Author Topic: Restaurants and Baby Strollers  (Read 18574 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6443
    • Blog
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #135 on: September 16, 2013, 11:24:09 PM »

While I understand that the people did rude things, I have to say that I seriously take offense at being considered a snowflake for not wanting to put my child's car seat on the floor or hold my child in my lap while eating.  I honestly, do not think that I am in the minority in that opinion.  Taking the stroller out of the equation, if I came into a restaurant carrying my child in a carrier (as is extremely common when a baby is little) and a restaruant told me that I and my baby could be accomodated and then, after wating a considerable amount of time, I was told that I had to either put my child on the floor or hold them, I would be upset.   I would not consider either of those options "enough".

Somehow, eeep, I can't for the life of me picture you or anyone here at EHell demanding that other patrons give up their table to accommodate a stroller.  And I can't think of anything more SS than doing exactly that.

Fortunately that isn't at all what happened.  From the linked article

Quote
Realizing that none of our options were viable, my husband asked the table of 3 if they would consider swapping tables with us in light of the baby stroller. They agreed to move. We sat down at our respective tables, and the manager came to our table telling us that she had decided not to serve us that night. She said it was inappropriate for us to approach another table. We told her we were particularly appalled because her wait staff knew early on that we had a stroller. The manager claims that the party of 3 was irritated that they had to move.

I don't see that as being egregious at all.   The didn't try to kick the other party out of the table, they offered them a swap, pointing to the stroller as the reason they needed the larger table. 

All this talk of 'over-large' strollers is a bit beyond the point.  I often take my son out in a large stroller.  We do eat at restaurants together.  I have even ( in open-seating situations ) asked people if they would mind moving to adjacent spots to accommodate us.

I await a clear explanation of how any of this makes me unimaginably rude.

It doesn't make you "unimaginably rude", but it does put the people at the coveted table in an awkward position.

And how do you know that they don't have a good reason for being at that table? Perhaps one of them is disabled, or needs to be close to a bathroom, or an open window, etc. Moving could very well inconvenience them too.

And even if they don't have a good reason, they may want to stay at that table "just because". Maybe it has a better view? Maybe it's got more leg space? Maybe they're simply settled and comfortable? I think many people in that situation would feel obliged to move, but deep down wouldn't really want to, thus lessening their experience of the evening. 

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 719
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #136 on: September 17, 2013, 06:40:21 AM »
From what I am reading, I think that most people are missing the point of the OP.

Yes, there may many accomodations a restaurant can make for children, whether they sit child in paren'ts lap, stroller out of the way, or carseat on floor.

But, if I am reading it correctly, the couple in question specifically asked for a table that they knew would accomodate their baby being in a stroller at the table with them.  They had asked or suggested this before even being seated and were willing to wait for that table. 

If this situation/information was known up front by the restaurant staff, why was it so hard to accomodate this request? 

Now, yes, the couple that was seated could have had reservations, (does restaurant in question take reservations?).  Maybe we missed that. 

But, if this was the case, why wasn't it conveyed to the party in question?   "If you want this table, please know that it could be a long wait due to...whatever circumstances". 

I still think the restaurant is at fault for the most part, but the couple in question should never have approached another couple to switch tables.  They should have told their displeasure to the restaurant management and if not getting anywhere with them, you email the parent company/owner.

Itza

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 672
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #137 on: September 17, 2013, 07:14:02 AM »
So, they identified an appropriate table, told the restaurant staff then waited for 35 minutes only to be leapfrogged to the table by a party who came in after them?

The staff member is at fault here, particular as they knew the stroller party were waiting for that table.

A PP mentioned strollers being hazardous due to their carrying hot food which I totally understand, I have to ask, what about patrons who use wheelchairs, how are they accommodated?

As previous posters have mentioned, wheelchairs are not the same as strollers. For one thing, they fit much better under the table, whereas strollers take up a lot more space. And just because there may seem to be space, certain laws (such as fire codes) forbid strollers from blocking aisles. As a former server, I can tell you that working with a wheelchair was much easier than working with your average stroller, and this was before hummer-sized strollers became popular.

And since the ADA was passed, most restaurants have a few tables to accommodate wheelchairs.

As a person who has been pushing wheelchairs of increasing size around for the last 19 years, in my experience, they donít go under the tables weíve encountered thus far.

My son's power chair



My son's manual chair


Every time we dine somewhere, I have to remove the footplates. This only gets my son close to the table but not under it so food and drink falling in his lap is a risk.

