SINGAPORE: A restaurant recently made headlines by introducing a S$10 screaming children’s fee. Angie’s Oyster Bar and Grill along Outram Road introduced the surcharge just over a month ago. Diners were warned they would be charged for screaming or unsupervised children.
As a mother of two, I found the policy discriminatory against families with young children when I first heard about it.
Although my children are now 10 and 12 years old, I still remember the baby and toddler years when they started crying, which could happen at any time and in any place. Often they were hungry, tired, overstimulated or unwell; sometimes, for unknown reasons or for something as trivial as singing the wrong words to their favorite nursery rhyme.
In most cases, normal children’s behavior can mean they can’t sit through a meal, regardless of the parents’ efforts. It doesn’t seem fair to discriminate against children because they are children.
Surely it is up to the parents to judge whether it is appropriate, when considering a restaurant for a relaxed meal at the table, to consider whether it is appropriate to bring young children with them?
But in putting myself in the shoes of the restaurant, it’s easy to imagine that children walking around unsupervised or disturbing other people are dangerous in a place with hot food and sharp cutlery, and disrespectful to those who just love their food. want to enjoy a meal.
Many of us have had unpleasant encounters, often with overly indulgent parents.