Should Diners Be Rewarded For Well-Behaved Kids, Or Should That Just Be The Norm?

We’ve seen the joy that can spread when restaurant employees type in an personalized discount on diner’s receipts — perhaps complimenting the customer or simply giving a discount to wish a mother-to-be luck. In another recent case of a generous restaurant server, the worker gave a family $4 off the bill for having “well behaved kids.” Sweet, right? Or should it just be expected that if you’re dining out, you keep your kids under control?

A few days ago, a reddit user posted the above photo of a personalized discount added to a customer’s bill, noting: “If only all restaurants did this for people with kids…..” As in, perhaps more parents would be motivated to keep unruly kids under control if a discount was on the line.

But is it that simple? Yes, we’ve all encountered obnoxious, screaming, crying kids and thought, “Why did their parents bring them here?” But for anyone who’s a parent, you know how difficult it can be to predict if and when a tantrum is coming.

The mother involved in the situation wrote in on the comments to tell the whole story:

This was me and my family. I didn’t know this picture had been posted until today, so I’m here to fill you all in.
My family (me, husband, 2 year old, 3 year old and 8 year old) went out to dinner Friday evening at a small restaurant in Poulsbo, WA. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner sans crayons, ipods, and other toys. We appreciate conversing with one another over dinner and always use our dinners out to catch up and do just that. I worked in the restaurant industry prior to having kids and so have high expectations of my children when we are out to eat. We never arrive starving and always tip well. I encourage all parents to take their kids out to eat so they know how to do so. This kind of reward was not expected and probably not something they do regularly. Frankly, it is not the kind of restaurant you often see young children at. Our server visited our table toward the end of our dinner and remarked at how the entire serving staff hadn’t even noticed there were young children at our table. They brought us a bowl of ice cream to share and we saw this little nugget of goodness on our tab at the end of our meal.

Commenters have been running wild since her response, for the most part suggesting that families don’t deserve a discount just for doing what everyone else in the restaurant is doing — dining out quietly and respecting their fellow customers.

What do you think?

*Thanks to James for the tip!