Thoughts on Kids in Restaurants

Yesterday I got a comment on my review for Dad's Kitchen. Because I link my blog to, they have a direct link to my blog. Kinda cool because it means more traffic to my blog. Anyway, I get a complaint about Dad's Kitchen about how they were not kid friendly. So I checked the Urbanspoon site and they had posted the following review there:

"Rude Owner!!" by csdavis22
July 18, 2008 - We met some friends there recently. They were told to bring chalk for the patio to occupy the kids while eating from friends. So, the kids had fun drawing on the sidewalk. Well, the owner - young bald guy (Zack) with a serious attitude came out and inspected the sidewalk and gave us a dirty look and shook his head. I tried to apologize and he brushed me off with an even more of a rude glare. He could of just asked us nicely to stop drawing on the patio. But, he instead decided to glare at us and mumble obscenities. We heard from other people that it was a really kid friendly place. That is not the case. He seemed extremely put out. Chalk comes off with water. It is quite unfortunate. Everything else was good except for the attitude. We would never go back again. If you do go there, don't bring your kids.

Now at first I was surprised because whenever I've been to D's K there have been plenty of families around and things look just fine. But then I slept on it and thought this morning, did they ask permission to deface property? It says they were told to bring chalk by friends. Were they told chalk for the sidewalk or chalk for drawing on paper? I'm thinking there might have been some miscommunication there. And I guess Zach could have asked them to stop and I'm not sure why he didn't. Ok, so then his attitude was bad. Was the rest of the service bad or just Zach? They say everything else was good.

I'll actually give more credence to the poor review that just happens to be a day before this complaint. This other complaint has some valid(?) complaints about treatment, but I would key on one kid comment. That their kids were told to slow down when going to the bathroom. Gee, isn't that a safety issue? There are servers carrying heavy plates of hot food and drink and they don't need to navigate through running children. Lose children have no place in a regular restaurant anyway. Let them run around McDonald's, but at a restaurant kids should be well mannered, quiet, and kept at the table. Dad's, Chili's, Piatti's, or Biba's are not playgrounds.

It boils down to the age old issue of parental control. I'm not anti-kids. I just know that I was raised properly. And I observe my godson and his brother (7 and 10) and they have ALWAYS been well behaved and I am happy and proud to be able to go out with them. Same with my own nephew in Seattle. Angels, all three of them! And even though my family dislikes my brother's ex-wife, we do give her kudos for doing an excellent job of raising my nephew. For that we are extremely grateful.

So what does or should "kid friendly restaurant" mean? And does D's K fit that description? I haven't been in a while, so I can't say for recently. But I can tell you what kid friendly means to me. It means that kids are welcome, when they are well behaved. It means they should have some items to keep kids occupied. That usually means crayons at most places. It means they should have a kid menu or kid portions. And it means that the servers have respect for the family. But this can be very difficult to do if the families don't earn the respect. So although I can imagine some fault on Zach's and staff's part, I can also imagine that their patience might have been stretched to the limit depending on the kids and the parents.

Update 8/1/08 Loved this comment so much that I'm putting it right up on my blog - a witness to the events that day!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Thoughts on Kids in Restaurants":

BTW: The children running to the restroom were unsupervised & using the restroom to host a water fight. The children who were allowed by their parents to deface the public seating area were drawing crime scene pictures of dead body chalk outlines. Most children and their parents have an enjoyable experience at DAD'S Kitchen. These children have parents with class who have had to work hard for their accomplishments and do not tolerate such poor behavior.