Tom Caru

About Tom Caru

Tom is a writer, healthy lifestyle enthusiast and a stark raving mad Batfleck fan. Coffee lover, traveller and creator of the *Around the World in 80 Gyms*® project. He currently resides in Michigan, eternally searching for better coffee and learning to drive on the other side of the road.

A Canadian restaurant recently created a buzz when it offered a $5 discount for customers with “Well Behaved Kids”.

Anyone who has ever spent time working in hospitality knows the feeling of sheer dread when they see the four wheels of a pram approaching – and God help you if it’s one of those dual-seat buggies. Children may be adorable in many settings but your section of tables during the lunch time rush is absolutely not one of them.

I know some of you are reading this thinking I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect. I also know that those of you thinking this have never picked soggy milk-soaked marshmallows out from between seats or taken an order for five baby-fucking-cinos (the bane of any barista’s existence)!

“Oh you want your locally-sourced organically homogenised milk that you brought with you heated to exactly 37 degrees Celsius? No problem. Do you want me to feed your child too? There is actually an artificial breast feeder out back that I can strap on.”

Unfortunately the Wiggles don’t have a song about table manners. I sympathise with parents who would like to get out and socialise but I also don’t see the harm in providing a little incentive for them to do their utmost to keep their children within a modicum of control while dining in public spaces. Sure, in a perfect world this wouldn’t be necessary, but this isn’t a perfect world.

This is the world of Miley Cyrus.

“I’m sorry madam your child actually spilt one babycino more than the national limit for well behaved children so you won’t be eligible for the discount…”

I’ve worked horrible hospitality shifts where I would have gladly donated a kidney to the first genuinely polite customer to come along so starved was I of even the smallest degree of sympathy and understanding. Of course, the kidney stones that I’ve gained due to the combination of stress (from serving too many families with misbehaved children) and the chronic dehydration from caffeine addiction (free magic lattes anyone? #perks) would make any such donation impossible.

But could I manage to knock a few dollars off the bill?

Absolutely.

A calmer and more relaxing atmosphere is going to keep customers coming back (and keep staff from transitioning to bar work), a much more preferable reputation surely than the restaurant where screaming children are known to frequent.  You don’t want to be known as the place where little patrons are chronically (and vocally) disgusted with the poor-quality vanilla ice-cream and the lack of milkshake flavour variety.

“What do you mean you don’t do Blue Heaven flavoured milkshakes?! Did I wake up from my nap in the fucking Ukraine?!”

The policy would, however, call for the need for some manner of universal child behaviour rating scale; just what exactly is considered ‘good behaviour’?

“I’m sorry madam your child actually spilt one babycino more than the national limit for well behaved children so you won’t be eligible for the discount…”

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