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Restaurant Owner Called Out After Refusing To Make Exception To ‘No Kids’ Policy For Nephew

A young boy licks his lips after eating
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Telling people their children aren’t welcome everywhere can make for some very awkward moments.

Sometimes the kids have to be left at home, or families have to look for accommodating places.

This has become a hot-button issue in public.

So who is in the wrong?

Case in point…

Redditor heIIoki wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for not letting my brother, his wife and their toddler into my age restricted restaurant?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Iʼm the owner of a small restaurant.”

“After having multiple bad experiences with children in the restaurant and having customers and my team complain about said kids, I decided to enforce an age restriction.”

“Kids under the age of 12 arenʼt allowed to enter the restaurant anymore.”

“This rule might sound too harsh, but it had to be done.”

“Ever since I enforced the age restriction, my restaurant has attracted more customers and the atmosphere inside is way better.”

“I still get a lot of backslash from angry parents, but most people in my area are surprisingly supportive.”

“My brother lives in a different city and came to visit our parents with his wife and their 4 year old son.”

“Today they wanted to eat at my restaurant and brought their child with them.”

“They knew about the age restriction, but thought I would make an exception because theyʼre family.”

“I explained them that I would not make an exception, because itʼs against my rules and it would be unfair to the other parents.”

“They got mad, but eventually left after trying to argue.”

“My brother told our parents and other siblings what happened and now everyone is sending me angry messages about it.”

“At first, I didʼt think I was in the wrong, but all these messages are making me question it.”

“Am I the a**hole?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole. 

“NTA. If I went to a restaurant that I knew didn’t serve children, and I walked in and there was a child, I would be mad.”

“If I found out that an exception was made for the family of the owner, I would be furious.”

“If that child ruined the enjoyment of my child-free meal, I would be incandescent with rage.”

“You have a business.”

“You’ve made a business decision.”

“Your family attended your business and expected you to make a personal decision in your business space.”

“I’m just imagining all the crazies who are normally all ‘my beloved Timmy wouldn’t misbehave’ while Timmy is doing his best Godzilla impression, what they would do if they found out you had let any child in, especially if they misbehaved.”

“Not worth it.”  ~ Natural_Garbage7674

“I mean, his business IMPROVED after denying children. It’s his unique selling point and obviously, people like it and go there because of it.”

“You would have a room full of pissed-off customers who chose to go there due to the lack of kids only to be confronted by a misbehaving 4-year-old.”

“This could cost him those customers plus any they told.”

“It’s a much bigger issue than just letting your family have their way. NTA.”  ~ babcock27

“I couldn’t agree more!”

“I have fairly well-behaved kids, but while they’re little we’ve stuck to family-friendly restaurants only.”

“Nothing ticks me off more then when my husband and I get a rare date night where we can eat at a nice place, only to be sat near little Timmy doing his Godzilla impressions and throwing food while running circles around the table.”

“I’d love to have an adult’s only place to go on out night off!”  ~ bloseja

“NTA. Exactly.”

“Even the quietest, best-behaved child has what we used to call a ‘RING OF DINN’ that surrounds them permanently, even while they sleep. (DINN = loud noise).”

“No young child is quiet.”

“They all have a talent for wreaking havoc out of thin air.” ~ Medium-Fan440

“Wow. I’m all for the OP barring kids under 12, parents being the way they are these days, but there are still some kids who can and actually do behave themselves at restaurants.”

“Maybe this is confirmation bias, and most of us only notice the kids who are making a ruckus.”  ~ bambina821

“Of course, no child is ‘perfect’ every single time, but of course there are kids who behave themselves in restaurants every single time.”

“I’ve known LOTS of kids six and up who are never loud in restaurants and never run around while there.”

“Some parents actually teach their kids how to behave in public.”

“There are parents who may seem like they don’t notice the noise level, but in reality, they’re just used to tuning out their kids because they do so most of the time.”

“I still think OP has the right to bar kids under 12, because yet again, it’s the minority who ruin it for everyone else.”  ~ bambina821

“We have a lovely café in the neighborhood.”

“It had a nice play- corner with a slide, books, and toys.”

