Why Parents with Small Kids Are Disliked at Restaurants

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A good friend of mine schedule weekly play dates at least twice a week. After letting the boys play for about 2 to 3 hours, we go out and have lunch at whatever restaurant we fancy that day.  Wherever we go, we usually always get booted to the back of the restaurant or we get bad service.  They must not like us :) (yes, it’s a smiley face)I used to be food server at some point during college.  So I could somewhat understand what my problem is. From a former waitress’s point of view I would have to say the following are the 5 most common reasons many servers don’t like to serve parties with small children:

kids-eating

1. The noise – each server is assigned a specific station. Usually the station involves a group of tables close to each other. This means that if children are noisy in one table, then you might have unhappy customers in another.

2. The mess – there is a good chance that your table will be left in a completely messier situation than normal, which will take a little longer to cleanup. If the restaurant is busy and you want to make money, you won’t have time to wait around for the bus boy to clean it up. You will do what you can to get it clean, which is a complete pain in your butt.

3. The demands – it’s hard to tell what your little one is going to need or want. Parents will often have you running around more times than you have to, getting straws, cleaning things up, more napkins, etc. Don’t get me wrong, because I know that a lot of adults ask for a lot of other things to, but this is just something to be expected when there are children.

4. The time – time is very valuable for servers. The faster a table is turned over, the more money they make at the end of the day. When there are children at the table, the parents take a lot longer to order, there is a lot more fuss with the food, and getting everyone situated into the actual eating phase.

5. The tips – most people tip based on the total of the bill. Kids meals usually cost a lot less than an adult meal. So if you have 5 small children, you are working twice as hard, for a lot less … how do you suppose the server will feel in the end?

Have you ever felt mistreated in a restaurant?