03:54 PM
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Ive been to a few Mexican restaurants that didnt have highchairs, and I used to go with a friend to a Mediterrean restaurant that didnt have highchairs. I think most of their clientle were people of their same country that were working. For example, there were mostly men in the Mexican restaurant. It was only open for lunch. They were catering to a specific group of people within their culture, and children werent really there very often.

A lot of times certian ethnic restaurants arent really catering to the average white mom, so when we patronize their establishment, they arent always as prepared. I dont think it is intentional at all. Also, I think some places may not have the funds to buy highchairs might only get used once a week.
Two comments. First, non-white moms go out to eat too. Second, you should look around and see what an American looks like because it ain't always white.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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Since DD could sit up, we've always used our folding clip-on seat. I don't like restaurant high chairs because they almost always sit too low against the table.

Before we used the clip-on, DD was almost always in the carrier or in my lap when we ate out, so I honestly don't know how many restaurants we have dined in without high chairs. But I have never felt unwelcome when we were out to eat. I recently read an article on cnn.com about a restaurant that signs up about not welcoming screaming children. I guess if I saw a sign like that, I'd be more likely to feel nervous that kids weren't welcome than if there weren't high chairs. Even though DD isn't a screamer...yet.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:57 PM
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Oh and to the OP, I wouldn't read anything into it other than they don't have highchairs. I don't generally like looking for subtext into things unless it is really blatant because it is too easy to get wrong.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I'm wondering what this has to do with anything, could you clarify?

FWIW, I've often found ethnic restaurants to be very welcoming towards babies.
I have found in most ethnic restaurants kids are very welcome what I have not found is high chairs. I have lived in 6 different states, I found if I was going to eat at an mom and pop ethnic place be prepared not to have a high chair. Kids should be on your lap or running around.

If I walked into a place with out high chairs I would take time to assess further. Mom and pop places, I can see a way to cut corners. Small bistro not enough room. I am bold enough to ask if the kids would be welcome.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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We went to a Persian restaurant just last night that didn't have any high chairs - we just sat DS in between us in the booth, then DH and I put our knees together to keep him in. It worked pretty well! A bumbo or clip on chair would have worked fine too.

The proprietor was very welcoming and friendly. He brought DS fruit to eat throughout our meal - I didn't think twice about the lack of high chair.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I would probably be more accepting of lack of high chairs from non-American restaurants. If a good burger place doesn't have high chairs I don't really care, tons of places have great burgers.

If they make awesome Indian, Mexican or Greek food I would wear my baby on my head if I had to.

And if I find out there is an ethnic restraurants that caters to clientel of that ethnicity then that is the restaurant I want to go..ya know? If Indian people don't go to a certain Indian restaurant I wonder why.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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If you asked, and they said "no", it's stating a fact. If you walked in with a baby and they said right away, "We don't have high chairs," I'd assume that meant, "She cries and we shall give you a look to freeze hell over."

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