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How Should Restaurants Handle Crying Babies?

Bad customer experiences, even if they are the fault of other diners or shoppers, may negatively impact a business if owners aren’t careful.
July 20, 2016

Should parents bring a baby or small child to a restaurant? What's more, should parents stay in a restaurant once that tot starts to act, well, like a child?

It's a question that doesn't leave much in the way of a gray area for many diners, restaurant owners and those concerned with matters of social etiquette.

One famous Michelin-star chef in Chicago considered a baby ban when a couple's 8 month old began crying during dinner. Although the chef’s partner eventually decided against the crying babies ban, it's a sentiment that may be mirrored by other restaurant owners. 

“As a father of toddlers, I encourage parents to select kid-friendly restaurants when they dine with younger children”,” says Vincenzo Mangiafridda, owner of 83 ½, a restaurant in New York City.

"My wife rarely eats at 83 ½ because our son is not old enough to behave appropriately in such a setting.” While he hasn't enacted a ban or definitive policy, he's aware of how a crying child can affect his company's reputation among diners. “My business is my livelihood, and its success is dependent upon providing an enjoyable experience for all our customers.”

My business is my livelihood, and its success is dependent upon providing an enjoyable experience for all our customers.
—Vincenzo Mangiafridda, owner, 83 ½