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  • FIRST POST
    • Mehitabel
    • By Mehitabel 9th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
    • 25Posts
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    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 3
    • foxtrotoscar
    • By foxtrotoscar 10th Oct 17, 12:41 AM
    • 1,031 Posts
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    foxtrotoscar
    It's a bit of an OTT reaction to go home crying from a restaurant because of unruly child...it can be a bit of an annoyance I agree but it's really not something that tears should be shed over.
    • Sicard
    • By Sicard 10th Oct 17, 8:53 AM
    • 674 Posts
    • 591 Thanks
    Sicard
    A screaming child is indicative of bad parenting. None of my three ever screamed. Okay they navigated through the terrible twos but good parenting skills and distractions prevailed. There's not much you can do except shout 'shut up'. You should experience bad parenting with a brat on a ten-hour long haul.
    Am proud I only have one sourpuss on my ignore list
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 10th Oct 17, 9:09 AM
    • 371 Posts
    • 298 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    Two thoughts. Thought one, you need to have a reasonable expectation of what the dining experience will be. You can't go into your local Harvester and expect no screaming children. Likewise if you were at The Ivy, you would expect other diners and the management to respect and protect the dining environment. Any restaurant in between these two examples, then you have a quiet word with the manager there and then in the expectation that they will assess your complaint based on the evidence, and if appropriate offer you recompense - such as a small discount, the offer to return another time with 15 percent off the bill, complimentary coffees, etc. The point is that you deal with the situation there and then.

    Thought two, in my opinion it is simply churlish and quite frankly mean spirited to send a letter to a restaurant after such an experience. The moment has gone - the management can't assess how bad the situation is and they certainly haven't had a reasonable opportunity to redress your complaint. In which case, just drop it. Move on. Life is too short.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th Oct 17, 10:40 AM
    • 1,951 Posts
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    steampowered
    A screaming child is indicative of bad parenting. None of my three ever screamed.
    Originally posted by Sicard
    It must be nice to have such easy kids. It is simply not true that a badly behaved child is indicative of bad parent.

    Different kids can behave very differently, for any number of reasons. For example particularly intelligent kids tend to be extremely badly behaved when they are young.

    This does not necessarily reflect on the parenting. While parenting has an impact the reality is that the behaviour of children is more a function of biology than parenting. I was an absolute nightmare whereas my siblings were well behaved.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th Oct 17, 10:42 AM
    • 1,951 Posts
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    steampowered
    Reading this thread, I wonder why our eating out culture can't be a bit more like Spain or Italy.

    When you go out to restaurants in those countries, I've found that kids are consistently welcomed. People are generally patient and tolerant.

    You don't have old farts sitting in the back tutting at the slightest hint of noise!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    • 28,637 Posts
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    Mojisola
    It must be nice to have such easy kids. It is simply not true that a badly behaved child is indicative of bad parent.

    Different kids can behave very differently, for any number of reasons. For example particularly intelligent kids tend to be extremely badly behaved when they are young.

    This does not necessarily reflect on the parenting. While parenting has an impact the reality is that the behaviour of children is more a function of biology than parenting. I was an absolute nightmare whereas my siblings were well behaved.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    But ignoring your child while it is running riot around a restaurant is bad parenting.

    If any of ours hadn't been able to sit still at the table, one of us would have taken him/her outside until they had settled down.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 10th Oct 17, 11:20 AM
    • 4,718 Posts
    • 7,500 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Different kids can behave very differently, for any number of reasons. For example particularly intelligent kids tend to be extremely badly behaved when they are young.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Of course they are.

    I'm willing to bet out of the badly behaved kids the number of those with a behaviour affecting disability is quite small compared to those who have just been badly parented.

    Anyway seeing as the OP is unwilling to answer questions and is unlikely to come back I'll leave too.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 10th Oct 17, 11:25 AM
    • 4,893 Posts
    • 5,333 Thanks
    societys child
    It's easy, just leave 'em sat in yer car with a packet of crisps and a bottle of cheap orange. Didn't everyone do this when kids weren't allowed in pubs . . . .

    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th Oct 17, 11:26 AM
    • 1,951 Posts
    • 1,824 Thanks
    steampowered
    Of course they are.

    I'm willing to bet out of the badly behaved kids the number of those with a behaviour affecting disability is quite small compared to those who have just been badly parented.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Yes, it is very true. Bright children tend to be badly behaved. They tend to run around more, be more argumentative and more 'into things' because they are interested in the world around them. Less intelligent kids are more willing to sit still.

    There's plenty of research to back this up, and plenty of real world parenting experience if you simply do a google search.

    While I agree that conditions such as ADHD will result in bad behaviour, kids can behave badly without having any disability and despite good parenting.

    I'm not convinced that parenting has a lot of impact on how kids conduct themselves. I've seen plenty of appalling parents with well behaved children, and vice versa.
    Last edited by steampowered; 10-10-2017 at 11:28 AM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 10th Oct 17, 11:33 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,217 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Reading this thread, I wonder why our eating out culture can't be a bit more like Spain or Italy.

    When you go out to restaurants in those countries, I've found that kids are consistently welcomed. People are generally patient and tolerant.

    You don't have old farts sitting in the back tutting at the slightest hint of noise!
    Originally posted by steampowered

    Yes.

    Because in my experience kids in restaurants in Italy (can’t speak for Spain) are well behaved. And, again, I think the point stuartJo1979 raised re pubs v restaurants is well made.

