Nettie’s House of Spaghetti in Tinton Falls, New Jersey will no longer allow children under 10 in the dining room. When Nettie’s posted the statement, it left some cheering while others are sharpening their pitchforks.
“We love kids. We really, truly, do,” Nettie’s says. Despite the instance that they love children, the restaurant claims it has simply become too challenging to accommodate them. They cite “noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant,” as reasons for this decision. “It’s become a liability to us – kids running around the restaurant in circles when we’re trying to carry trays of food and drinks has made doing our jobs extremely difficult,” they continued.
While Nettie’s acknowledges the decision will upset and alienate some customers. They feel it is the only way to take control of the situation. The post itself quickly went viral with 10,000 + shares on Facebook alone. Even though they have turned off commenting on that particular post. People from all over are weighing in on the decision in the comments of other posts.
Plenty of parents are irked they can’t take their kids to dine out with them. “That is really sad to hear .. I was looking forward to trying out your place but with a well behaved 9 year old I’m not welcome .. sad ..” one comment on Facebook reads. “This is highly disappointing. I’ve taken my child to 2-3 Michelin-star restaurants who accommodated her since she was an infant, but I can no longer bring her to a pasta house in the suburbs? Lame,” says another comment on Instagram.
One commenter suggested getting take-out with the little ones as sort of a middle ground. But Nettie’s is listed as not doing take-out or delivery, so this may not be feasible. Others support the rule pointing out that not all restaurants are family-friendly.
If Nettie’s claims of children running amuck around staff carrying heavy trays are correct, then that does create a dangerous situation for all involved. Since even empty dishes are heavy and could hurt someone if they were to fall. And it’d be even worse if it were carrying piping-hot food. We aren’t sure what or how many instances caused them to make this decision, but it’s hard to believe it was over nothing.
While plenty have threatened to never go to Nettie’s again, the direct impacts of this announcement won’t be immediately apparent. The restaurant is on winter break until March 8th. But it’s certainly something to keep an eye on to see if more restaurants follow suit.