In a time when we’re seeing conflict over restaurants and movie theaters banning young children from their establishments, some parents are opting to leave theirs at home. Trips to neighborhood eateries are either sans kids or limited to places where they are welcome.

To each his own. Businesses that have adopted such policies seek to avoid unruly behavior, boisterous table chatter, or lazy parents who turn a blind ear and eye to their child’s destruction. There are still plenty of places to eat that don’t mind the presence of kids, babies included.

It’s not always a picnic when eating out with kids. Parents leave the table embarrassed. And sometimes they leave with an unexpected surprise— like the Welsh family.

Dining out at Carino Japanese Bistro was a treat for the couple and their 1-year-old baby girl, Evie. The family took a trip to the Calgary, Canada restaurant as part of their Mother’s Day celebration, and were shocked when they received their bill.

Their $54 total was reduced with a $5 discount for having a well-behaved child.

Image of Carino receipt.Reddit

The first-time parents were caught off-guard by the kind gesture, but it felt reassuring that they were doing a good job so far as parents. Daley posted a copy of the receipt on Reddit, where it went viral and received a host of supportive comments, including some from restaurant managers inspired to do the same.
Carino’s owner Toshi Carino said it was a way to thank children and their parents for showing good manners. Moms and dads know how tough it is to dine out with young kids, but what’s the magic formula for getting them to act halfway civilized?
A combination of tricks can you help your child to stay calm, but it all starts with you. Here are a few tips collected from parents who have learned the hard way:

Teach them manners:

At home first. In addition to saying “please” and “thank you”, children can also be taught at a young age (as early as 2 years old) basic table etiquette, like not flinging food and staying seated while eating.

Choose the right spot:

It’s a fact that some restaurants are more family-friendly than others. Stick to those that won’t mind noisier tones or baby babble. Save the fancy options for a date night.

Pack distractions:

This includes snacks, small toys, and crayons. Your cellphone games may only take you so far.

Pick the right time:

You know what time your child usually gets tired, so avoid eating out if you think the cranky sleepmonster will make an appearance. Time the meals early so you can beat the lunch or dinnertime rush and flustered waitstaff. That would be a little before noon for lunch and around 4:30 or 5:00 for dinner.

Whatever you do, don’t let your kid run loose around the restaurant. It’s unsafe, it’s inconsiderate, and it’s setting a bad example for future outings. While there are some restaurants who are instituting bans and time restrictions on children, there are many that don’t, and there are others like Carino’s who give surprise discounts for good-mannered patrons.

What are your thoughts on this story? Were your children well behaved when dining out? Do you think parents should be rewarded for their kids’ good behavior? Have you ever eaten in a restaurant with a child ban?


USA Today