In a Facebook post, the restaurant announced the new rule, which will go into effect on March 8. They explained their reasoning for banning children under 10 from dining there, stating: “Between noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant, we have decided that it’s time to take control of the situation.”
Nettie’s House of Spaghetti is a popular dining spot in Tinton Falls, Monmouth County. It opened in 2018, and last year, it was named the 28th best Italian restaurant in the state by NJ.com.
The post has attracted more than 19,000 reactions so far. In one comment, the restaurant clarified the liability aspect of their concerns, noting that "kids running around the restaurant in circles when we’re trying to carry trays of food and drinks has made doing our jobs extremely difficult."
The announcement has drawn a broad range of responses. Some people are supporting the ban, saying they are more inclined to eat at establishments that do not allow children. Some former restaurant workers have sided with the restaurant, saying that out-of-control children with parents who aren’t paying attention is all too common.
Others, however, take issue with the stance, noting that it discriminates against well-behaved children and their parents. Some have suggested that asking parents who let their children run around the restaurant to leave would be a better approach than banning an entire class of patrons.
One person commented on the restaurant’s Instagram page: "This is highly disappointing. I've taken my child to 2-3 Michelin-star restaurants who accommodated her since she was an infant, but I can no longer bring her to a pasta house in the suburbs? Lame."
Some people have said that they will stop going there because they disagree with the rule. One diner commented that while they have never brought their child there when they’ve dined there in the past, they will stop going because they don’t agree with the policy, despite liking the restaurant. They added that they have never seen poorly behaved children there.
It is not clear how the restaurant intends to enforce the policy. Some diners wondered in the comments section if they need to bring a birth certificate with them as it can be hard to tell how old a child is based on their size alone.
This isn’t the first restaurant to ban young children. In 2018, the Old Fisherman’s Grotto restaurant in Monterey, California, instituted a policy of not permitting “crying children” or kids who make “loud noises” on the site. They also have a no stroller policy in place.
The restaurant, which is famous for its clam chowder, proudly proclaims its policy on its website and in the restaurant. In addition to a ban on strollers, high chairs and booster chairs, their sign boasts that children are not allowed in their dining room.
Another California restaurant, Red Rooster Burgers and Grill in Garden Valley, announced a policy in which anyone under 18 is not permitted to visit the establishment without being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, largely due to disruptive behavior by teen patrons.
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