Restaurant charges extra for babies taking up space

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Corinne - posted on 11/24/2011

1,288

14

121

It's in a shopping centre, hardly an exclusive, top notch kind of place. Cannot understand why they would do this, so totally wrong.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/24/2011

2,448

17

91

And also...I am baffled by the comments! I had no idea people still had that big a problem with breastfeeding at restaurants. We've been out every Saturday for the last 3 weeks and I have fed the baby every time. I'm sure no one even noticed and I'm not the best at being discreet, being so new at it.

Krista - posted on 11/24/2011

12,562

16

842

Yeah, this isn't a fine dining establishment with candlelight and $50 entrees. It's a "800-seat, 22,000 sq ft oriental buffet restaurant". In a MALL.

I have no problem with fancy restaurants not catering to little kids. But a gigantic Chinese buffet in a mall?

[deleted account]

Stupid. My kids go where I go or I don't go. It's pretty much just a fact of life. Of course, this wouldn't have an impact on me since my youngest is 3.5. If I ever saw a place that did this... I just wouldn't go. They may be allowed to charge whatever they want, but I'm equally allowed to think it's stupid. ;)

Krista - posted on 11/24/2011

12,562

16

842

That's ridiculous. What's next -- charging people who have large purses? Or old people who have walkers?

Idiots. This will cost them a lot more in lost business and in PR damage control than they would have made off of that surcharge.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

54 Comments

View replies by

Becky - posted on 12/02/2011

2,892

44

92

That's more reasonable. I think most buffets charge a children's price - although usually it doesn't apply until age 2 or 3. I'd be okay with paying a small price for my toddler to pick off my plate, as I'm likely taking more food than I would otherwise, in order for them to do so. I hope she got her 3 pounds back!

Jodi - posted on 12/01/2011

26,034

36

3891

Did you all read the statement put out by the company?

"Hi everyone,
We have issued a statement:
COSMO would like to apologise to Natasha Young for the terrible experience at our Croydon branch. COSMO is a family friendly restaurant and we pride ourselves on making children and parents feel valued. The minimum charge isn’t new and has been in operation for the 7 years that we have been in business – without incident until now, as it was never intended for babies. It’s designed for small children who eat but not a full meal. It would appear that the training, for both the staff and the managers fell well below that of our other restaurants. COSMO would like to assure customers that this is an isolated incident and we will be retraining all employees at Croydon as a matter of urgency.

- COSMO Croydon, COSMO, 24/11/2011 13:12"


http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/a...
(see in the comments)

Jodi - posted on 11/28/2011

26,034

36

3891

"they charge mothers FOR BRINGING THE FOOD!"

Well, they charge corkage if you BYO bottle of wine, so why can't they charge if you bring your own food? I don't see the issue with that.

Isobel - posted on 11/28/2011

9,849

0

282

I maintain that it is my right to run a child-free Chinese buffet if that is what I wish to do. that is all... take your kids where they are welcome, like I do.

Carol - posted on 11/28/2011

325

14

15

Apparently they have to charge for the most abundant thing on earth! Air...there was a similar story and they charge mothers FOR BRINGING THE FOOD! Apparently not only are you not allowed to eat out, you are going to get a child tax tacted on.

Kathleen - posted on 11/26/2011

311

26

31

no not right. In fact at least the few we go to even has the slings for the infants carseats, but do not charge extra. Heck, we only get charged now that our son is 3 when we go to resturants since we actually buy him a meal. Other than that we haven't had that kind of issue. Still not right as they are not eating their food....and resturants can place you in an area the strollers/pushcars/buggies are not in anyones way. They will lose bussiness if they want to charge for that. I think.

Sylvia - posted on 11/26/2011

1,315

8

31

@Sherri, like I said, everyone's different! I (and DD) felt about the stroller exactly the way you and your kids feel about babywearing: we hated it, we were uncomfortable, it was a pain in the neck, it took way too much time and involved WAY too much screaming. (Oh, and car? What is this "car" of which you speak ;) J/K) We still have the stroller in storage in case we ever have another baby and it turns out not to hate the stroller, but I confess I'm kinda hoping for another one who likes to be worn.

