A restaurant in Singapore has started imposing a surcharge of 10 Singapore dollars (approximately $7) to customers with a “noisy and disruptive” child.
Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill, which is situated at Outram Road, sparked controversy among Singaporean parents after a customer shared details about the purported policy with local media.
The customer was informed of the surcharge after requesting a baby chair while making a reservation at the restaurant. The restaurant offered a space for a pram and noted that since the venue is not a kid-friendly establishment, they could not provide a baby chair.
According to the customer, the restaurant added that while children are still welcome, a $7 surcharge will be imposed on families with children who are “screaming,” “uncontrolled” or disruptive to other diners.
The customer shared the restaurant’s text message reply detailing the surcharge and the lack of a baby chair with Mothership.
The restaurant has so far maintained favorable reviews from customers on Google and on Facebook, with many praising its ambience and food.
There are, however, a few negative reviews on TripAdvisor, one of which complained about the restaurant’s alleged “child-unfriendly policy” and the noisy child surcharge.
It is unknown if the review came from the same person who leaked the restaurant’s text message to the press.
The restaurant responded to the negative review, explaining that they decided to implement the policy after its staff repeatedly received complaints about children “running around unattended or disturbing other tables during the service period.”
Since the servers are constantly carrying hot food, breakable dishes and sharp cutlery, the restaurant has deemed such distractions as “dangerous.” Excessive noise from children is also considered “disrespectful to other diners who may wish to dine in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere.”
Such behavior among unruly kids has allegedly often left restaurant staff in an “awkward” position mediating between parties of diners when one group felt inconvenienced in some manner.
The restaurant also noted that the policy “does not apply to 99% of our guests, but only to the ones who fail to respect the space and experience of others.”
“In these instances, our team speaks with the parents or caretakers and the situation is almost always immediately managed,” Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill further explained in a public statement. “However, we occasionally experience situations where nothing is done and the matter is ignored altogether. This is both frustrating and embarrassing because it puts the restaurant in an awkward position when explaining to other guests why nothing is being done to address the matter. Because of these experiences, we felt we had no choice but to impose a ‘penalty’ to address such unfortunate situations.”
The restaurant ended their statement by saying, “It pains us to impose the policy but it was never our intention to diminish any of our guests’ experience. We seek parents, caretakers’ kind understanding to tend to their children as we aim to provide as many pleasant and memorable dining experiences for as many customers as possible.”