A California restaurant is coming under fire for banning noisy children.
Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey, California made the decision to ban noisy children in order to keep up the pleasant environment in their restaurant. Owner Chris Shake defends the decision, saying that he doesn’t want children to ruin the atmosphere.
Two signs posted at the restaurant let patrons no that there are no strollers, high chairs, or booster seats inside, going on to say that, “Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.” The signs have been up for a while, but after putting up a third sign recently, his policy angered a lot of people.
“I would probably not go there to not deal with that sort of atmosphere,” said tourist Kelly Lozano to KSBW. “It surprises me because this is a family place — where you go with your kids for vacation.”
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Shake defends his restaurant’s policy, saying that they have rules for a reason.
“If a place has the rules, that’s what the rules are. You go in and abide by the rules or you find a place more suitable for you.” said Shake, claiming that his business hasn’t been affected by the policy and is actually better than ever. “Well, let’s put it this way — I haven’t had a down year for over 20 years and our business continues to grow.”
Since the story was picked up by many news outlets, the restaurant has released a statement explaining their policy in detail.
“Old Fisherman’s Grotto is a relatively small restaurant and we found that having strollers and/or high chairs at the tables and in the aisles made it difficult to have full access to get to and around tables,” said the restaurant in their statement. “For the safety of our staff and guests we adopted a stroller policy 5 years ago. We adopted our children’s policy in 2011 to provide an overall enhanced dining experience for guests who frequently dine at the restaurant, by giving them an alternative place to eat on Fisherman’s Wharf that has a quiet atmosphere. At Old Fisherman’s Grotto, we strive to give all of our guests the best dining experience possible and our policy relating to children was put in place to enhance the experience of all our diners with and without children. We welcome families with children and we serve many every day, we only ask that they abide by our rules.”
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Restaurant employees say that the recent attention they’ve received has actually helped their business.
Sources: The Blaze, SFGate, KSBW