As you can see in the next pictures, both the power chair and the manual chair can only go so far, inhibited by the side panels. These can be removed but some wheelchair users need the side panels for support. Otherwise, we now have two footplates and two side panels and a storage problem in a restaurant/cafe.
 



However, these photos donít show my son in the wheelchairs and even if I did remove the footplates and the side panels, he still wouldnít get under the table because the chairs are too high for the table or the table is too low for the chairs. This is what we find wherever we go; only the chairs will go under the table by themselves following removal of the footplates and side panels but who wants to leave their son at home and just take his empty wheelchair out?

Hence the reason we have a specialist dining chair for home. As you can see from the following two photos, the seat on the dining chair is much lower which means by son can be comfortably sat at the dining table. You canít exactly take this chair out and about as itís not functional as a wheelchair despite it having castors.







www.opendiary.com/hear_me
Disclaimer: Not for the faint hearted

Owly

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #138 on: September 17, 2013, 08:30:36 AM »
I don't see that as being egregious at all.   The didn't try to kick the other party out of the table, they offered them a swap, pointing to the stroller as the reason they needed the larger table. 

All this talk of 'over-large' strollers is a bit beyond the point.  I often take my son out in a large stroller.  We do eat at restaurants together.  I have even ( in open-seating situations ) asked people if they would mind moving to adjacent spots to accommodate us.

I await a clear explanation of how any of this makes me unimaginably rude.

I wouldn't say unimaginably rude, but I don't think it's polite either.  There is a presumption held by many in the US (don't know about other countries) that kids 'trump' adult needs and desires.  I'm not including examples because a) I'm not trying to start WWIII here and b) don't want to sidetrack the thread; but I do wish to point out that being asked to trade tables to accommodate a child carries with it a certain weigh and that people who would be unwilling to trade tables with other adults - maybe they like that table - feel pressured to do so because there's a child involved.

Honestly, if you're bringing your child in a big stroller and want a particular type of seating it's up to you to make arrangements with the restaurant, in advance if necessary, rather than expect others to rearrange themselves.

Isn't that what they did? When they asked to have a particular table (and explained why), were told "no problem", and then waited half an hour for it? I agree that they should have spoken to an employee rather than the other customers, but as far as the bolded goes it sounds like they were trying to do exactly that.

No, the people in the article did not take it up with the restaurant staff, they instead chose to talk to the other customers, so they did not do as the bolded sentence states.  The poster I was responding to also said that she has asked other people in restaurants to move in order to accommodate a stroller, which is also not taking the matter to the restaurant staff or making previous arrangements.
I think you may have misinderstood me. I'm talking about before then. When they first came in, they did convey to the staff that they'd like a particular table, and why. Staff told them no problem, so they waited for the table.

I agree with you that afterwards, when they spoke to the customers, that was not the right way to handle it. But before then, 30 minutes prior, when they spoke to the staff... They were attempting to make arrangements with the restaurant.

sunnygirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 262
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #139 on: September 17, 2013, 10:11:45 AM »
Just because the party demanded a particular table, doesn't mean that a) they are entitled to that particular table, or b) that table actually is the best table for a stroller. We don't know if the waitstaff promised/implied they would get that table because we don't know what was said and only have the family's side of things.

Did the restaurant decline to serve them because they had a stroller, or because they were bothering other patrons? That's a perfectly good reason to ask someone to leave. It's a big assumption that they were asked to leave just because they had a stroller, but that the waitstaff chose to lie and make false promises and force the family to wait for 35 minutes with no intention or serving them. The family claims the other table were happy to move; the restaurant claims the other table were irritated. We have no idea which of these accounts is true and what actually happened during that conversation. It's possible that the restaurant was entirely in the wrong. But it's equally possible the family harassed the other table into moving, the other table complained to the management that they were being harassed, and the management asked them to leave because of that. I just don't think there's enough information, only seeing one side, to know.

ti_ax

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #140 on: September 17, 2013, 10:30:12 AM »
Just because the party demanded a particular table, doesn't mean that a) they are entitled to that particular table, or b) that table actually is the best table for a stroller. We don't know if the waitstaff promised/implied they would get that table because we don't know what was said and only have the family's side of things.

Did the restaurant decline to serve them because they had a stroller, or because they were bothering other patrons? That's a perfectly good reason to ask someone to leave. It's a big assumption that they were asked to leave just because they had a stroller, but that the waitstaff chose to lie and make false promises and force the family to wait for 35 minutes with no intention or serving them. The family claims the other table were happy to move; the restaurant claims the other table were irritated. We have no idea which of these accounts is true and what actually happened during that conversation. It's possible that the restaurant was entirely in the wrong. But it's equally possible the family harassed the other table into moving, the other table complained to the management that they were being harassed, and the management asked them to leave because of that. I just don't think there's enough information, only seeing one side, to know.
My POD to this.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5608
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #141 on: September 17, 2013, 10:30:23 AM »
Did the restaurant decline to serve them because they had a stroller, or because they were bothering other patrons?

