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Restaurant owner’s harsh words about kids have parents seeing red

Buon appetito? A restaurant in Italy recently banned children under the age of 5 from dining in the establishment. And instead of simply notifying customers of the policy by saying something like, “You must be over the age of 5 to dine here,” a sign outside of the restaurant reads, “Due to some unpleasant incidents caused by a lack of manners, children under 5 are not allowed in this restaurant.”

When customers — mainly parents, obviously — began expressing their outrage at the random rule of La Fraschetta del Pesce, the owner told the publication La Repubblica, “They run slalom among the tables. They throw olive oil on the floor, they upturn the water, they send the salt seller flying across the room, they try to dismantle the furniture, they shout, they cry and above all, they hate fish.” He also labeled children under 5 as “uncontrollable little terrors.”

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Obviously, for a restaurant owner — and for other fellow diners — seeing kids behave this way isn’t ideal (and many kids do behave this way!). But still, parents aren’t happy.

In fact, many people have complained about the policy not only because of the inconvenience factor, but because in Italy, it’s illegal to ban anyone from a restaurant without good reason. Police have actually visited the restaurant on two occasions to inquire about the sign on the front.

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Of course, for a parent, it would be incredibly frustrating to have your heart set on a restaurant only to be denied because of your children — and the truth is, not all kids are completely unruly in restaurants, and some do like fish. But the policy isn’t too hard to wrap one’s head around — especially as a parent — when we’ve all seen how nuts (and messy) kids can be at restaurants. Our kids are the apples of our eyes, but they can be quite a disturbance to other people in certain circumstances. While I’m a firm believer in allowing young kids at most places, some places just aren’t ideal for them. Or for others.

As parents, we’re probably all in agreement that some restaurants are far better suited than others for family dining. While there’s no need to take kids to eat only at places that serve chicken fingers and mac ‘n’ cheese, an upscale Italian restaurant doesn’t sound like the best place to go.

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From the sound of things, the ban La Fraschetta del Pesce has placed on young kids will likely be lifted, as, according to Italian law, it’s illegal. But let’s be honest: Now that the owner of La Fraschetta del Pesce has made his feelings about small kids known, what parent would want to take their children there?

Do you think kids should be banned from nice restaurants?

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