Is it fair for restaurants to ban children?

Jul 31, 2014

McDonald's Launches Low Fat Happy Meal For Kids

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A popular restaurant on a touristy wharf in Monterey has doubled down on an effective ban on children.

The restaurant, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, has a policy against high chairs, strollers, booster seats, crying, and loud noises. Some families who visit the restaurant are peeved with what they call unfriendly rules — parents who were turned away because the restuarant wouldn’t accommodate their infants or toddlers say it’s rude for an establishment to ban babies.

Parents of older children argue that their kids won’t learn how to behave while eating out if they aren’t allowed into restaurants. Other diners say that a lack of screaming kids and immature behavior is a good thing — they prefer to eat undisturbed.

Is it fair for restaurants to ban kids? Should families accommodate restaurants, or vice-versa? Is there a way to compromise?


Emily Yoffe, contributor at Slate, author of their Dear Prudence column

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