I think some of us are talking past each other. I think there are three wrongdoers, and just because the other two were wrong doesn't make the third wrongdoer right.  It seems some people might be arguing too strenuously that this situaiton occurred in a vacuum, with only one wrongdoer, and we can't agree which one was the wrongdoer.  It didn't happen in a vacuum though.

The first problem is the restaurant failed to appropriately manage expectations. I think it was up to the restaurant to explain what it would and would not do for the people with the stroller.  That was the first "wrong" in my opinion.

I haven't seen anyone say that the people with the stroller acted appropriately in approaching the other table - this was the second "wrong." 

The third "wrong" was the party that moved and then complained.  It seems clear to me that the restaurant declined to serve the party with the stroller because they asked the other party to move, which the party did, but apparently later complained about doing.  I think the party that agreed to move and then complained is somewhat at fault here too.  If it were me, I would have either happily moved, or peacefully declined to move.  Either one would be find in my book.  But if the party with the stroller asked the other party to move, and the other party did, I think it would be reasonable to assume the other party was okay with moving.

Since the restaurant is the business, I think it has more stake in correcting it's perceived wrong.


Emmy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3791
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #142 on: September 17, 2013, 10:40:54 AM »
From what I am reading, I think that most people are missing the point of the OP.

Yes, there may many accomodations a restaurant can make for children, whether they sit child in paren'ts lap, stroller out of the way, or carseat on floor.

But, if I am reading it correctly, the couple in question specifically asked for a table that they knew would accomodate their baby being in a stroller at the table with them.  They had asked or suggested this before even being seated and were willing to wait for that table. 

If this situation/information was known up front by the restaurant staff, why was it so hard to accomodate this request?

Now, yes, the couple that was seated could have had reservations, (does restaurant in question take reservations?).  Maybe we missed that. 

But, if this was the case, why wasn't it conveyed to the party in question?   "If you want this table, please know that it could be a long wait due to...whatever circumstances". 

I still think the restaurant is at fault for the most part, but the couple in question should never have approached another couple to switch tables.  They should have told their displeasure to the restaurant management and if not getting anywhere with them, you email the parent company/owner.

Yes, thank you.  I tried to state that several pages back, but my post seemed to have gotten lost.  I think Toots mentioned the same thing.  It sounds like the group specifically asked if the restaurant could accommodate the stroller at the table.  The group pointed out that particular table as one that could accommodate the stroller.  This is where a miscommunication could have occurred.  The restaurant said they could accommodate them, meaning the child without the stroller when the group thought the restaurant meant they could specifically accommodate the stroller.  Although from the OP, it sounds like the group made it clear they wanted the stroller accommodated and the restaurant agreed, I'm sure the restaurant would have a different side of the story.

I don't think it is SS to have a big stroller or want it at the table.  I do think it is SS to think that your big stroller should inconvenience other people or expect it to be appropriate in all places.  I imagine if the restaurant said clearly they do now allowed unfolded strollers by the table, then there would have been no problem and the group would have went to another restaurant. 

In many situations I don't agree with the 'it's not rude to ask'.  However, I don't see anything wrong with the group asking about keeping the stroller with them at the table.  The restaurant is there to serve their customers and while they may not be able to accommodate some requests, that particular request doesn't seem to outlandish.  I do realize that in a crowded city it may not be easy to accommodate that request, but the restaurant could just say 'no'.  I do think it was inappropriate to ask a group who is seated and comfortable to move because it is inconvenient to them and it isn't their job to look out for the comfort of another group.  It seems like asking an airline attendant if it would be possible to change from the middle seat in the back row of an airplane to another seat verses asking the passenger in your desired seat.

Erich L-ster

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 665
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #143 on: September 17, 2013, 01:17:59 PM »
As a person who has been pushing wheelchairs of increasing size around for the last 19 years, in my experience, they donít go under the tables weíve encountered thus far.
My son's power chair

My son's manual chair

Every time we dine somewhere, I have to remove the footplates. This only gets my son close to the table but not under it so food and drink falling in his lap is a risk.
As you can see in the next pictures, both the power chair and the manual chair can only go so far, inhibited by the side panels. These can be removed but some wheelchair users need the side panels for support. Otherwise, we now have two footplates and two side panels and a storage problem in a restaurant/cafe.


