Culture & Entertainment

Is a “well-behaved kids” discount insulting or a nice gesture?

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Is a “well-behaved kids” discount insulting or a nice gesture?

Carino offers parents a $5 It’s a daily ritual for me to listen to Chum FM’s Roger, Darren & Marilyn morning show during my daily commute to work. The other day, as I sat in the parking lot that is Highway 401, the hosts mentioned associate producer Caitlin Green’s Facebook post from the day prior. Green shared a picture of a receipt from Carino Japanese Bistro, a small high-end Calgary restaurant that’s been making headlines since one family’s Mother’s Day brunch. This receipt went viral thanks to its After just a few hours, the post received hundreds of comments. Why such a strong response to a simple bill? The diners’ one-year-old’s manners earned the family a $5 “well-behaved kids” discount, while the offering earned the restaurant both praise and scrutiny. Some say it’s discriminatory (especially in the case of children with physical or mental disorders or disabilities). Others say we should “let kids be kids” or question the subjectivity of it all. There’s no questioning the fact that this policy is something of a grey area, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfair to patrons. What’s black and white to me is this: Carino is a high-end bistro and wine bar. This isn’t Swiss Chalet or Boston Pizza. It’s not meant to be family-friendly. It’s a mature establishment geared toward adults and adults alone. But instead of turning away families with young kids at the door, they’ve instituted a program that thanks this clientele for their patronage and courtesy. If anyone deems this directive unfair, chances are your priorities aren’t where they need to be. Isn’t the shame of knowing waitstaff and patrons thought your child was misbehaved worse than the fact that your bill is a few dollars higher than it could have been? It’s not about charging parents of misbehaved kids more. It’s about providing incentive to parents, who are probably used to the crying and tantrums, to be mindful that disruptive behaviour can ruin a perfectly good meal out. No one wants to pay $50 or more for a meal that wasn’t enjoyed. Let’s not forget that childless diners don’t have the opportunity to save five bucks off their meals. If my mealtime bonus is peace and quiet, I’ll gladly pay $5 more than the table next to me. And while kids should be able to enjoy childhood, they also need to learn self-control. There is a time and a place to be loud and uninhibited. The dinnertable is not it. My number 1 pet peeve is inconsiderate people, those who aren’t aware that their behaviour is rude or annoying. Many of these adults were probably allowed to throw food and raise their voices at restaurants. As for the critics who point to children with disabilities, one Facebook commentator wrote: “I have worked in the industry for a hell of a long time, and I can tell you from experience, it's generally not kids with disabilities that are causing disruptions. It's spoiled kids who get to do/act how they want, disrupt other people, then get ice cream as a reward at the end of it!” Parents of all children, disabled or not, should know their kid’s limits and what venue would be appropriate to eat at. Those who like to run around and be kids aren’t being judged. Their parents are for bringing them to a bistro. I don’t expect kids to always be perfectly behaved. But it’s nice when parents encourage them to have manners while in public, even if their efforts are in vain. (Photo courtesy Carino Japanese Bistro)
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Culture & Entertainment

Is a “well-behaved kids” discount insulting or a nice gesture?

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