Becky - posted on 11/25/2011

2,892

44

92

I miss my stroller when I don't have it. Then I actually have to carry all my crap! My shoulders get sore very quickly, for some reason, so even just carrying my purse, after a while they start to ache. Add in several shopping bags and I'm just an achy mess by the end of the shopping trip.

Lacye - posted on 11/25/2011

2,011

31

160

Sara: LOL It was kinda hard to miss. I went back and reread the thing like 3 or 4 times before I even saw it. The part about them retraining the person is at the very end or close to the very end. I can't remember where the other one is.

[deleted account]

Lacye...huh...I don't remember reading that the first time I read the article. Wonder if they added that or my brain went crazy or something. :)

Sherri - posted on 11/25/2011

9,593

15

387

Sylvia I will take a stroller any day over babywearing. I hate babywearing. I am uncomfortable, it is cumbersome and honestly they nor I liked it even for a second. We loved the stroller and the two seconds it takes to unfold it from the car and refold it to put it thousand times more feasible to me.

As far as this restaurant yup won't be eating there and I honestly don't care if it is a baby or toddler ridiculous in my opinion.

Lacye - posted on 11/25/2011

2,011

31

160

The charge is actually for toddlers who do eat and not babies. It says at the end of the article that the employee in question is being retrained so they will know this. But I agree with everybody else. I would not go to a place if I was charged extra for an infant or baby. In the town I live in, most of the places I have gone to that has a buffet has allowed my daughter to eat for free. They aren't worried about it because they know a 2 year old isn't going to really eat all that much. they don't start charging children's prices until they are 3.

[deleted account]

I'm with Heather on this one. I hated baby wearing. I tried. I wanted to baby wear. But it wasn't meant to be for me! So a stroller it is. Luckily, I drive and I'm able to fit both kids in the grocery buggy (or the older one walks), so I don't rely on the stroller all the time. But when I'm at the mall, zoo, fair, etc...a stroller is a must for me. Even if the older kid is walking, the stroller holds all my crap.

Sylvia - posted on 11/25/2011

1,315

8

31

LOL! If I had a nickel for every time I peed while babywearing, we wouldn't need an RESP for DD. It didn't particularly bother me (it was a big improvement over peeing while listening to her shriek at the top of her lungs), but I'm aware that it's not everyone's cup of tea ;)

We did have a small folding stroller (the kind that used to be called an "umbrella stroller" and weighs about 6 pounds) that we used when DD was a toddler, and that one I found could be useful for shopping (PSA: when hanging shopping bags over the handles of your stroller, make sure that (a) their combined weight is less than the weight of the child in the stroller and (b) said child knows not to get up suddenly without warning you first!). The big one, though ... with certain exceptions (see previous post), I found that the PITA factor of having it with me significantly outweighed any convenience factors. So I mostly left it at home. But everybody's different :)

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

No, it certainly does not.

The carried baby/empty stroller combo is pretty common around here in the winter. I do it myself when we drive places on weekends. My newest addition prefers to be carried, but it's winter and it's bloody cold. Snowsuits + car seats with babies are a no go because of the strap issue so we have her in her infant seat with blankets then pop that on a small frame and wheel her into the mall or wherever and then she comes out and goes in the carrier. The stroller becomes a coat receptacle. Heat is generally going like crazy and having a baby on you + massive winter coat is not good. I also then have a place to put her down if I need to accomplish the tasks I don't like to do with baby on me (ie. going pee - HATE IT). So you see it all the time. Even full time baby wearers do it. There is often an explanation for most things. People don't generally go out of their way to make their lives more difficult.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

Maybe I am not a strong person, but I can't carry four bags of groceries, baby necessities and a baby home in my arms, nor do I have a backpack to fit everything. Nor is there anywhere for me to pile my shopping bags on the bus. It's either a stroller or a pile of bags. The stroller is easier to control. But I tend to stick with the smallest stroller possible to get the job done. And as I've said in the past, transit sucks here so when you go out to do something you are out for the day. Also I don't tend to go out and buy a little. I do one or two big trips a week to avoid having to go out all the time so I end up with lots of stuff. Now it's really necessary because I'm packing for two kids and I need a hand to hold on to Freja.

