For a few years now, I’ve waited tables to help pay for my college. I’ve worked at a couple of different mom and pop places where the tips weren’t great but they were ok. Recently, I got a big break and landed a job at one of the new, real popular downtown restaurants. The tips are way better, but I’m floored at the way nothing is ever done about the horrible behavior of some of the adult patrons’ spoiled kids. I dealt with this at the other places I worked, but it seems like this kind of thing is happening more and more.
Our restaurant management says servers are to ignore this kind of behavior, that it’s not our responsibility to stop it. I have to admit that these are things I don’t want to get in the middle of.
These obnoxious brats can get real loud and out of control. Their parents allow them to wander around the restaurant disturbing other diners and getting underfoot of me and other servers. Most annoying is when the kids stand in the booths and intentionally disrupt others’ dining experience. It’s incredible to see how their parents ignore all of this. They will eat and talk to each other or look at their phones like nothing is wrong with what their kids are doing. I think they’ve become immune to it. I’ve even seen parents find this behavior amusing.
Unfortunately, our dining area is so small that moving agitated diners away from the misbehaving kid(s) isn’t an option, which was the same situation at the other places I worked.
I think diners are scared to say something to the disruptive patrons or even complain to restaurant personnel. I can’t say I blame them. I think they expect restaurant management to see there’s a problem and handle it, but it seems like management is worried about offending someone or possibly starting an incident, which will affect their bottom line.
I don’t understand how things have gotten to this point. I’m in my late 20s now. It may not seem that old to you and a lot of your readers, but I know my parents would never have allowed me to act up like that.
I’m not looking for an answer. I just need to vent and hope you will share my email with your readers.
Sick of unruly kids AND their parents
Dear Sick of unruly kids AND their parents:
I hear you loud and clear and sympathize with you. Restaurant owners and management have to decide how they will handle these sticky situations when they occur in their establishments. I have heard that many places have set policies and procedures, but just as many, if not more, don’t have anything in place because no two situations are the same and neither are the personalities of the individuals involved.
It is my hope that if parents take their kids to restaurants, they know it is not only their responsibility to school them in dining out but it is also their responsibility to get the situation under control if their kids misbehave, which may involve having to leave the restaurant if the kids continue to act up.
I sincerely hope we see a positive change in your lifetime and mine!
Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®