Posts Tagged ‘ bans ’

‘No Kids Allowed’ Policies Spark Debate

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The growing number of businesses that are placing what has been termed a “brat ban” on children is sparking a debate among parents, consumers, and business owners.

A Chicago Tribune editorial explains the debate, and advises a balanced approach to thinking about how kids fit best into the larger world of commerce, travel, and dining:

The no-kids-allowed movement, aka the Brat Ban, is gaining momentum, driven by quiet-seeking adults who want to prohibit children from everything from concerts to public transportation to Facebook. Demographics tell the story: The U.S. has more empty-nesters and more childless couples than ever before. One in five women choose not to have children.

We understand why adults who want to enjoy a quiet restaurant meal object to parents who drop the leash and order a cocktail while their kids run screaming about the place. We understand about that cocktail, too.

So we’re happy to see the growing list of options for the child-averse: Adult swim. Theaters that have separate kids and no-kids screenings of the same movie. Quiet cars on the train. And yes, kid-free restaurants.

Some Whole Foods stores have child-free shopping hours, with activities to keep the kids busy while the grown-ups forage for cage-free eggs. For a real getaway, there’s, a website that specializes in kid-free vacation destinations.

But sometimes there’s no escape. On airplanes, for example. Every parent who’s ever checked a stroller on the jetway has seen the looks of consternation from fellow passengers, even before the baby has made a peep. “Find a more child-friendly mode of travel,” one air traveler sniffed on the Shine post. Selfish, whiny, immature — no, we’re not talking about the baby.

Frequent-flying moms have learned to carry big packages of foam earplugs to share with seatmates; if the airlines were smart, they’d stock up, too. Individual passengers would be wise to bring their own, if they can’t bear the sound of wailing.

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Pennsylvania Restaurant Bans Children Under 6

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

eatingMcDain’s Restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., which identifies itself on its website as a “fine casual dining” establishment, has instituted a new policy banning children under 6 from dining in the restaurant.  As The Huffington Post reported:

In an email sent to customers, owner Mike Vuick wrote, “Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit children under six years of age. We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”

Some customers are outraged at the new policy, which is not prohibited by law. The Pittsburgh news channel WTAE quoted one mother, Stephanie Kelley:

Kelley’s son, Jameson, is 13 months old. She had planned a July 16 dinner outing at McDain’s with a group of 20 visiting family members from North Carolina, but Vuick told her he would not take the reservation if she plans to bring young Jameson. “We really enjoy eating at McDain’s, and Jameson is very well-behaved,” Kelley said. “If they’re so concerned about noise, what do they plan to do about the loud people at the bar?”

But others support Vuick’s right to deny service if young children disturb the atmosphere he’s trying to create in his restaurant.  “”It’s up to him. If he thinks they’re a problem under 6, then I think the patrons should abide by that,” Suzanne Swigart told WTAE.

Recently Malaysia Airlines banned young children from their first class cabin, and in March, former Top Chef contestant Dale Levitski banned children from brunch at his Chicago restaurant.

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