However, these photos donít show my son in the wheelchairs and even if I did remove the footplates and the side panels, he still wouldnít get under the table because the chairs are too high for the table or the table is too low for the chairs. This is what we find wherever we go; only the chairs will go under the table by themselves following removal of the footplates and side panels but who wants to leave their son at home and just take his empty wheelchair out?
Hence the reason we have a specialist dining chair for home. As you can see from the following two photos, the seat on the dining chair is much lower which means by son can be comfortably sat at the dining table. You canít exactly take this chair out and about as itís not functional as a wheelchair despite it having castors.




Just out of curiosity (and seriously, zero snark or ulterior motives) what would you expect a restaurant to do to best accommodate your son and the chair? Do you think there should be a law that each establishment should have at least one table that can fit a standard wheelchair? Again, I'm not being facetious. They're required to have ramps, so why not a handicap accessible table?

And since it isn't a law at this time, what would be a good accommodation?

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1720
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #144 on: September 17, 2013, 08:47:41 PM »
Ok, saw this Cracked article and immediately thought of this thread.

Remember, this is cracked, so it's NSFW.

6 Foreign Parenting Practices Americans Would Call Neglect

drzim

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 638
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #145 on: September 17, 2013, 10:27:39 PM »
I am from San Francisco, and I re-read the comments from the original article to discover what restaurant this was.  I am familiar with this restaurant (actually it's a brewpub) and just knowing that, I would be willing to bet money that the restaurant was indeed the rudest one here.

This place is a pretentious hipster's paradise, to put it bluntly.  First of all, to answer a question that many have mentioned, this place does NOT take reservations.  This is a new trendy thing many restaurants are doing here to create a "buzz".  Somehow, it makes your place seem cool and exclusive to have people lining up before the place opens hoping to get a table, and to have throngs of people waiting on the sidewalk outside.

Also, the restaurant is in a converted warehouse, so actually a pretty large space and not your typical urban small bistro.  However, much of the dining area is taken up by long communal tables, as well as a lot of high bar tables with stools...neither of which would work well with a stroller, or even a high chair for that matter. 

I can totally imagine a group with a stroller choosing this restaurant because it seems like a big open space, only to become flustered when looking inside to find that there was really only one table where the stroller would be feasible.  I can also imagine waiting a full 35 minutes for a specific table.

Because they don't even take reservations, having someone come in after you and get seated at the table you had specifically requested is basically a slap in the face.  My bet is that they (the restaurant) were hoping the OP's party would leave if the wait was too long.  And when they didn't leave, they sat them at a table that they knew was unacceptable.  Then they claimed that the party they asked to switch was "irritated" so they could ask them to leave.

The only thing the OP's party did that could be construed as wrong was to ask to switch tables.  However, if they asked politely and the other party agreed to switch, I can't really fault them.  For those who think just asking to switch is rude in the first place, do you also think it is rude to ask someone to switch seats on an airplane?  It just seems to me to be easier to ask the person directly (accepting a no answer gracefully, of course) than to try to get the flight attendant to ask them.   In the restaurant situation above, they were getting attitude from the restaurant staff and thought asking directly would be a better way.


LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6443
    • Blog
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #146 on: September 17, 2013, 11:05:50 PM »
Interesting information, drzim!

It sounds like the new parents didn't meet the restaurant's preferred demographic. If it was a "pretentious hipsters' paradise", I presume the crowd would mostly be young, single people with beards, scarves and skinny jeans? So a family with a baby in a pram probably wouldn't be seen as "hip" and therefore might incur less preferential treatment from the restaurant staff. If I'm correct, and that's the case, the restaurant was definitely rude for letting them languish, whilst allowing "cooler" patrons to effectively jumpt the queue.

But all that said, I still maintain it was inconsiderate for the group to ask other people to move for them. 

Poppea

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2457
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #147 on: September 17, 2013, 11:32:46 PM »
I am from San Francisco, and I re-read the comments from the original article to discover what restaurant this was.  I am familiar with this restaurant (actually it's a brewpub) and just knowing that, I would be willing to bet money that the restaurant was indeed the rudest one here.

This place is a pretentious hipster's paradise, to put it bluntly.  First of all, to answer a question that many have mentioned, this place does NOT take reservations.  This is a new trendy thing many restaurants are doing here to create a "buzz".  Somehow, it makes your place seem cool and exclusive to have people lining up before the place opens hoping to get a table, and to have throngs of people waiting on the sidewalk outside.

