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Discussion Starter #1
what do you think - i'm curious. we were recently denied reservations at a local fancy restaurant because i noted that we would be bringing my toddler daughter with us. we were looking for the earliest reservation in the evening. do you think the restaurant was in the right? i'm trying to get a sense from moms out there whether my reaction (pissed off) is out-of touch.<br><br>
[i should note that our daughter, 21 months, loves getting dressed up and going out to eat. we've been welcomed at some of the best restaurants in boston and she's almost always a charmer. when she starts getting fidgety or isn't listening - which does happen - we walk outside for a break. we keep our meal to 2 courses and try not to dawdle; we bring extra food for her just in case and a book or two to keep her quietly occupied should she need something to distract her (which she rarely does).]<br><br>
(if this kind of post belongs on a different thread please let me know - i'm newish to these boards.)<br><br>
thanks for your thoughts - amy
 

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restaurants are privately owned operations and can impose any rules they want unless those rules are in violation of local/federal law. Limiting children does not violate discrimination laws, IIRC.<br><br>
I am curious what restaurant? I took my son everywhere in Boston and was never told no children/babies/toddlers.<br><br>
Also said be forewarned. This topic can get VERY heated. There was just a big thread about this!
 

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I'd be irritated. More so or less so depending on--you know--the time of the month, how stressful things have been at work, etc. But I also think it's better you found out up front. Otherwise, there you'd be with a bunch of waitstaff who don't have the first idea about dealing with a small child at the table.<br><br>
I think it's wonderful that your daughter enjoys these outings! Mine (28 months) is going through a run-around-the-restaurant phase, so we limit ourselves to not so fancy places. I'm hoping we can resume other kinds of eating out soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hollybearsmom - do you have any idea where/when the previous thread is/was? i hate to rehash something that's already been (hotly) debated. i did a couple of searches for it but haven't found much.
 

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personally, it wouldn't bother me. There are plenty of other places to eat. (but I can see why it would bother some people.)
 

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Hmmmmm. I can't find it either. I thought it was either in toddlers or childhood years. It started with a mom w/ a baby being denied access to 18+ show in a club and morphed into the whole restaurant debate.<br><br>
So you have to tell me what restaurant! We eat out all the time in the city and I am curious if the may have just let us when we showed up in since we never mention our son-just say reservation for 3.<br><br>
edited to add: I found it! but it was locked "pending moderator review" which means it most likely will never be resurrected.
 

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Where in Boston?<br><br>
I think that would annoy me.<br><br>
Have you joined out meetup?<br><a href="http://mommymilk.meetup.com/318/" target="_blank">http://mommymilk.meetup.com/318/</a>
 

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OP are you going to tell us where?
 

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I can't see how that doesn't qualify as discrimination.
 

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It would not annoy me. Only because I use to love going out to dinner with dh (before dd came along!). We would spend upwards of $500 on a meal. (we don't have a lot of money, so we would save up and have a special night out a few times a year). So, it was a big deal to us. A lot of toddlers (And parents) can't handle going out like that, and many parents don't notice or care about their toddlers behavior, which may be bothering other customers. That's just my emotional response. As for a more rational response, I think that one of the things that makes this country great is that private businesses can run their businesses how they like. If you want to go around telling the world that you were denied a reservation, you can do that. That's your right, and I believe that there's nothing wrong with that either. Then other people can decide what to do from there. I can see how it would get into a discrimination issue, but honestly, it doesn't bother me. I can see how it would bother you. Especially if your kid is actually able to go out somewhere nice...my 18 month old dd is not! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Has anyone actually had their dinner disturbed in a fancy restaraunt by a baby? Ever? My husband and I used to go to the cream of the crop all the time (free due to his job, lucky me) and I have not once been disturbed by another diner and their children.<br><br>
I am not talking about places that are specifically family friendly - I think you have a much better chance of being bothered in a place like that.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LolaK</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8022950"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Has anyone actually had their dinner disturbed in a fancy restaraunt by a baby? Ever? My husband and I used to go to the cream of the crop all the time (free due to his job, lucky me) and I have not once been disturbed by another diner and their children.<br><br>
I am not talking about places that are specifically family friendly - I think you have a much better chance of being bothered in a place like that.</div>
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Yes. It was on my anniversary. It was the first time DH and I were out since our baby was born and a toddler was running round taking food from other people's plate and tried to pull our dining cloth off the table. We complained and they said they asked them to leave 20minutes ago but they were still no leaving. I cried. It had been very difficult to find someone we trusted with our baby and spent a month planning for it.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LolaK</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8022950"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Has anyone actually had their dinner disturbed in a fancy restaraunt by a baby? Ever? My husband and I used to go to the cream of the crop all the time (free due to his job, lucky me) and I have not once been disturbed by another diner and their children.<br><br>
I am not talking about places that are specifically family friendly - I think you have a much better chance of being bothered in a place like that.</div>
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I have. On more than one occasion.<br><br>
The restaurant was fully within its rights to refuse the reservation. IMO, a toddler does not belong in a fancy restaurant in the evening. Brunch or lunch, maybe.
 

