Restaurant Gives ‘Well-Behaved Kids Discount’ Of Precisely $4

Children should be coo-cooed over.

Until, that is, they poo-poo in public or woo-woo just when you’re trying to enjoy a very pleasant lasagne.

Parents often declare that these children should be humored. It’s not their fault. They’re just kids.

And yet, by my entirely unscientific estimate, children spoil around 3 billion flights and restaurant meals a year.

No one seems to have certain remedies for this chronic epidemic.

Education is entirely out of the question. It’s expensive and cumbersome. So a plethora of decent adults are forced to tolerate the whine with their wine, the bleating with the lamb.

One restaurateur was so stunned to encounter decently-behaved children in his establishment that he decided to tip the parents.

No, really.

As NBC’s Today reported, Rob Scott, who owns Sogno di Vino in Poulsbo, Wash. was so moved by the comportment of the King children that he put his hand in his pocket.

You see, Laura King and her husband seem to have spawned these groups of chemicals with legs and smiles that actually know how to behave in public.

There were three of them. Remarkably, they are aged 2, 3 and 8, a concoction that would normally empty a restaurant, a basilica or your average Wendy’s on a Sunday lunchtime.

And yet these quaint specimens are apparently already familiar with such concepts as “thank you,” “please” and “I think a glass of Oregon Pinot would go well with my Amatriciana.”

Well, perhaps not that last one. Not till they’re, you know, 12.


On her own blog, Laura King explained that she used to work front of house in a restaurant. She has ways and means of preparing her kids for the experience. She has thought about it and wants to ensure that everyone benefits.

This is heartily noble.

However, I have a problem with the discount she was offered. What actually happened was that the family was given an ice cream and the price was deducted from the check.

That price was $4.

Clearly, Scott is also a nobleman. He told Today that he often rewards good behavior, but that this is the first time his generosity was visible on the check.

I fear, though, that he simply wasn’t generous enough.

People who bring children into establishments of wine and edible pleasure ought to be greatly incentivized to keep the peace.

Indeed, I believe that I and many other diners would happily contribute a couple of dollars to any family that didn’t annoy to the point of ululation or strangulation throughout the whole of an evening.

You can call it a Parental Reward Charge. You can call it a Mental Health Supplement.

In any case, if the Kings had been rewarded with $20, rather than $4, it might set a trend for families to educate their offspring to learn human restaurant behavior from a very early age.

If families knew that they would gain a heavy tip for the mere good grace of behaving themselves, they might focus more diligently on education. This would clearly benefit society at large.

This might be the raw beginning of a new generation of something that might be termed truly human.

Some might fear that this radical and slightly spontaneous plan might cause a reckless influx of parents and brats to our nation’s gourmet tables.

Naturally, I have a spontaneous remedy for this.

Just as good behavior in restaurants will be rewarded, so bad behavior will be punished.

One scream will engender a $5 fine. A second scream will be $15. Throwing things can be on a scale of $5-$30, depending on the item thrown and whether it hits someone or not.

And any running around other tables shouting “Catch me if you can!” or some such ludicrosity will inspire a two-year ban from not only the restaurant they’re at, but from every restaurant participating.

Pictures of the miscreants will be circulated and hung in every kitchen, immediately adjacent to the pictures of the restaurant reviewers.

I have confidence that this plan will work. I have confidence that it will create a new level of appreciation for the second homes that restaurants offer, especially to those who cannot afford a summer house in the Hamptons.

Scott may have offered a tiny acorn of forward-paying.

However, with a little forward-thinking, we can reclaim restaurants as repositories of warmth and joy — even for those who decide to procreate beyond the boundaries of what our planet can reasonably feed.

Next week, my proposal for dealing with unruly adults in restaurants, some helpful hints on how to deal with the dunderheadish coves in Congress and some thoughts on Sino-Japanese relations.


Image: Reddit







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  1. yoshi tome says:

    Thanks chris
    you are wright on! We as a restauranteur are become more and more responsible for social miss behaviors by kids and grown ups. It is put on us very difficult positions. How we can direct them behave themselves without scoring or insulting paying customer


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