Every time a new restaurant/diner opens downtown, and a friend tells me of their recent visit there, I ask a simple question: Did you see any kids or highchairs?
Most people, obviously, don’t look for a highchair when they walk into a new place. But, from a parent’s perspective, the absence of this simple object says one thing to me: Your kids are not welcome here.
I can understand a restaurant owner’s fear of becoming a *gasp* “Family Restaurant,” and I can understand that a toddler is not their primary clientele. But, I also know that there a very large number of young adults with young children who would love to be able to support these local businesses, but the businesses seem to not want their support.
Yes, I can still sneak in with my son and let him sit on my lap while we both try to eat. And, yes, a booster seat is a step in the right direction. But, a young toddler is much more likely to sit still if seated in a high chair. My son is very well behaved (and we know when our son is not behaving and it’s time to leave). Heck, these business owners might actually like having us around!
Dear Business Owners:
I support local business and I’d love to support yours. But, until you are willing to accommodate my small and well-behaved family, you’ll be relegated to my “date night” restaurant list. This list is large and not often consulted for dinner plans. Maybe we’ll see you (and you’ll see our money) in a few years?
(And don’t even get me started on coffee shops and gas station bathrooms without diaper changing stations… ugh!)