“My kids loved to play there when they were little, and I could just sit and drink cappuccino.”

“But my kids behaved.”

“Unfortunately, it attracted many parents who thought it’d be a free playground or free child care.”

“They’d let their kids run around, scream and tear the books apart.”

“This is why at some point, the café put the kids’ things away.”

‘They got so many complaints, and customers went elsewhere.”

“Sad but necessary.” ~ Moni_CSM

“I’ve been to one. It was on the water, so I feel like the rule was as much for safety/liability reasons, but omg it was great.”

“I have a toddler, I love him to pieces and I love taking him places.”

“I would never ever expect to be served at a restaurant like that/OP’s. NTA.” ~ squishpitcher

“NTA. I don’t think it’s ‘not fair to the other parents.'”

“I think it’s particularly not fair to the people who choose to go there because there are no kids there.”  ~ Usrname52

“NTA… don’t mix business and family.”

“Your brother is acting entitled, and the rest of the family attacking you are being ridiculous.”

“The rule is there for a reason; you would be doing a disservice to your other customers.”  ~ Deucalion666

“You are so NTA squared, doubled, factorial even!”

“It’s always the same.”

“There are 1000 restaurants a family with children could go to in a town.”

“But because 3 restaurants are child-free zones they scream oppression.”

“And as you’ve discovered (or knew already) there are enough people who want to get away from any children while enjoying a night out to support multiple child-free places.”

“I’m sure you’ve turned away a disappointed family who wanted to bring their children in already.”

“Why should your brother be treated different?” ~ Irish_beast

“NTA – Brother has ISSUES (capital ISH) – set this up to be the center of attention, one way or the other.”

“Either HE gets in and is the EXCEPTION – or he gets to WHINE to everyone about how unfairly he was treated.”

“Sorry your family is supporting his 9-year-old personality traits.”

“Or is that 6-year-old?”

“Hang in there, as another said, check the story your family heard. Expect certain facts to have been omitted.”

“Thank you for being a service provider concerned with both your customers and your staff’s comfort!”  ~ rsqt314

“NTA. What makes your brother’s kid more special than everyone else’s?”

“That’s your JOB; you have to maintain professionalism.”

“I’d get it if nephew was like 11, but he’s 4 I don’t care how well behaved.”

“A 4-year-old is a 4-year-old.”  ~ Mogwai_92

“NTA. You probably have customers who choose it for that reason, and if you had made an exception you may have had issues with those customers who expected an adult-only environment.” ~ purplewoodcarver

“NTA. I have kids, and they have gone to restaurants their whole lives.”

“However, they are not generally taken to fancy or nonfamily friendly places until they reach the age where can behave appropriately.”

“You start them out in quick service and teach them how to behave, and eventually they will get to go to fancier restaurants for special occasions.”

“I am always surprised when people bring toddlers who want to run around to fancy restaurants.”

“If you’re spending money for a nice lunch or dinner out, you should not have to listen to other people’s children screaming, or the newer thing, playing loud videos with no headphones.”

“Kids in general don’t enjoy sitting for hour-long meals.”

“That’s what takeout and/or babysitters are for.”  ~ lhsis1

“NTA. You made your place child-free for a reason.”

“Make an exception for your brother, and you have to make an exception for everyone.”

“The people that came to your restaurant because it is child-free will not return.”

“This was a business decision, not a personal one.”  ~ grckalck

“NTA, it would affect the atmosphere for your other patrons who were promised a child-free place.”

“Something similar actually happened to my family. My side cut ties with my uncle’s side because they said kids couldn’t come to their restaurant.”

“The kids are normal kid disruptive, but if I had to take care of my exhausting extended family when I’m stressed about my business.”

“I wouldn’t want kids running around either.” ~ tkxb

“NTA. You could have taken their order and packed it up for them as takeout -because they are family… or if you had an unused at the moment private dining room-with a door-you could have stuck them in there.”

“But all of them eating out in the dining room with a four-year-old?

“Oh, hell no.”  ~ YouthNAsia63

Well OP, Reddit is with you.

It’s your place of business. You set the rules.

It’s a difficult rule, but you have to do what you feel is right.

Good luck.