Sylvia - posted on 11/25/2011

1,315

8

31

That's really interesting, Heather, because those were precisely the times when I found the stroller most cumbersome and annoying when DD was little. (I don't drive either, so the entirety of my mat leave was a process of learning How to Navigate The City On Foot While Accompanied By A Baby.)

Taking it on the bus or subway was a hideous nightmare (I only did it twice), store aisles were too narrow to navigate easily, and even getting into and out of stores was tricky -- steps! security sensors! those double doors where you have to open one, then the other, what do you do with them?? (Auto-opening doors for wheelchair users have become more widespread since then.) It was great for just walking around the neighbourhood aimlessly, but add an errand and it became a liability. So I ended up ditching the diaper bag and sticking the changing pad, wipes, clean diapers, and a Ziploc bag in my backpack, leaving the rest of its capacity for groceries-or-whatever.

I was lucky though in that DD is a peanut -- at a year old she weighed

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

Strollers are necessary for those of us who don't drive and are shopping. The baby doesn't weigh much, but the shopping and diaper bag start to add up pretty quickly. I rarely make use of the stroller when I have the car with my husband to drive it, but definitely it's needed for walking and bus trips.

Sylvia - posted on 11/25/2011

1,315

8

31

Heather, yeah, Banff is kind of awful now :( -- and, frankly, most of the restaurants there are not that good anymore. Even Moraine Lake has gotten touristy! :(

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

Yes, tourist town and very much ill-planned. Waaaay too many people with nowhere to put them so I don't really blame the restaurant. I hadn't been there since I was 12 and it's gotten pretty bad since then. Had no idea. Also a lot of the restaurants that allow strollers are upstairs with no elevators or anything so it's largely an inaccessible place as well. Just...I don't know why people want to go there. Even without the stroller it's too busy. I guess I am not a tourist-y type.

Sylvia - posted on 11/25/2011

1,315

8

31

Sounds like a great way to lose business to me. I've been to restaurants like that and they're always wall-to-wall families with kids, because they have a lot of variety so you don't have to commit to one menu item, they're casual enough that if your kids make some noise or wander around a bit it's fine, and they're decent value for money. This is just a stupid decision on the part of the restaurant, and my reaction would be to shrug and say "Meh. They obviously don't like kids. Let's not eat there anymore." Where I live, there are a few restaurants known to be non-kid-friendly -- but plenty of restaurants that welcome kids with open arms. So no big.



Confession: I am baffled by the popularity of strollers. It irritates me when people bring humungous strollers on the bus and park them in the aisle right up front so nobody else can get by. It annoys me when people park their baby in a huge stroller next to their restaurant table and ignore it for the entire meal (in that case why not get a babysitter, who might actually, like, interact with the baby once in a while?). It makes me nuts when I'm grocery shopping and somebody is pushing a stroller larger than my shopping cart containing a howling baby whom they're, again, totally ignoring (I'm not talking about a toddler pitching a fit, I'm talking about a baby who clearly needs feeding, changing, or cuddling). (When DD was still nursing and this happened, I literally had to walk around with my arm pressed across my chest to stop milk leaking out, because my breasts reacted to every crying baby like it was their own personal baby. No joke.) I'm puzzled whenever I see a parent struggle to unload and unfold a giant stroller from the back of a car, while holding the baby in the other arm, in order to walk twenty feet from the car to the daycare entrance or whatever (I was once chastised by a woman, in an elevator I think, for failing to offer to help her unfold her stroller which she was having trouble with. I said, truthfully, that I was sorry but I had no idea what she was actually doing. I've offered to hold the baby in similar situations, but for some reason people don't like that...) or a couple pushing an empty stroller around the mall while one of them carries their baby. I understand why it's useful to have a stroller when you're spending the whole day at the zoo or something with a toddler, too heavy for you to carry all day and too young to walk all day, but I don't really get why a 30-pound 6-square-foot vehicle is necessary to transport a 7-pound baby o_O



