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    • Mehitabel
    • By Mehitabel 9th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 16Thanks
    Mehitabel
    Restaurants. Must I pay for a miserable experience?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
    Restaurants. Must I pay for a miserable experience? 9th Oct 17 at 1:07 PM
    Does anyone know what the situation is if a special meal out is ruined not by bad food or service, but by the presence of a screaming or disruptive child?

    This has happened to me so often, with the restaurant owner or manager doing nothing, that I'm wondering whether I could simply refuse to pay my bill.

    After all, part of what I'm paying for is the environment, isn't it? Or do restauranteurs' obligations begin and end with providing decent food?
Page 1
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 9th Oct 17, 1:09 PM
    • 4,672 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:09 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:09 PM
    Does anyone know what the situation is if a special meal out is ruined not by bad food or service, but by the presence of a screaming or disruptive child?

    This has happened to me so often, with the restaurant owner or manager doing nothing, that I'm wondering whether I could simply refuse to pay my bill.

    After all, part of what I'm paying for is the environment, isn't it? Or do restauranteurs' obligations begin and end with providing decent food?
    Originally posted by Mehitabel


    What would you like them to do? Forcibly remove the child and put them in the stocks outside?


    You eat the food you pay the bill
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 9th Oct 17, 1:10 PM
    • 1,865 Posts
    • 2,923 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:10 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:10 PM
    Does anyone know what the situation is if a special meal out is ruined not by bad food or service, but by the presence of a screaming or disruptive child?

    This has happened to me so often, with the restaurant owner or manager doing nothing, that I'm wondering whether I could simply refuse to pay my bill.

    After all, part of what I'm paying for is the environment, isn't it? Or do restauranteurs' obligations begin and end with providing decent food?
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    Seriously ?

    Maybe 'real life' is too much for you and you should stay in an environment where you can control everything ?

    Good luck with refusing to pay your bill on the basis of a crying child
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 9th Oct 17, 1:11 PM
    • 1,787 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:11 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:11 PM
    That screaming child was you once.

    A bit of patience and tolerance is called for.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 9th Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    • 4,672 Posts
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    glentoran99
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    or simply eat places that wont have children in them
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 9th Oct 17, 1:14 PM
    • 1,838 Posts
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    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:14 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:14 PM
    You must know some restaurants where there will be no children? We have one close to us where in all the times we have been there, no children. If we go to family styled eateries then we expect children, and put up with them.
    Why don’t you approach the parents? No? Then why do you expect others to do it for you.
    • Mehitabel
    • By Mehitabel 9th Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Mehitabel
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    The screaming child was never me, because I wasn't taken to restaurants when I was that sort of age. My parents had too much regard for other peoples' comfort.

    I rarely speak to the parents, because if you do, the aggression you get in return is very unpleasant, however polite, gentle or even apologetic you are.

    If we can keep emotive stuff out of it... I'm trying to get at the legality. If I've looked forward to a special meal out and the behaviour of another group in a restaurant ruins it (and I've gone home in tears more than once) am I not entitled to some form of redress?

    Example: Last week I tried to eat a meal in a pub while three small children raced around, banging into my chair and even my legs, while the parents did nothing. The manager did give me a glass of wine on the house as an apology and that was appreciated. But why should anyone have to put up with this?

    If it were badly behaved dogs, I'd be entitled to complain. Why should it be any different because the disruption is caused by members of my own species? Does anyone know the LEGAL position?
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 9th Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 1,865 Posts
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    k3lvc
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    Does anyone know the LEGAL position?
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    Yes - the legal position is that your entitled to take your business elsewhere (obviously once you've paid for the food you've had)

    You can complain about whatever you want - dogs, children, old people, lesbians but you still aren't legally entitled to a free meal, compensation etc etc
    • bris
    • By bris 9th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • 6,918 Posts
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    bris
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    Good food is subjective and what you describe as a bad meal is not everyones opinion.


    The problem here is you tbh, you really need to get some social skills.


    For me children are a blessing and are white noise. Let them grow up in their own time.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 9th Oct 17, 2:15 PM
    • 15,228 Posts
    • 20,728 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    The screaming child was never me, because I wasn't taken to restaurants when I was that sort of age. My parents had too much regard for other peoples' comfort.

    I rarely speak to the parents, because if you do, the aggression you get in return is very unpleasant, however polite, gentle or even apologetic you are.

    If we can keep emotive stuff out of it... I'm trying to get at the legality. If I've looked forward to a special meal out and the behaviour of another group in a restaurant ruins it (and I've gone home in tears more than once) am I not entitled to some form of redress?

    Example: Last week I tried to eat a meal in a pub while three small children raced around, banging into my chair and even my legs, while the parents did nothing. The manager did give me a glass of wine on the house as an apology and that was appreciated. But why should anyone have to put up with this?

