'Kid-Friendly' Pizza Joint Bans Crying Babies (Wait, What?!)


Good grief. Is there anything more annoying than trying to enjoy a nice meal all while listening to a crying baby sitting at the next table? Ugh. That's got to be the absolute worst. And that's why when my husband and I decide to go out for a nice, relaxing dinner, we typically choose a place that is a little more upscale and doesn't offer a children's menu.

But by the same token, we have also enjoyed taking our son out to eat with us ever since he was a tiny baby. And while we did usually take him places that were a bit nicer than a fast-food joint when he was an infant, we did tend to gravitate toward restaurants that were a bit more kid-friendly, just in case he did start to fuss and cry. (Babies do that, you know.)

Any restaurant with the word "Pizza" in the title seems like a pretty baby-friendly joint, right? WRONG. Believe it or not, a place in Georgia called "Grant Central Pizza" has actually banned crying babies from eating at their tables. Yes, I said banned.

So how exactly does one ban a crying baby? What if the baby isn't crying when you sit down in your booth, but then starts to whimper after the food arrives?

Grant Central Pizza has addressed this problem by putting the following disclaimer on the bottom of its menus:

Dear all present and future patrons: GCP is proud of its reputation as a family restaurant, a title that we will work to keep. Unfortunately a number of our diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside.

Wait a minute -- am I completely dumb, or does that statement basically say that GCP is a restaurant that invites families to eat there, but only if those families come complete with infants who don't make any noise. Because if that's what it says, then something just doesn't quite add up. Does anyone else see the total contradiction in terms here?

The basis of their request really isn't all that far-fetched. It's the fact that they advertise themselves as a family-friendly joint that really creates kind of a gray area when it comes to the whole crying baby deal. What if the baby is fussing simply because he's hungry and his mom has yet to finish cutting up his pizza into small bites? Is she supposed to stop preparing his food only to take him outside and have him scream even louder because he can't understand why he isn't getting fed? If she takes him outside, then he doesn't get to eat, but if she remains at the table and tries to calm him down, she gets kicked out. Geez! I'm getting a little stressed out simply by thinking of trying to dine there with a kid.

If Grant Central Pizza wants to pretty much eliminate the possibility of having crying babies in their restaurant, then maybe they should think about dropping the "Pizza" from their name entirely and putting in something a little more high-fallutin'. Grant Central Trattoria or Grant Central Bistro both have a nice ring to them, don't you think?

Would you be offended if a restaurant asked you to leave because your baby was crying?


Image via LaBellaVida/Flickr

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nonmember avatar D

There have been many times that I have seen parents out enjoying themselves while ignoring a screaming baby next to them. Other people don't want to hear that. Obviously, this was a problem at said restaurant, as I am sure this wasn't abruptly decided after a singular incident.

jayde... jaydensmom1726

i can understand if the kid is totaly screaming and the parents arent doing anything.

but have issue with the fact that they are lumping all crying into one group.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I think that a restaurant has a right to ask their customers to leave at any point they feel just, whether that be a beligerant (sp?) customer/someone being especially rude, or someone who cant make their child stop crying. It is all about the general "comfortable" atmosphere of all its patrons. With a screaming child, not only will the customers get stressed out, but so will the staff who might have to yell to voice themselves over a cranky child.

Just take your kid out or to the bathroom, try to console them and if you cant, the staff is going to kindly ask you to leave.

Its not like they are telling you "hey, you cant eat here at all." They are saying "Sorry, but your kid is out of control, for the sake of everyone here and this restaurant whose rules you consented to by choosing to eat here, we're going to have to ask you to leave."

memek... memekisses

Not at all! What's sad is that any place needs to ASK the parent to rake the kid out if they're throwing a fit. Its called common courtesy(sp?)

memek... memekisses

Lol *take. Please don't rake your children.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Do they make all the insane preschoolers and school-age kids who jump on their chairs, yell, and run around the restaurant leave, too? I can't stand parents who don't try to soothe their babies when they cry, but they don't hold a candle to the little terrors I see at some "family" restaurants I take my son to.

omgitsjo omgitsjo

I don't think they're lumping all crying into one group though... they say "crying and unsupervised." I think that's more of the case when a child is crying and its parents are just sitting there, pretending not to notice. I don't think they would ask you to leave if your child starts to fuss, and you successfully soothe him/her within a short period of time. But if it's a meltdown, remove the child from the situation until it's resolved. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

the4m... the4mutts

If the place had a disclaimer, I would be okay if they asked me to take them outside until they calmed down. Its not like they're banned. You invented that phrase yourself judging from their disclaimer.

Don't over sensationalize things. All they're saying, is if your kid becomes a nuisance to other patrons, you need to give them an outside time out.

zandh... zandhmom2

Unfortunately a number of our diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside.

It sounds to me that they are NOT kicking every baby out of the place but asking that parents supervise their children and if they are crying, take them outside to tend to them.  What is wrong with that? It doesn't say that that have to leave and not come back.  Nothing is worst than being around a crying, screaming kid (who is not your own) while trying to enjoy a meal out.  It certainly doesn't matter if I'm paying $15.00 for a pizza or $40 for a good steak, I'm still paying to go out and enjoy a meal that I don't have to cook.

Playi... Playitagain

A local place tried this got sued, it was deemed age discrimination, and they lost big time. My family has owned resturants in the past and my uncles who are amazing buiness men think this type of thing is stupid and they deserve to get sued. What if the child is acting up after the order is placed and the family must leave, are they still expected to pay. It comes to where to you draw the line, what about mentally disabled people, while traveling for a family emergency we stopped to eat only to have a manager come up and ask me if we had the ability to keep my sil quiet and under control, she was just sitting eating her fried chicken not making a peep. What if a child has a disorder, as a forster parent there are many cases where a child hasn't been properly socialized and taking them places where they whine and cry for a short while is needed reguardless of how a few people feel. What if your meal is taking longer then needed, we went to applebees a few weeks ago and it took 20 min. For a waitress to take our orders and then after another hour my toddler was throwing a fit, we werent the only family with this problem either.

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