So I can totally understand why a restaurant with limited floor space would ask that strollers be folded left at the front, and why stores with narrow aisles would ask that strollers be left outside. But you have to make that clear up front -- and charging for babies who will eat practically nothing is really dumb.

[deleted account]

Yeah, charging for a baby is stupid.

Heather, isn't Banff a little touristy town? Everyone walks and the shops are piled on top of each other with not much space? I can understand your frustration, but I'm sure it can be frustrating for a restaurant owner to have to always have squish tables together in order to make room for a stroller and lose space that another patron could have. I agree that it's ridiculous and maybe the town wasn't planned out very well (parking way off then not allowing strollers). But I can also see the restaurant owner's point of view in that case.

There is a huge shopping event here called "HollyDays". It is held in Baton Rouge's convention center and vendors from all over the country come in and set up little booths. I love to go. But strollers aren't allowed. The first year I took Eliza and didn't realize this. My friend and I took turns holding my 6 month old while shopping. Not convenient. But I can see why strollers weren't allowed. It may have been part of the safety code for the set up of the event. Also, if all the moms had strollers, there wouldn't be enough room to walk. The strollers wouldn't easily fit in most booths. It would have been a hassle for the other shoppers and vendors to work around the strollers.

And totally off topic, I used to have a t-shirt with a sheep on it and it said, "Baaaaaaanff" So your post made me smile remembering that...haha...I'm such a dork.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

Oh yeah - you'd best be charging my 2 year old for a Chinese buffet because that girl can EAT. We took her to one once and she ate more than I did. And she doesn't go for the cheap dishes. There's no filling up on rice and noodles for Freja. You pay $1 per year for ages 2 to 12 so it cost 2 bucks. lulz.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/25/2011

2,448

17

91

You never know Mary - people can be really dumb. We once had a waiter offer us a kids menu for Freja when she was 2 months old. She weighed 10 lbs so there was no real room for reasonable confusion there.

I get the no stroller in the dining area too because often they aren't set up for that. I just find it funny that in a town with about a million strollers wandering around where you absolutely need to have one to do anything there is only restaurant space for a small handful. They should just put a sign up on the road in saying babies aren't accepted. But as I say, I just don't go back to places like that because it isn't worth the hassle. There are other places to stop for meals on the drive to Calgary. I also tend to avoid restaurants that I know are too crowded for my stroller when I'm out walking and try to plan to stop at the ones that work if need be. I'm guessing with the size of this buffet, it would have previously made the list. Ha.

[deleted account]

The comments are disgusting. A breastfeeding mother is allowed to feed her baby anywhere that a mother has the right to be.
The law... Breastfeeding mothers are protected in law under the provision of goods, services and facilities section of the Sexual Discrimination Act when breastfeeding, whatever the age of the baby, in places such as cafes, restaurants, libraries, surgeries etc.

The £3 charge is meant to be for toddlers who eat the food. I can easily believe that some newbie staff member was poorly informed by some junior manager who was too thick to understand the rules or reasons.

As for pushchairs taking up room, I agree that it can be a pain in a crowded restaurant. The restaurant should be allowed to refuse them and provide an area to leave them or be able to request that they are folded.

Mary - posted on 11/25/2011

3,348

31

119

I can see a (small) charge for toddlers who are actually eating the food...but for an infant?? That employee must be the thickest person on the planet to assume that the new "policy" applied to 6 week old infant.

