Chicago Establishments Question the Meaning of 'Family Friendly' - KMSP-TV

Chicago Establishments Question the Meaning of 'Family Friendly'


Children will be children, and parents do their best to make them behave. But it seems like everyone else in the world gets stuck in the middle.

We're talking about little kids at restaurants. Some act like angels, some do not.

Over the past few years, some restaurants have been taking a stand.

The latest example is in Atlanta, where the menu of a pizza restaurant now includes a letter to customers.

Some negative online reviews prompted the letter. People complained they were disturbed by crying children.

Here's the letter's last line: "To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside."

"There've been some comments on yelp about children,” a restaurant spokesperson said. “But beyond that, we had a child hit a customer in the head with a toy that was not that customer's child or toy."

The place said it's a family restaurant. Now whacking someone in the head is clearly unacceptable.

What about the crying? Does a mom or dad have to pick up a baby and run outside at the very first whimper? Can they wait a minute to see if the crying stops?

That's a tough call.

Some people said the real message in letters on the menu - or signs on the door or wall - is that children are not welcome.

There's been tension over this kind of issue in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood.

A few years ago a cafe on Clark Street put a sign on the door that said: "Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices."

Some parents, at the time, said it was accompanied by a nasty overall attitude toward children.

Down the block, a family book store said businesses should be honest about whether they truly want to serve families. It does - so it puts a few toys out to occupy them.

For restaurants, it said crayons could do this. If kids act up here, a worker asks them to behave.

The store said that's better than posting rules.

"But I don't think you can have it both ways,” Linda Bubin, co-owner of Women & Children First said. “I don't think you can pretend to be a family friendly establishment, and not provide for the children and support the parents.”

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