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I don't see it as a problem. You are a considerate parent, and wouldn't take your DD out to a restaurant as a toddler unless you knew she could handle it - and you also would withdraw gracefully if it came to a point where she wasn't behaving appropiately.<br><br>
Most parents, regretfully, aren't NEARLY that considerate, and I'm sure it's THOSE parents that the policy was put in place for. Its sad that those who are considerate are punished/impacted by the behaviour of those less considerate UAholes......
 

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I think the restaurant is totally within its rights. Yes, I've been disturbed many many times. I'm usually sympathetic now that I'm a mother (beforehand--nope) but not when the parents are doing nothing to remedy the situation (like by HOLDING their baby instead of letting it scream in a carseat). If I'm all dressed up at a fancy restaurant spending $12/hour on my sitter I damn well would like some consideration...from other parents, from cell phone users, from smokers. Since MOST people -- not on MDC, but IRL-- most people seem completely unconcerned with being considerate towards other people I am happy some restaurants are making the move to protect their patrons--and want to know the name of this restaturant so i can go there!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LolaK</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8022950"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Has anyone actually had their dinner disturbed in a fancy restaraunt by a baby? Ever? My husband and I used to go to the cream of the crop all the time (free due to his job, lucky me) and I have not once been disturbed by another diner and their children.<br><br>
I am not talking about places that are specifically family friendly - I think you have a much better chance of being bothered in a place like that.</div>
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Yes, on more than one occasion!
 

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I think, on the whole, the restaurant was in the right. I've been out to eat many times and been disturbed by a screaming baby/toddler. Some people just don't realize how obnoxious it can be. Not to say that your toddler would do this, but how can the restaurant distinguish that.<br><br>
Hey, many other place would be happy to take your money, daughter in tow. I'd not consider it a loss, and go elsewhere. Either that or you could have someone watch her for the night.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hey ladies - sorry, haven't been on all week. thanks so much for the responses - i really appreciate everyone's perspective.<br><br>
the restaurant is salts, in cambridge. i almost didn't post it, because i really don't want to flame them since i agree it's completely within their right to have this policy. However, maybe if a bunch of considerate parents show up with well-behaved kids they'll start to appreciate that it really depends on the family and the child.<br><br>
i guess my frustration is the blanket policy. i agree that i would be pretty pissed if i encountered a parent who was letting their child run around or holler when i was trying to enjoy some much-deserved and expensive grownup time. and probably many parents aren't as aware of their neighbors as we might be - and unfortunately they've set the standard.<br><br>
but it still doesn't change the fact that on any given night ANY patron at a restaurant could be a complete ass and ruin your evening. i'll concede that statistically it's probably more likely with a child. but it's one thing to have a blanket policy and another to warn a parent when they are making a reservation, "we are more than happy to make this reservation. however, we are a quiet, romantic establishment. we do ask you to consider whether your child will be able to behave in such a way as to tolerate this. we have had some incidents in the past where we have been forced to ask families to leave -and we hate doing this." that, and only make reservations for children during the 1st seating.<br><br>
i don't know - no right answer here. my frustration has definitely taken a turn toward tolerance. i'm still disappointed - but it's true. lots of other places to go.
 

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personally i go by the after 8pm guidelines... if i go out after 8pm, no kids. before 8pm it's all up for grabs. i mean those of us with kids like to go out with our kids sometimes too, but if i'm heading out for dinner after 8, sans kids, then... well... i feel like i'm eating late for a reason and that reason is usually that i need grown up time...<br>
peace<br>
michele<br>
and yes, i've had dinners, movies and tons of stuff disturbed by kids. (sometimes my own, whom i've removed from the situation thinking if they are bugging me, then they are likely bugging others)<br>
m
 
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