Also, the restaurant is in a converted warehouse, so actually a pretty large space and not your typical urban small bistro.  However, much of the dining area is taken up by long communal tables, as well as a lot of high bar tables with stools...neither of which would work well with a stroller, or even a high chair for that matter. 

I can totally imagine a group with a stroller choosing this restaurant because it seems like a big open space, only to become flustered when looking inside to find that there was really only one table where the stroller would be feasible.  I can also imagine waiting a full 35 minutes for a specific table.

Because they don't even take reservations, having someone come in after you and get seated at the table you had specifically requested is basically a slap in the face.  My bet is that they (the restaurant) were hoping the OP's party would leave if the wait was too long.  And when they didn't leave, they sat them at a table that they knew was unacceptable.  Then they claimed that the party they asked to switch was "irritated" so they could ask them to leave.

The only thing the OP's party did that could be construed as wrong was to ask to switch tables.  However, if they asked politely and the other party agreed to switch, I can't really fault them.  For those who think just asking to switch is rude in the first place, do you also think it is rude to ask someone to switch seats on an airplane?  It just seems to me to be easier to ask the person directly (accepting a no answer gracefully, of course) than to try to get the flight attendant to ask them.   In the restaurant situation above, they were getting attitude from the restaurant staff and thought asking directly would be a better way.

I read the original article too and while one poster seemed certain that this was the correct restaurant, the writer never identified the actual restaurant.

drzim

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 638
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #148 on: September 18, 2013, 01:15:54 AM »
The writer is a local food critic/writer and was telling someone else's story.  I wonder if he was not allowed to say the name of the restaurant.

My post was based on a comment posted after the article, which revealed the name of the restaurant. I am assuming that this is the correct restaurant.

I just read some of the comments on Yelp.  Interestingly enough, a large number of posters talk about poor service, over priced food, and rude  staff.  A equally large number of posters give it 5 stars and rant about how good the food is.  Interesting......

Itza

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 672
Re: Restaurants and Baby Strollers
« Reply #149 on: September 18, 2013, 02:05:44 AM »
As a person who has been pushing wheelchairs of increasing size around for the last 19 years, in my experience, they donít go under the tables weíve encountered thus far.
My son's power chair

My son's manual chair

Every time we dine somewhere, I have to remove the footplates. This only gets my son close to the table but not under it so food and drink falling in his lap is a risk.
As you can see in the next pictures, both the power chair and the manual chair can only go so far, inhibited by the side panels. These can be removed but some wheelchair users need the side panels for support. Otherwise, we now have two footplates and two side panels and a storage problem in a restaurant/cafe.


However, these photos donít show my son in the wheelchairs and even if I did remove the footplates and the side panels, he still wouldnít get under the table because the chairs are too high for the table or the table is too low for the chairs. This is what we find wherever we go; only the chairs will go under the table by themselves following removal of the footplates and side panels but who wants to leave their son at home and just take his empty wheelchair out?
Hence the reason we have a specialist dining chair for home. As you can see from the following two photos, the seat on the dining chair is much lower which means by son can be comfortably sat at the dining table. You canít exactly take this chair out and about as itís not functional as a wheelchair despite it having castors.




Just out of curiosity (and seriously, zero snark or ulterior motives) what would you expect a restaurant to do to best accommodate your son and the chair? Do you think there should be a law that each establishment should have at least one table that can fit a standard wheelchair? Again, I'm not being facetious. They're required to have ramps, so why not a handicap accessible table?

And since it isn't a law at this time, what would be a good accommodation?

I was actually replying to a poster saying wheelchairs do go under tables when I know the ones weíve sat at donít.

However, youíve asked a good question. While it would be a good idea for at least one accessible table, if there is a restaurant fast filling up so regular customers are seated there, it wouldnít be fair on currently seated diners to be asked to move to accommodate a person in a wheelchair who wasnít already there. The restaurant isnít going to leave that one table empty in a busy place just because a person in a wheelchair may come in at some point. So theyíd probably need more than that but not many more.

I also find negotiating my sonís wheelchair difficult in small spaces. The aisles between tables are only wide enough for someone walking, not for anything wider but then again, it makes sense for an establishment to want to maximise the space they have.

All along weíre fighting with what makes perfect sense for these establishments and accessibility. The two donít always go hand in hand, especially in older buildings. They do try though sometimes itís not enough. When you can see that theyíre definitely doing all that is feasibly possible within their constraints you donít mind so much making your own accommodations such as removing footplates and side panels if necessary.






www.opendiary.com/hear_me
Disclaimer: Not for the faint hearted