Old Fisherman’s Grotto, a seafood restaurant in California, decided to ensure that the dining room would not be turned into a playground. The restaurant put up a sign listing the rules of their establishment.
It reads; “No Strollers, No High Chairs, No Booster Chairs. Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.”
One customer posted a picture of the sign on Yelp, and this quickly drew attention, despite other people having posted the sign for years.
The 70-year-old restaurant has continued to attract customers despite the sign, but some people chose to avoid the restaurant after seeing the sign.
"Whoa. I've never seen this before. I'm canceling my reservation at the restaurant after seeing this picture on Yelp," on mom commented on a Facebook group.
One Yelp review read, "Always loved going to this place as a kid with my family. So when I came back from living overseas with my own kids, I was appalled by the sign that basically said no kids allowed."
Despite the great number of angry parents, there were many parents who supported the restaurant’s rules.
One Facebook user commented, "I really don't understand why you parents don't just take your kids to McDonald's or Chuck-E-Cheese where they could scream all they want."
One Yelp reviewer expressed the irony that parents were the ones complaining about the restaurant’s policy; "I support your child-free/no screaming kids policy! The irony of these self-centered parents complaining is that THEY are the reason this exists in the first place."
While some families may be deterred from visiting the restaurant, there will be no policy changes anytime in the near future.
The owner of the restaurant spoke to KTVU, stating that his establishment is known for the quiet atmosphere, and that they often serve families that have well-behaved children.
"We have many families who dine with us with their children who are well behaved and understand our policy with respect to other diners. What we have found on those who write negative reviews about our policy are those who have not dined here but become offended by the sign and our policy," he said.
The restaurant’s website states that the establishment aims to provide diners with "an overall enhanced dining experience," by creating a quiet environment. The website also explains that the restaurant banned strollers and high chairs because the dining room is "relatively small."
It reads, "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. For the safety of our staff and guests we adopted a stroller policy in 2009."