Should children be banned from restaurants?

Tampa, Florida - Have you ever been to a restaurant and there's a child that's misbehaving? Maybe you're a parent who has had a difficult time controlling your children during dinner.

It was not the relaxing afternoon meal Elizabeth Houston was hoping for. She went to a Bay area restaurant, only to be asked to leave.

"It was just really embarrassing," says Houston. "We sat down and the waitress kindly came over and said, 'I'm sorry, you're going to have to leave. We don't allow children.'"

She was shocked, because her 9-month-old twins were sleeping...

"You kind of feel like you're getting kicked out of the club for having children."

That restaurant isn't the only one in Tampa Bay that bans kids. Osteria Natalina is serving up traditional Italian, without a side of young children. Owner Spartaco Giloito says because of the intimate setting, the dining room could be dangerous for children.

"There are forks, knives, warm food, soup; things they can eventually injure small, little kids."

After a few issues, he decided to stop allowing children under 7 years old in the restaurant. He got some emails from people saying it wasn't fair, and he lost some customers.

"I also discovered that a lot of customers decided to come back again, because they tell me that they were happy they were having a nice experience without kids screaming," says Giloito.

Other upscale restaurants like Ocean Prime do allow children.

"I think it's really important that if parents would like to come out and they'd like to bring their children, to come out and have a really nice dinner. That special feeling, they may remember that for the rest of their life," says General Manager Zach Montgomery, who adds age shouldn't determine where to go for dinner.

"We have a treasure chest with toys and coloring books and stuff like that, so they can enjoy their thing. "

That's the key for etiquette teacher Tia Young. She says parents should always prepare to keep their children busy.

"Technology can be used when the food isn't there yet, but as soon as the food comes, put it away."

10 News Editorial: Loud kids, quiet parents

Not disturbing other customers is something Tia thinks is most important. "If they get fussy, we might have to take them out of the restaurant or to the restroom for a moment, give them something fun to play with."

That's a situation Elizabeth plans for with twins.

"I understand why upscale restaurants would not want to have children, and maybe not the restaurant itself, but other patrons in the restaurant I understand. I definitely think there needs to be a posting, 'no children allowed' type deal."


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