Woman Calls For New Policy Over Fancy Meal She 'Couldn't Enjoy' Because Of Crying Kids

Ashley Hunte
A couple eating brunch at a restaurant table.
Unsplash | Ali Inay

Going out to a nice restaurant for a dinner with friends or loved ones is definitely a treat. After all, you're paying money in order to have someone else cook for you.

But what about the parents who are desperate for a night out, who bring their small kids to the restaurant too? Are they in the right, or are they being inconsiderate of others?

For one woman, restaurants should be doing more to comp patrons who have to deal with other people's noisy kids.

A person cutting into a nicely-plated steak.
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Posting to U.K.-based website Mumsnet, a user asked others if she was being unreasonable for thinking that restaurants should be more accommodating to adults, and less so to families with disruptive children.

She shared her story on the platform.

Four people eating bar food at a table that's just a little too small.
Unsplash | Dan Gold

In her story, she mentions how a family with three kids disturbed her night out with friends.

"Four of us booked a table in an expensive restaurant last night for 7.30. About 10 minutes after we'd sat down a couple came in pushing a buggy and with 2 other children in tow."

"They were seated at the table beside us."

Two small kids giggling while sitting outdoors.
Unsplash | Caroline Hernandez

"One child kept bashing his spoon off the table, another kept crawling along the wide windowsill so that he was right behind my head, and the baby was kept amused by the father playing peek a boo while she screamed excitedly. This went on and on."

"We asked to be moved to another table."

A toddler in the midst of crying.
Unsplash | Zachary Kadolph

"There were none available. Then the baby started crying loudly and the toddler got tired and cranky and joined the wailing. We left without dessert and complained on the way out."

"They knocked the price of a bottle of wine off our bill."

Several bottles of fancy-looking wine.
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"[Am I being unreasonable] to think expensive restaurants, charging a fortune, should have a policy for dealing with situations like this? We paid a lot of money for a meal we couldn't enjoy."

Others weighed in on her situation.

a busy restaurant packed with adults.
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

One user commented, "A lot of nice restaurants don’t allow children at dinner seating times and I think that’s ok. They’ll allow ‘well behaved children’ at lunch and I think this is a good policy as it would put me off taking a toddler or baby but now my kids are old enough to sit still for longer I could take them, so that’s fair enough."

There were many who were a lot less sympathetic to OP's story.

A family toasting at a restaurant booth.
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People took to the defense of the parents rather than OP.

"So parents shouldn't be entitled to a meal out? Babies cry and toddlers can make noise. You're in a public restaurant," one comment read.

For others, it seems that the issue is a little less black and white.

A yawning newborn baby.
Unsplash | Marcin Jozwiak

For instance, if OP's original reservation was for 7:30, that meant the kids at the other table were out well past 8pm.

"I think 7:30 is too late for children of those ages to be out for a meal. Mine are just falling asleep at that time," one commenter wrote.

In fact, bringing kids to restaurants earlier would probably be better for the kids.

A toddler getting a little messy with spaghetti in their high chair.
Unsplash | Harry Grout

One comment read, "When we take the DC out to a meal (which is rare), we book for 4.30/5pm so a) they're not too tired and b) it's more likely to be more families rather than adult-only parties. So YANBU, OP for that time of the evening."

Being more accommodating to your kids' schedules would definitely help to make a dining experience easier.

But to OP's original proposition, there isn't much the restaurant itself could've done.

A "yes, we're open" sign on a restaurant window.
Unsplash | Artem Beliaikin

While some restaurants around the world have tried "rewarding" parents for well-behaved kids, it's ultimately up to the parents to make sure their kids aren't disruptive to other restaurant-goers. That said, families deserve to have nice meals out, too!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!