Do you think toddlers should be banned from restaurants?

Children eating and drinking. Photo: petrograd99/GettyImages/iStockphoto

Children eating and drinking. Photo: petrograd99/GettyImages/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A restauranteur from Essex has banned toddlers from her eatery over concerns about safety and noise levels, would you like to see a similar ban implemented locally?

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A restaurant in Buckhurst Hill, has decided not to permit admittance from children under the age of five in order to give customers 'an even better dining experience'.

The Organic Kitchen on Queen's Road posted a sign in their window announcing the change earlier this week but the decision has been met with strong backlash from disapproving parents.

In a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page, the business said: 'Due to the compact and intimate nature of our premises and in line with our need to serve food and beverages in the safest way possible, we have concluded that we are unable to accommodate prams, buggies and customers who have children under five years of age.'

When asked whether they would like to see similar rules implemented in local restaurants, many of our readers on social media appeared to be in favour of banning young children from restaurants.

Woolf & Social, 21-23 Nelson Street, Norwich. Photo: Woolf & Social.

Woolf & Social, 21-23 Nelson Street, Norwich. Photo: Woolf & Social. - Credit: Archant


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Nicola Fitzgerald said: 'Great idea. Not all parents can keep control of their under 5s whilst out at restaurants, there are child friendly places. I have been into restaurants where the children have been running around whilst waiters are serving. I can understand the safety concerns.'

Likewise, Ben Baldwin thought the idea was 'excellent' and suggested that if parents don't like it 'they can always go elsewhere'.

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Ruta Simonzentiene also agreed with the notion of a ban, she commented on Facebook saying: 'Children are already not allowed in 99pc of cafes and restaurants and pubs after 6pm. So? I have kids and I completely support this.'

However not everyone shared this opinion, with Ian W Cooper asking: 'How will youngsters ever learn how to behave if never presented with the circumstances where they should behave?'

Christian Motta with fish and chips from his Grosvenor Fish Bar on Lower Goat Lane, Norwich. Picture

Christian Motta with fish and chips from his Grosvenor Fish Bar on Lower Goat Lane, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Restaurant owners in Norwich seem unlikely to enforce a ban anytime soon however, as many do not believe it is a big enough issue.

Francis Woolf, co-owner of Woolf & Social on Nelson Street, said: 'Running a restaurant is a tricky business and as with any industry, sometimes you have to make tough decisions that not everyone will agree with but I believe these decisions are always made for the right reasons.

'At Woolf & Social we welcome families with young children but often encourage them to visit earlier in the day, for example to enjoy lunch or brunch as it's not always suitable to have young children about after 8 or 9pm.'

He added: 'I'm not one to cast aspersions, whether or not you apply this kind of rule really depends on the type of establishment you're running and ultimately everyone is free to make their own individual choices. Personally I'm comfortable having children in our restaurant, I think they create a nice environment.'

Christian Motta, owner of Grosvenor Fish Bar on Lower Goat Lane, was shocked by the suggestion of banning young children from his eatery.

'We are totally family orientated at Grosvenor, I'd never even think about doing something like that, it would be crazy and truthfully, we probably wouldn't last very long if we did that anyway,' he said.

• What do you think? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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