Should restaurants offer families a discount if children can behave through dinner?

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Don’t you hate sitting down for dinner at your favorite restaurant — and having your experience ruined by someone else’s unruly children?

For some, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a relaxing dinner with kids screaming, crying — or worse, running around unsupervised in the background.

A restaurant in Calgary is turning the tables on parents — and TIPPING families whose children make it through dinner without any behavior problems!

Calgary’s Carino Bistro is deducting $5 from the bill for any table where the youngest guests don’t leave other guests with a bad taste in their mouths.

Most people think the small reward is a wonderful idea — but then again, most of us can recall meals, flights, movies and/or funerals disrupted by children who can’t sit still or stay quiet.

It all started when a family noticed a $5 discount on their Mother’s Day brunch bill at Calgary’s Carino Bistro.

The discount was labeled “Well Behaved Kids” — and subtracted $5 from the family’s bill.

The family posted a photo of their receipt to Facebook — and the story took off.

Since then, it has stirred quite a bit of controversy!

CLICK HERE for much more on this story via the Calgary Sun!

11 comments

  • Laura Shird-Burbie

    On the rare occasion when I go out to dinner, it is a real treat because my budget is so tight. So I wholeheartedly agree that having that meal ruined by kids that are allowed to run around and act like idiots in the restaurant is infuriating (only other thing that comes close is being subjected to people talking on loudly on their cell phones). I think it is a nice gesture that the restaurant did that, I really don’t think that it should become a norm. Lets face it, i’m sure most restaurants can’t afford to take $5.00 off every bill that has well behaved children. Parents should teach their children to behave in a restaurant (or in public period) and should not need incentive to do so. When my son was small, if he did not behave we got up and walked out. We did it several times. Soon he learned that if he actually wanted to stay long enough to eat, he should behave. Its called parenting. God, when I was a kid and my brother and I were taken out to eat….we better not even look like we were thinking about getting out of our chair in a restaurant. We had to ask permission to get up from the table to go to the restroom, and a parent went with us. As much as we hated it then, that is a time when parents really knew how to parent their children. And you can tell which of today’s adults were parented that way.

    • Janna McEntire

      Parents were “better” parents back then because they were allowed to be. If a child needed a spanking, a parent did not have to worry about an uproar if they took the child to the restroom, disciplined them, waited for them to calm down and returned to whatever they were doing (shopping, eating, etc.). These days, you never know what someone is going to deem child abuse even if it is merely a well-placed swat on the behind. I’m not saying my children are not well-behaved, but they do act out on occasion in public. The only public response allowed in many places is for me to find a time out either in the restroom or just outside the front door. My children typically respond to this, but there have been a few times we’ve had to box up our dinner and take it home. The problem with this is who is going to decide the definition of “bad” behavior. Some people deem it “bad” behavior if my toddler peeks over the booth and says hi and then sits back down when she is told to do so. To any parent, this is curiosity for a toddler and they are doing nothing wrong. It would not kill people to wave and smile, satisfying the child’s curiosity and continuing with their meals. I will have a problem if this discount is offered but not given because my child is friendly and curious.

  • Heather lecus

    I don’t think so. My daughter is well behaved in restraints because I taught her how to be. Parents with misbehaving kids don’t care. They ignore their kids and let them do what they want. I doubt a reward will help with the kids who are normally ruining other people’s experience.

    • Kristine

      Heather, I don’t think it’s wise of you to state publicly you have your daughter in restraints… you may get some backlash from that.

  • Donelle

    With the rise of Autism Spectrum Disorders, it needs to be said that it isn’t always the case of just an unruly, bratty kid whose parents don’t discipline them. So the kid screaming may actually be having an autistic meltdown, or may not be able to communicate their needs or wants. I agree that a child shouldn’t be running around unsupervised, but people also need to be made aware of children with special needs. Just because they look “normal” doesn’t mean they aren’t autistic. Autism has no look. Parents and families of autistic shouldn’t feel they can’t have a night out to eat for fear their child might disrupt someone else!

  • Lisa brylow

    HE’LL NO!! What it SHOULD be is a surcharge if your children DON’T behave and disturb other diners. Please don’t ask who makes the determination of what’s disturbing or behaved, that falls under common sense. If parents cannot teach their children to sit at a table and eat their meal while talking in normal ‘inside’ voices, then either leave the kids at home with a babysitter or don’t go out! And this isn’t just for restaurants, this falls under being out in public…..period!! My parents had four children and even with NEVER spanking us, we knew we were to behave….and we did. That’s just how it was. Not sure when parents stopped parenting, but we have actually had to leave places due to unruly kids. I’m not expecting them to sit completely still and not speak, but I also shouldn’t have to deal with temper tantrums, screaming, running around tables or having my food touched by a child I don’t know (yes, that happened). I certainly don’t think rewarding parents for doing a job they should be doing anyway is ludicrous!

    • alecia rucker

      Everyone has their own opinions about what is considered”bad behavior”… I say no one should get a discount. You don’t get a reward because your child behaves in a way some would consider”good”. Nor should you be penalized or looked at as a sub par parent because your child is rambunctious. If you are bothered by noise…..you have the option to dine elsewhere.

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