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September 04, 2021

Would you frequent a restaurant that banned young kids?

A popular eatery in Ottawa has been taking flak recently after suggesting that a patron with a small child might want to dine elsewhere.

They didn't "ban" kids; but, given the local uproar, they might as well have. And they wouldn't be the first.

“Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” say signs posted at one spot in North Carolina. And children six and under are no longer welcome at McDain's Restaurant, just outside of Pittsburgh.

Not because the owner doesn't like them. It's just that they've become too much of a bother for other customers. After all, there are a lot of restaurants that cater to families, he says.

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“Parents have gradually diminished their cooperation,” he told MSNBC last year. 

“This is a three-part issue. One is the increasing number of small babies that can’t be controlled. They can’t be quiet and really they can’t be expected to.”

The second factor is kindergarten-aged kids who “have shown increasingly poor manners.” And lastly he blames parents, who “act like we’re the ones being offensive” when staff members ask them to calm their children down.

It's not that radical an idea. Just look at Leavethembehind.com, a travel site for kid-free vacations, with a massive list of resorts and hotels around the world that don't cater to children. But restaurants are a bit different.

Do you think it's a good idea to cut kids out of restaurants? Would you patronize or protest?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...