    If it were badly behaved dogs, I'd be entitled to complain. Why should it be any different because the disruption is caused by members of my own species? Does anyone know the LEGAL position?
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    I personally would have politely spoken to the parent and explained that their child had just spilt my drink. If they were rude in their
    response I would have sneakily taken a photo of the parent and made use of social media to name and shame them.

    On the other hand, why not re-think your choice of eatery?

    Many pubs advertise as being 'family friendly', which will mean noisy kids and some extent of children out of their seats.

    I suggest you avoid anything family friendly!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 9th Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Diamandis
    Wow.

    You need to pay if the restaurant have kept up their side of the contract. I don't think kids being noisy would constitute a failure for them to uphold their side.
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 9th Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • 273 Posts
    • 214 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Why dont you give the child a telling?
    • Joshua_Nkomo
    • By Joshua_Nkomo 9th Oct 17, 2:39 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    Joshua_Nkomo
    Let them grow up in their own time.
    Originally posted by bris
    They can do that at home until they have learnt how to behave.

    My children were expected to behave properly when out and about.

    Your children are perhaps a blessing to you Bris and we are all fine seeing your children but not if they are bawling.

    Parents should have taken the child outside/loos and calmed it down.
    Power 2 the People (and not the EU oligarchs)
    • cono1717
    • By cono1717 9th Oct 17, 2:50 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 432 Thanks
    cono1717
    If you want to keep the emotions out of it then legally speaking you have no redress with a restaurant.

    Take it as a simple contract. You go to a pub or wherever and you request 1x Steak. The waiter says that item is £x and you accept or decline that. This forms your contract. For the price of £x you expect to get 1x Steak.

    At no point was the environment or any other terms of the contract discussed as such you cannot ex post facto seek to change the terms nor can you claim redress on a term that was never agreed to.

    IF you went in and had a written contract (or legally speaking verbal though harder to prove) that said "1X Steak for £x and the environment shall be free of screaming children" and that was not met, you would have cause for redress on the broken contract term. Though of course the restaurant has no obligation to accept that contract and so doesn't have to serve you.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 9th Oct 17, 2:56 PM
    • 4,652 Posts
    • 5,023 Thanks
    societys child
    Why are you blaming the kids . . . and the restaurant, when it's the parents at fault?
    No, you can't have free meals.

    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 9th Oct 17, 2:58 PM
    • 2,978 Posts
    • 5,565 Thanks
    warehouse
    OP I hear you. People who don't control their brats when in a public place are an absolute menace. I'm fairly sure the people on this thread saying you should put up with them are talking out of their backsides, (as usual).

    Do what I do:
    Ask to be moved.
    If they can't or won't comply with your request then either leave at that point or finish your meal then write to let them know why you had a bad experience there.

    I've been invited back to more than one place when I've had a bad experience, (not always caused by brats), and always received a decent discount and apologies from the owners when I have.
    If I don't receive a reply, (doesn't have to be positive), then my custom there has finished.

    Whatever you do don't do trip advisor.
    Pants
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 9th Oct 17, 3:24 PM
    • 18,598 Posts
    • 42,731 Thanks
    peachyprice

    If we can keep emotive stuff out of it... I'm trying to get at the legality. If I've looked forward to a special meal out and the behaviour of another group in a restaurant ruins it (and I've gone home in tears more than once) am I not entitled to some form of redress?
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    Not if you sat and ate the meal. You had the opportunity to cancel your order and leave, you chose to stay and eat, You have to pay for the food you ate, it's as simple as that.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • nomoneytoday
    • By nomoneytoday 9th Oct 17, 3:50 PM
    • 4,710 Posts
    • 2,845 Thanks
    nomoneytoday
    If it's that bad, why not leave before ordering your food?


    Then drink up, and pay the bill without a tip?
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Oct 17, 4:07 PM
    • 861 Posts
    • 575 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    The screaming child was never me, because I wasn't taken to restaurants when I was that sort of age. My parents had too much regard for other peoples' comfort.
    Originally posted by Mehitabel

    I agree 100% with the OP on both these points.


    My parents would have been (rightly) embarrassed and mortified if my behaviour as a child had affected other people's enjoyment of a meal out. If I was too young to be trusted to behave properly I did not join them.


    As parents no longer care about this, we tend to avoid "restaurants" where there are likely to be children running amok.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 9th Oct 17, 4:09 PM
    • 1,787 Posts
    • 1,692 Thanks
    steampowered
    The screaming child was never me, because I wasn't taken to restaurants when I was that sort of age. My parents had too much regard for other peoples' comfort.
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    I guess your parents took the view that 'children should be seen but not heard'?

    I don't think its reasonable or healthy to expect kids to be locked away!

    Personally I frequent family friendly restaurants and pubs quite a bit. I've never had a problem with kids running around. A bit of patience and tolerance seems to work just fine for me.

    If you take that traditionally British approach of complaining about absolutely everything, or you start tutting at people, you are going to end up miserable.

    If you visit a family friendly restaurant or a pub in the daytime you've got to accept that kids will be present, and that kids will be kids.
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