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Mixed reviews as NC restaurant bans children under five; fair or heartless?

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The fact that so few parents these days seem to have the competence or mental fortitude to discipline their own offspring is causing at least one restaurant to ban children altogether.

And it seems to be a part of a growing trend.

Pasquale Caruso, the owner of an upscale Italian restaurant in Mooresville, N.C. has instituted a policy banning all children under age five.

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For Caruso, the last straw came when a little girl had the volume turned up all the way on her iPad right in the middle of the dining room and her parents refused to do anything about it even after being requested to do so by the waitstaff.

“Finally, we had to ask them to leave. They were upset, but they didn’t seem to care about what the other guests thought,” manager Yoshi Nunez said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We tried to be nice about the situation, but we’re here to take care of customers and we can’t tell a parent how to control their kids.”

The ban went into effect in January and has met with mixed reviews. While reservations have increased from 50 to 80 patrons per day, others have called the policy “heartless.”

“Banning children has always been a topic in the industry and every owner says, ‘I wish I could do it,’” Nunez told the Post. “Our owner has the full support of the staff. We work here to make a living, too, and we support our owner 100 percent.”

Further, the restaurant’s website states the fact that there is no children’s menu available.

“People don’t want to come in and spend money on a nice meal and an evening out, when there’s constantly food on the floor, loud electronic devices keeping kids entertained, and small children screaming,” Caruso told the Mooresville Tribune. “It was just the right decision for my business.”

Sadly, but perhaps necessarily in some cases, especially in higher-scale restaurants where patrons expect a quiet, peaceful meal, this seems to have become a recent restaurant industry trend. According to Eater, restaurants in Texas, California, and Pennsylvania have come up with similar policies.

One restaurant in Italy chose the strategy of rewarding parents of well-behaved kids with a meal discount.

Carrot or stick, it’s high time parents took responsibility for their children’s behavior, and I write this as the father of four young kids!

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield

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