Want to take petty obnoxious revenge on child-unfriendly cafe. suggestions?

(164 Posts)

Before I lay it all out, I am a person that gets frustrated when small children act up in cafes with no interference. I sympathise with the staff who clean up after messy child patrons and if my two make a mess, I usually clean most of it up myself. Today's cafe however had no recourse for their behaviour.

Myself and two mums (I'm a nanny) were at a toddler group this morning, our bunch are very good friends and wanted to play together after the playgroup was finished. We agreed to bring them to a playground nearby but since it was just about lunchtime, we wanted to feed them first an this cafe (we'll call it BC) was between both places.

There were three adults and seven children, ages between 2 and 4, and the staff firstly gave us no assistance in getting our group seated. No high chair was offered for the very small just-turned-2 year old, I found it later in the bathroom. The children's menu was farcical, everything came with chips and although mashed potato was on the menu you couldn't substitute it for the chips without paying extra. My lone vegetarian option was pretty rank too but beside the point. I ordered 3 orange juices for me and my twin mindees, we got tap water and a thimble of squash in it.

The kids were sitting nicely but got a little high spirited in each other's company, started singing. I was mid-drink and about to stop them but the waitress jumped in before them, shushed them quite aggressively and told them they'd have to leave if they didn't be quiet. The older kids clammed up but one of the younger ones got upset and started crying.

They gave us the bums rush from start to finish. My two only left the table to use the bathroom with me in attendance and we were mostly engaged in a quiet game of I spy with one of the older girls. The waitresses kept butting in to clear the kids still mostly full plates and sweeping under and around our table which, honestly, wasmessy but not that bad. Finally the two mothers got fed up and left. I stuck around to finish my crappy salad, and when they asked me if my mindee was finished, I was sufficiently curt with her that they backed off.

In the meantime, the manager had gone outside to talk to the mums, and he told them that three people had walked out and said they wouldn't be back because of the kids. Even if that was true, and I saw nobody leave except the mums, It was a gross overreaction to an admittedly large group of small kids.

To put this in perspective, I had the twins at Yo Sushi the week before (to see the 'food train') where the waitresses were so impressed by their willingness to try yakitori, edemame and eating with chopsticks that they were over every few minutes praising them and gave them free desserts. I take them to loads of eateries and I've never been treated with such contempt.

So, revenge? I'm thinking of taking the mindees there every day after playschool and only ordering tap water and tea. Which we will nurse for three hours while quietly doing a jigsaw on the table.

Lazyjaney Fri 21-Jun-13 23:37:28

"What a shame! They don't seem to realise that folks with little kiddies are good business!"

It depends on how much the folks with kiddies spend vs the customers they definitely will lose.

This may come as a shock but small businesses generally don't welcome losing money as their profits are on a shoestring at the best of times.

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 21-Jun-13 23:53:42

This reminds me of a few years ago we were looking for a restaurant to take baby twins to for a family meal. Uncle was having a nice chat to the owner when he mentioned that ideally we would be looking to eat in a non smoking restaurant. The owner replied gruffly "then find another restaurant!" before slamming the phone down.

The restaurant folded 6 months later.

tearsofrobertsmith Fri 21-Jun-13 23:57:09

But who are these consistent customers? Folks with little kiddies are pretty lucrative I would think judging by what I must have spent over the years. A quid for squash, 2 to 3 pounds for beans on toast etc.

RoxyFox211 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:59:13

Shushing a singing child?? Unless they were singing really ReAlLy loudly or you were in a posh exclusive adult only type venue i really dont see why they should be shushed at all :s if im in a public place with dd and shes singing, chatting etc i just think at least shes not screaming or throwing a tantrum! which would probably be the outcome if i did try to stop her...particularly when hungry/ bored. I think that that would cause a lot more annoyance to other customers! honestly we are so intolerant of kids, bearing in mind they make up a huge proportion of the population, yet the majority of the world is aimed at adults. Adult sized loo's, sinks, food, etc etc. Dont be too noisey your'll disturb the adults grin hmm bearing in mind you are a large group paying they could be more welcoming. I completely get your point and would have given them short shrift. yanbu

ladymariner Sat 22-Jun-13 00:00:59

Here we go again....

LilacPeony Sat 22-Jun-13 00:03:21

If three people walked out and said they won't be coming back because of the kids then that's enough revenge. You don't need to do anything else.

Just to clarify a few things, might not make sense as am kinda drunk noe, tis my dads birthday and I had a rough day with female mindees exhibitionism getting out of control (not at said cafe, funnily enough)

When the singing happened, it started with one of the little guys singing about the rowboat thing to himself, I took a swig and I think I was so incredulous thst they had given me tap water and a millemetre of miwadi thatwhen my mindees joined in I didnt react fast enough. However, they were never reenacting a wagner opera, they were still prerty quiet.

Yo sushi is just a hipster bragging example, please excuse me gor beimg a pretentious shite. I bring mindees to everything, zombie walks to art galleries, and I'm a stickler for good public behavior. One of the mums eewere with is even stricter than me.

And the creepily irnic thing is that every flagpole in the surrounding area had a placard from one of the groups trying to keep abortion illegal over here. Not kidding, every single flagpole.

Thank god we were long gone begore I had to chase girl mindees naked bike riding arse down the road after her bath, god knows what would have happened.