    Nice to be called an old fart. My partner has twelve grandchildren of varying ages so I do have some knowledge of this. The younger ones get taken to family friendly places where they can be boisterous and playful at the table. But there is no question of them being allowed to interfere with the enjoyment of other diners

    Do I tut tut at the noise kids make in places like this - nope. Do I get peed off in a restaurant when kids come up to and around our table and start messing around. Yep. Especially when the selfish parents either a) ignore it or b) think it’s funny. “Look at Little Johnny making faces at that man over there”

    As was said earlier some parents in this thread don’t seem to accept that there is a middle ground
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th Oct 17, 2:23 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 2,956 Thanks
    sheramber
    Rather than the cost of a meal I find what is on the menu determines whether children will be there or not.

    if there are no child friendly dishes on the menu then parents aren't going to bring their children there.

    So pick your restaurant according to the menu.
    • NotRichAtAll
    • By NotRichAtAll 10th Oct 17, 5:47 PM
    • 684 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    NotRichAtAll
    i had a miserable day out with the wife, is that grounds for divorce? you ate the grub pay for it.
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 10th Oct 17, 6:37 PM
    • 1,904 Posts
    • 2,676 Thanks
    Robisere
    Over the years my family and I have had regular birthday and other celebrations, in several different pubs/restaurants and 3 different towns, 2 different villages. This began when our children were younger and continued with grandchildren, who are now 24, 21, 18 and 11. At no time did any of those children cause a problem for others and they always enjoyed a good time. Now there are OH's, boy and girl friends, their friends and our friends, with their offspring. It's a bloomin' circus, says my wife, but we still ensure that we don't upset anyone else and we always have a great time. The venues love us! We have two favourite places which have outside play areas and conservatory areas, which we can book for our own "do". That way the young ones can run about outside as much as they wish, with the heartfelt comment from the parents of a boy with severe ADHD, that he is usually exhausted and sleeps well when they get him home. The kids have grown up knowing each other and the older ones look after the younger. This happens a lot in Lincolnshire towns and villages.

    Kids don't need to be a problem for others in order to have a good time in adult surroundings. It's all in the parenting and the boundaries they should have been taught to observe. A problem for children on the Autistic spectrum, it's true, but there are two of those in our family and another in our group of friends. They know they are surrounded by love and approval, that can become disapproval which they have learned to avoid.
    Last edited by Robisere; 10-10-2017 at 6:40 PM.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 10th Oct 17, 8:09 PM
    • 18,795 Posts
    • 43,283 Thanks
    peachyprice
    It's easy, just leave 'em sat in yer car with a packet of crisps and a bottle of cheap orange. Didn't everyone do this when kids weren't allowed in pubs . . . .
    Originally posted by societys child
    Yep, didn't do us any harm
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Joshua_Nkomo
    • By Joshua_Nkomo 11th Oct 17, 9:53 AM
    • 64 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    Joshua_Nkomo
    Yes, it is very true. Bright children tend to be badly behaved. They tend to run around more, be more argumentative and more 'into things' because they are interested in the world around them. Less intelligent kids are more willing to sit still.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    You take them on a picnic then.

    As has been said in the European countries the kids are brought up to behave appropriately.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 11th Oct 17, 11:27 AM
    • 728 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    Not sure about the legal side of not paying for the meal but you should certainly complain if any aspect of your experience is lacking, not just food.

    I took my wife to a local restaurant (as part of a hotel) for our anniversary a while back and specifically asked for a window seat as it looks out over the sea. The person taking the booking said that they would try to accommodate my request but they couldn't guarantee it. I asked if anybody else had booked before me and nobody else had, so they agreed that they could indeed honour my request.

    When I turned up, I was told I couldn't have a window table as there was only 2 of us and when I was led to the table they had reserved for us, my wife saw the waiter smirk and gesture towards us with one of the other waiters. Half an hour later, we noticed a couple were given a table (for four) next to the window overlooking the sea.

    I paid up and then went to see the hotel manageress who said she would investigate and get back to me. A couple of days later she rang to apologise and that she would be sending some vouchers as an apology.

    My point? Although the food was fine, it was also the experience I had booked (and been told I could have) and was paying for or I would have gone somewhere else in the first place.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Oct 17, 11:33 AM
    • 28,637 Posts
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    Mojisola
    As has been said in the European countries the kids are brought up to behave appropriately.
    Originally posted by Joshua_Nkomo
    Exactly - if bright children can't be expected to sit still and children with health issues have to be left to run around, this would be the case in every country in the world but it isn't.

    It's parenting skills that are deficient here.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 18th Oct 17, 8:23 AM
    • 4,932 Posts
    • 3,933 Thanks
    glentoran99
    A screaming child is indicative of bad parenting. None of my three ever screamed. Okay they navigated through the terrible twos but good parenting skills and distractions prevailed. There's not much you can do except shout 'shut up'. You should experience bad parenting with a brat on a ten-hour long haul.
    Originally posted by Sicard


    absolute and utter garbage, You may think you were a perfect parent but your sweeping generalisation is nonsense.
    • The-Truth
    • By The-Truth 18th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    • 470 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    The-Truth
    Many thanks for the input, all.

    To make the picture more complete, the sort of restaurants/pubs I'm talking about aren't billed as specially "family-friendly"
    Originally posted by Mehitabel
    Then don't go to a family friendly restaurant again then as you obviously aren't that family friendly!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 18th Oct 17, 9:15 AM
    • 28,637 Posts
    • 72,962 Thanks
    Mojisola
    absolute and utter garbage, You may think you were a perfect parent but your sweeping generalisation is nonsense.
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    A screaming child doesn't mean the parents are bad - it's how they react to the child behaving that way that defines their parenting skills.
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