Unfortunately, there is a Chinese Buffet restaurant that opened in my area about a year ago. For some reason, kids just love those places - and whenever my niece and nephew come into town, they beg to go there. I have to admit, I was fascinated that when Molly was still under 3, they would not charge us for her, with the exception of her drink. It almost felt like cheating, since we did get her a (small) plate of food. As far as I know, all of the buffet-style places I ever been to do not even charge for kids 2 and under. Obviously, they don't eat near the volume that an adult does, but most of them over the age of one will eat something, so a reduced charge does seem fair.

I can also see not allowing strollers in a restaurant dining area - they are cumbersome, take up space, and impede access for both servers and patrons. At the beach resort town I visit every summer (which is predominated by families), all of the restaurants do have space somewhere in the facility where all strollers have to be stowed while eating. They are strictly forbidden in the dining area - and I see the wisdom in this policy. However, I have never been charged just for her mere presence...only for any food or beverage I ordered for her. Hell, most places are fine with your toddler just eating off the parent's plate, which I often do. At just 3, even the kid's meals are way too much food for her, and unless I really want something I know she won't eat, we just share mine, and I get her a drink. I have been to a place or two that charged a "plate-sharing fee" - but that's not kid-specific - it applies to adults that may share an entree as well.

[deleted account]

Is it legal to do that anyway or those it go against our rights.?Anyone know.?



As a great restaurant went out of business because they would not allow strollers in the premises.Many business people ate there and i was not working but met work mates with my new child.I was refused.Apparently it got to a lot of people being refused as well as the business people who ate there.Its gone now.

Good luck to there restaurant.lol

[deleted account]

People annoy the crap out of me with silly crap like this.As for b/f in public please don't get me started and i stopped b/f after a few weeks but i still feel strongly about the rights of breast feeding mothers.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/24/2011

2,448

17

91

Now that I read the thing, it says that isn't their policy and staff members were in the wrong. I wonder if that's true or if they are saving face. Sometimes employees do dumb shit when they don't fully understand the rules.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/24/2011

2,448

17

91

That's fine if they want to do that, but it's a fabulous way to lose business. I wouldn't go any place like that. Not being able to drive means I'm often out with a stroller that I can't just leave in the car, and yeah - sometimes we miss a bus and have to grab lunch while we're out (although I really try to avoid that scenario). I don't bring extra shit just to be a pain.

Last spring we stopped in Banff for lunch on our way to Calgary and because Freja was a really new walker and couldn't go far and we had to park super far away because there's nowhere to park there, we took a stroller to get food. Well...a ton of the places said "no strollers" and many had restricted stroller space and you couldn't actually bring them anywhere close to your table or even where you could see them. Totally put us off so we just bypass Banff now. It was crazy because there were strollers EVERYWHERE (for obvious reasons), but nowhere for those people to go. Not my kind of place, that's for sure.

Becky - posted on 11/24/2011

2,892

44

92

Yes, some of those comments are disgusting! Geez, if you don't want your meal ruined by bratty children, don't go to a buffet! I would have no problem with being asked to park my stroller somewhere - in fact my favorite restaurant makes us leave the stroller in the entryway and that is fine. It does take up a lot of space! But if they started charging me to bring in a baby, they would suddenly no longer be my favorite place to eat! And it's a lot classier than a Chinese food buffet too!

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2011

15,141

154

597

Ew read the comments what a bunch of fuck heads. And it's a shopping centre restaurant apparently, so not like it's any kind of classy.

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2011

15,141

154

597

No. It's ridiculous. Especially if you have rang up booked and said that oyu need space for a pram/high chair.

Johnny - posted on 11/24/2011

8,686

26

318

Perhaps they are trying to avoid having children eat there so that they don't get assessed a larger liability percentage when their customers get food poisoning. After all, it is a Chinese buffet in a mall. They couldn't pay me to eat there, let alone, pay extra for my nibbling baby.

