Restaurant Owner Bans Screaming Kids: Should He Be Sorry?

Some parents are upset over a restaurant's recent declaration that "screaming children" would no longer be allowed to dine at the establishment. Lobster Pound and Moore, in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, drew ire from some moms and dads by posting the decree on their Facebook page last Sunday night.


The post has since been deleted, but read:

Effective as of now, we will no longer allow small screaming children. We are an adult-themed restaurant that caters to those that enjoy food and are out to enjoy themselves. We understand this may upset some, but after careful consideration, we feel it's best for those (who) enjoy, appreciate and understand our business.

I fail to see what the problem is. I think the saddest part about this is that it obviously came from a place of frustration -- how many times must this have occurred that the owners felt the need to post this at all? They didn't say all children, they said screaming children.

I'd assume that well-behaved tots are welcome to come dine with their parents. Why shouldn't a restaurant be able to politely ask disruptive guests to leave, even if they are three-feet tall and must be accompanied by an adult?

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The restaurant retracted their statement on Monday, and issued the politest apology ever to those who were offended by their request that screaming children be kept away from the reasonable people trying to enjoy their lobster dinners.

Take a look at what they had to say:

Okay. let's try this again. First,my apologies for my previous post.I chose the wrong words to convey a message I didn't want. I love kids and would have them if I could. I shouldnt have used the word screaming but should have said something like " Lil diners having a moment". I've tried cheering upset kids with carved fruit and treats but those items aren't always on hand and I will do better. We will take any belly that is hungry. Please also note that restaurants that are licensed have a seating limit. I am looking into it but I'm pretty sure inspectors count every head regardless of age. Fire inspector the same. When you come in with a Lil one in a carrier, they must be considered a dinner even if they can't eat yet.

It's not about sales. We try to give customers as much as we can for every dollar they give. I know I can give less but I know it's a hard go here and I like when folks say they need a nap when leaving. I need every seat to fill at least three times a day to survive.

"Food made with love for those who love food". If I could please everyone I would. I feel for celiacs looking for gluten free when I can only do gluten friendly. I do my best for shellfish allergies and wish my handful of vegetarians would make more requests. I know the older folks want a senior menu and parents want a kids menu.our locals want some things and tourists other things I've never heard of.

We have listened to you always. I started taking reservations to guarantee you would have somewhere to dine when coming over from sydney or further. We kept your favourites and added your requests. We try to squeeze as many of you in as we can every weekend.

I should have thought it out alot better and I know I've lost some of you. I can't take it back but I can try again. Special needs? No problem.let us know so we can plan. We understand first hand conditions such as autism.

I never considered the hate and threats it would bring against not only me but those I love and for that I'm truly sorry. I know some may find this silly but I love cape Breton and moved home to give back. I've disappointed you and myself. I will do better even if you don't give me the chance. I was trying to be different and the "go to" happening place.

God. Bless. Canadians. Is that not the most courteous apology you've ever seen? "Oh, we're so sorry to have disturbed you by stating that we don't want your screaming children in our establishment, please accept our apologies and a lollipop!"

OK, they didn't offer lollipops. But did you catch this part? "If I could please everyone I would. I feel for celiacs looking for gluten free when I can only do gluten friendly. I do my best for shellfish allergies and wish my handful of vegetarians would make more requests."

The restaurant owner is so gosh dang nice that he or she is trying to accommodate shellfish allergies -- at Lobster Pound and Moore. Just a hunch, but I'm going to guess most people go there specifically for shellfish.

The apology wasn't enough for some people though, even though they said they'd be more than happy to work with families of autistic children, who may need a bit of extra planning in order to accommodate.

Mom of two Hannah McKay said, "They still don't want screaming children there ... I just think they didn't want to feel like they, you know, alienated every family on the Northside or in Sydney. If it doesn't want my kids there, why would they want me there?"

Ms. McKay, you are welcome to dine elsewhere.

Do you think this restaurant owner should have to apologize?


Image via © Mieke Dalle/ès/Corbis

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