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Restaurant Apologizes for Surcharging Families with Infants

Restaurant Apologizes for Surcharging Families with Infants

The largest "family friendly" restaurant in the U.K., COSMO, was embarrassed to discover its name in the paper last week for surcharging people who bring their babies.

The Croydon restaurant's staff insisted that patron Natasha Young pay an extra £3 (about $4.68) because she had brought her 6-week-old breast-fed son, even after she offered to remove his stroller from the restaurant and store it in her car. The rationale: the infant was taking up space.

COSMO issued a statement apologizing to Young and explained that while they do have a minimum charge policy in place, it is "for small children who eat but not a full meal," and "was never intended for babies."


The statement continues, "It would appear that the training, for both the staff and the managers fell well below that of our other restaurants. COSMO would like to assure customers that this is an isolated incident and we will be retraining all employees at Croydon as a matter of urgency."

Read the whole story (The London Evening Standard)

Have you ever felt unwelcome in a family restuarant?

Image Source: via The London Evening Standard

TiffanyMlsna TiffanyMlsna 5 years
i was charged for a children meal one time when i had brought my 18mo old her own food to eat. she was on a strict diet for allergies, so i always brought her food. the restaurant told me that they lost a sale because i did that. i took it up with the chain and got my entire order free for my whole family, but I will never go back there.
MelissaTippens MelissaTippens 5 years
Considering the number of times just my husband and I have been seated at a table that has four chairs, I'm not entirely okay with the idea that they should be able to charge for taking up space. They don't charge patrons who take a table for four and don't put anyone in the other two chairs. Why should I pay more because I've brought children who might add to the tab? And, yes, nursing infants add to the tab. I remember how I ate while nursing. I get being annoyed by parents who don't clean up after their children, but dealing with them specifically seems better than charging everyone. I make my kids pick up after themselves now that they can. Before that, I made sure we didn't leave spills or large messes. I resent being charged for the parents who aren't responsible and aren't teaching their children to be as well.
MichelleMayes MichelleMayes 5 years
This was not a child eating solids - it was a breastfeeding infant. What, are they charging her for providing outside food? Now, if you have two adults, and two kids, and they are taking up a four-seater table and then say the kids aren't eating, that might be cause for a usage tax because in that case they ARE taking up space that could have been used by paying diners. But an infant on a lap? In a stroller that the parent offered to leave outside? If one adult is eating alone are they charged for 2 seats since you have to seat a single at a two seater if there's no space in the bar? Please.
WendyWarren27235 WendyWarren27235 5 years
Is this a buffet restaurant? If so, I'd understand the surcharge for small children who eat, but don't eat much. But not for a baby. It sounds like they're handling it right, apologizing and retraining the staff.
BeckyLovdahl BeckyLovdahl 5 years
I would not eat their anymore, let see how long they will be in business. For I will inform all my friends with childrens.
MarlisDanser MarlisDanser 5 years
If I had to pay a surcharge to eat out with my daughter..I would simply eat elsewhere. A family friendly restaurant should know kids will be kids..most parents would watch their children and not allow them to destroy property. But how messy or disruptive could a 6 week old be? All they do is sleep.
CherylOutten CherylOutten 5 years
I do agree that charging a surcharge for children who do not eat a full meal is wrong. having said that, I have worked in the industry for years and would love to charge some families when they leave the rest. because of the mess they make and the disruptive behavior of their children, which sometimes takes a lot of time repair, and other disgruntled guests may never return to the rest and the time and money it takes to get gum/pen/felt out of a table cloth? and the time it takes to clean up the mess is unacceptable.
DeniseGiffin DeniseGiffin 5 years
If it's a family-friendly restaurant, that is being quite ridiculous. If it were a high end establishment that is meant for adults, I'd be more than fine with charging for bringing in kids. I don't leave my daughter at home to go out to a nice dinner at an adult restaurant just to hear someone else's kid screaming.
CandaceMParsons CandaceMParsons 5 years
that's terrible and i think wrong for them to charge someone who is not eating their food, ridiculous
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