Stopping your children from causing mayhem while out at a restaurant is just good, respectful parenting. But after one major incident, a restaurant in Houston decided it couldn’t always rely on its patrons’ desire to adhere to societal norms and started handing out etiquette cards with menus to parents – a decision that’s garnered plenty of attention.
Ana Beaven, an owner at Cuchara, says her restaurant chose to use the cards after a child did $1,500 in damage scratching walls with a quarter six months ago. Realizing not only that the Mexican eatery is decorated with authentic, handmade art, but also that her servers are walking around with potentially dangerous heavy serving trays, she wanted to make sure something worse didn’t happen in the future. “How do we stop that kind of thing?” she told KHOU. “We're busy serving and cleaning and moving around and we cannot babysit a child.”
The answer is small cards featuring a happy cartoon family dining with written advice stating, “Children at Cuchara don't run or wander around the restaurant. They stay seated and ask their parents to take them to the restroom. They don't scream, throw tantrums or touch the walls, murals, windows or other patrons. They are respectful!”
Though the owners say most people are fine with the cards, some have taken offense. “If we’ve had 200 responses to this, there's been maybe three that were negative and said they would never come to the restaurant,” co-owner Charlie McDaniel told Eater. “The other 197 applauded and said it was way overdue.”
Sure, you might not be thrilled that restaurant owner chooses to question your parenting skills, but at the same time, what’s the harm? Either your kids are under control, so the note isn’t for you, or your kids are running around, in which case, where do you think they are… Cuchara’s ball pit?