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Sat 22-Jun-13 01:21:06

You do sound kinda drunk noe wine grin

You also sound like a lovely nanny

SingingSands Sat 22-Jun-13 01:42:14

Jeez, if I owned a cafe and a party of ten walked in I would be delighted and do what I could to impress them. Ten drinks, ten food orders, I'd take more cash in an hour than the rest of the day put together.

They had a kids menu, they obviously want to cater for families. Best revenge? Spread the word that they are family UNfriendly, it certainly appears to be true.

ThoseArentSpiritFingers Sat 22-Jun-13 01:48:55

Are you in Scotland by any chance? Places seem familiar...

burberryqueen Sat 22-Jun-13 01:52:38

Ireland i would say.....

SacreBlue Sat 22-Jun-13 01:58:07

grin flagpoles and anti abortion - not in NI by any chance?

I've taken my DC out to vair naice places since he was wee and never had any bother. I'd just choose a different place next time and/or have let them know that I wasn't happy with the service.

It is tough in business atm and some people are not the nicest, if they are that bad their footfall will, well, fall. OTOH, 7 toddlers could be a bit daunting for even the nicest folk so a comparison between yo sushi with 2 and the cafe with 7 may not be an equal one.

Hope you find a more suitable place next time.

Mimishimi Sat 22-Jun-13 02:00:42

Go there with a group of friends, only order a couple of drinks between you, and when you see a child walk in and as soon as it makes the slightest sound, start complaining loudly and walk out.

NapaCab Sat 22-Jun-13 02:13:48

You got bad service and bad food so put it down to experience and give the café a wide berth in future. Treat it the same as any other bad dining experience i.e. either speak to the manager at the time if possible or, if not, then give a bad review on any relevant website.

They sound like they had no idea how to handle customers but they could have been like that to you if you were a group of adults too e.g. rolling their eyes at any special menu requests, clearing away plates too soon, mixing up orders and all the other things that crap restaurants do regardless of the presence of children.

theodorakisses Sat 22-Jun-13 09:06:55

Was it eye spy in loud parenting? I would have probably left, my interest in how good Oscar's alphabet sills are is minimal.
I did, however clean a tearoom years ago that had a sign in the window tat said "no prams, no pushchairs, no unrestrained toddlers" and someone put a witty nappy trough the letterbox on a Saturday night which wasn't discovered until Monday morning and I couldn't really argue with the principle...

theodorakisses Sat 22-Jun-13 09:07:17

Shitty not witty fgs

mysticsash Sat 22-Jun-13 09:48:53

YABU

Customers left because, because no adult could control the group of annoying children. I would have left as well. Instead of petty revenge why don't you instill some manners and social graces into the children.

I would love to hear the customers that had to leave due to excess noise, or the poor staff version of this event.

Too bad, smelly nappy through the letterbox is a no go because the mindees are toilet trained now.I could encourage girl mindees budding naturism by agreeing with her thst everyone would just love to see her bum.

(Just for the record, I'm not actually planning on going back there, let alone taking revenge. I was just having a rant and entertaining a few outraged customer fantasies.)

And no, I spy was not loud parenting. I'm not a parent and kids kept spying the same things over and over, getting basic colours wrong and giggling about poo.thankfully they did all of this quietly.

I brought a cat into a bar once and was treated with less contempt. And the thirteen giggling teens frlm our retro fashion group on pink Wednesday, we were dealt with very professionally. And the place I brought the twins to after zombie walk, when we were covered from head to toe in fake blood, didnt bat an eye. Methinks my standards for professional service are a tad too high.

theodorakisses Sat 22-Jun-13 15:33:58

You can't say you took a cat into a bar without further details! You sound ace!

Mintyy Sat 22-Jun-13 15:35:24

Oh dear, not again!

I just don't see what is wrong with some eating places being for adults or adults and older children only.

Going out for lunch in a cafe is a treat for me! It is not something I can afford to do every day. I just would NOT enjoy being in a place with a group of noisy toddlers. I really WOULD find somewhere else if I had not ordered yet.

But this is apparently unreasonable?

Floggingmolly Sat 22-Jun-13 16:24:06

They were either singing or pretty quiet, they couldn't possibly have been both, and you should have stopped them before the manager had to step in.
The food being crap is a different issue entirely.

theodorakisses Sat 22-Jun-13 16:34:36

I think a cafe is usually considered a place where you would encounter children. I may not like it but I would leave and consider it my choice rather than be outraged. I do find it tedious when we have an evening planned at a posh resteraunt and friends bring their toddler not because they don't have a childminder and actually have a live in maid but because he needs the life experience and I do object to endless singing and clapping and, no exaggeration, nappy changing on the table.

edwardsmum11 Sat 22-Jun-13 16:37:55

Tbh I'd never give them my custom again and mention them as bad to as many people as possible and on review sites.

theodorakisses Sat 22-Jun-13 16:39:28

What if a group of adults with learning disabilities were in a cafe and being noisy? Would they also be kicked out? What about threads about families who have children who make noises, drool and shriek and have had heartbreaking humiliating experiences? I have quite sensitive ears and do something's think FFs but after being reduced to tears so many times on mn, I try hard to be more tolerant. Loud parents however are another story. Still traumatised from being asked to clap in business class on a long haul flight after tabitha did a particularly smelly shit in her potty in the aisle and the mum actually woke me up!

ShellyBoobs Sat 22-Jun-13 16:40:00

I'd have been out of there like a shot if I'd been one of the other customers.

How on earth you can think everyone should be a happy with a group of 10 - mostly toddlers - invading a cafe, I have no idea.

Being child friendly is different to being a creche.

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