Meredith - posted on 11/24/2011

24

5

4

If it was a high class fancy restaurant, I could see it, although I wouldn't agree with it but if I'm going to be eating at a fancy restaurant I would want to enjoy my meal without having to worry about my kids. But for a restaurant in the mall that is horrible to do that and very sad on their part.

Kimberly - posted on 11/24/2011

785

23

317

There is no way that the fee should even be allowed!!!! Even if I didnt have a child I wouldnt eat there for the simple fact my friends have kids and they are more concerned with money in the bank then customer service!!! I have booked tables before where they have asked if possible not to bring a pram in or leave it at the front, I've even taken my own high chair seat when they had all theres booked. One time when we went to a hotel I booked a room and said we needed a port a cot put in that was all good, when it came time to check out they were going to charge me more for our stay because they had to upgrade our room to fit the cot in. Now if they had told me before we got there or when we checked in fine but waiting til check out? No I wasnt paying for an upgrade that I didnt even know about and they should have realized that the first room would be too small when I booked it. Kids are a joy in life not a sercharge

Elfrieda - posted on 11/24/2011

2,620

0

458

In a mall restaurant I've been asked to fold the stroller and leave it up front by the coatrack. That seemed reasonable because the space would have been cramped with a stroller in the aisle, but charging extra is just greedy.

Some people just have no idea. We went to a family reunion in Mexico last summer and were charged (the cost was divided among all the attendees) for two adults and one child. Well, our "child" was only 7 months old! He wasn't really eating much food and never had his own seat on buses or vans, never had to pay for entry into museums and such. I even was expected to just hold him in my arms when we drove from place to place to be able to fit more people per vehicle. (I refused for the first few days, but the relaxed atmosphere got to me in the end)
We did pay it just in the interest of maintaining family unity, but it irked us quite badly. Now, it was a childless 24-year-old doing most of the planning, but her parents and older brother should have weighed in on how much extra a baby will cost (answer: a few dollars, not two hundred)

Point is, some people just don't get it, or they've forgotten, or they hate babies.

Michele - posted on 11/24/2011

238

2

14

LOL, maybe they should start charging pregnant women more since they are eating for 2 also.

Denikka - posted on 11/24/2011

2,160

5

748

That's ridiculous!! I have NEVER heard of a restaurant charging for space. You pay for the FOOD. Not how much room you take up.
Tracey's right. Are they going to charge extra for wheelchairs or assistance animals? What about obese people. Hell, what about people with wider than average hips? What about people who eat with their chair pushed back from the table??
I really hope that this business takes a HUGE hit because of this. I have never heard anything so stupid XP

Isobel - posted on 11/24/2011

9,849

0

282

They're allowed to charge whatever they want. Clearly they DON'T want babies there. My guess is they'll make up any loss from parents by attracting more people who don't want to eat around babies.

I'm a parent and I wouldn't be affected by this surcharge because I wouldn't have brought my baby to a nice restaurant...but that's just me.

Katherine - posted on 11/24/2011

65,420

232

4894

That's ludicrous.


I agree with Krista what's next? How can you charge for a child? A newborn nonetheless.

Becky - posted on 11/24/2011

2,892

44

92

That is absolutely ridiculous! If you're not ordering a meal, you don't pay, period! (unless the restaurant charges a per head cover charge, and I've only ever heard of bars doing that here.) I would've turned around, walked out, and never gone back! And made sure none of my family or friends ever went back either!

Tracey - posted on 11/24/2011

1,094

2

58

Would they charge extra for a wheelchair using customer who could not sit at a regular seat?
What about an assistance dog, would they charge for those as well?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/24/2011

18,896

9

3002

This is an unbelievable display of greed. Also, IMO, it is another way to try and stop parents from bringing young children to a restaurant. I hope her message gets out there and changes the policy.

Brianna - posted on 11/24/2011

1,914

22

327

thats soooo stupid!!!! very unfair! i would never eat there and i would never say the charge even if they tried to get me to.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms