After one too many screaming children in his restaurant, Pasquale Caruso, owner of an upscale Italian restaurant had had enough. After banning children under 5 years old, he says that reservations increased from 50 – 80 a day!
“Banning children has always been a topic in the industry and every owner says, ‘I wish I could do it’,” Pasquale Caruso said.
“People don’t want to come in and spend money on a nice meal and an evening out, when there’s constantly food on the floor, loud electronic devices keeping kids entertained, and small children screaming. It was just the right decision for my business”.
Caruso, who is a father of two himself, said that there had been times when children who were noisy were asked to keep quiet, and just did not listen to requests. At one time a girl was using her iPad with the volume on high. The parents were ignoring her, and finally the wait staff asked her to turn it down. She ignored them, and finally Caruso asked them to leave.
“Finally, we had to ask them to leave,” Yoshi Nunez, the restaurant manager, said. “They were upset, but they didn’t seem to care about what the other guests thought. We tried to be nice about the situation, but we’re here to take care of customers and we can’t tell a parent how to control their kids”.
Prior to the ban on children, Caruso had also put a dress code in place and removed the children’s menu in an attempt to keep up the upscale image, but it did not seem to be working. The ban on under fives seemed his only option.
Caruso’s thinking is that people pay a lot of money to come out and have a nice meal, only to have it ruined by someone else’s child screaming and throwing things around. It is not the job of his staff to keep children entertained.
It seems that many other restaurants also have had the idea of banning children, although it is a very touchy subject. Many people supported his decision, with one comment being that it was the right of the owner to do it, and if you really did not like it, then go elsewhere!
Donald Lee Chuckles wrote on Facebook: “I support the restaurant! No one is making you go there – it is the right of the owner! GET OVER IT!”
On the converse, there was a comment from Nancy Cardin who suggested the restaurant provide a section for what she called ‘obnoxious adult’.
Paul Bastek commented that parents who take disobedient children to restaurants should then donate money to needy charities.
One mum, who took her children out, had a note stuck to the restaurant window by clients who were leaving to say that ‘children should be seen and not heard’. Obviously the children had been too noisy for some people.
Whatever your thoughts may be, it remains a very touchy subject, one which Caruso has no regrets setting in place at his restaurant.