Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

At what age is it appropriate to take a child to a upscale restaurant?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) March 1st, 2010

Many upscale restaurants will ask your party to leave if you have loud, unruly children.

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24 Answers

phoenyx's avatar

I’d say it depends on the child more than the age. I know some very well-behaved 4-year-olds I would take to a restaurant and some unruly adults I would not.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think it is age dependent, but behavior-dependent. You know your child best so you should decide.

Do they respond to verbal behavior corrections?

Can they sit relatively still and not talk in loudly penetrating tones?

Would they enjoy what there is to eat in an upscale restaurant?

No point in making the experience miserable for everyone.

ubersiren's avatar

Many restaurants, upscale or not, will ask you to leave if anyone in your party, regardless of age, is being loud and unruly. This is definitely not an age-specific issue.

ratboy's avatar

Fifty-three for the youngest parent, thirty-one for the child.

Supacase's avatar

Whatever age the child in question is able to understand and comply with behavior expectations.

plethora's avatar

Maybe never. Depends on the child and the discipline the parents have applied. When I lived in Mississippi I always preferred to sit next to a Black family, even if they had a whole slew of children, as opposed to a White yuppie family who usually let their one kid trash the place, while the Black kids were perfectly behaved.

ranwulf's avatar

When the parents can be trusted to take their screaming little darling the hell out of there instead of stubbornly staying put and annoying the entire dining room. That’s about 35.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It all depends on the child.

davidbetterman's avatar

Anytime. the more upscale the restaurant, the more fun it is to have a seriously misbehaving child!


jealoustome's avatar

As soon as they are old enough to pay for your meal.

Blackberry's avatar

Whatever age kids stop being little shits and actually listen to what adults say. Like 7 or 8 and up?

MrItty's avatar

Age limits are almost entirely arbitrary. They are generalizations, and almost never adequate ones.

A child is ready for an “upscale” restaurant when it can sit still for 2 or 3 hours, without yelling, screaming, crying, throwing, stomping, pounding, or running. For some kids that might be 3 years old. For others it might be 12. For others it might be never.

plethora's avatar

@Blackberry Good answer, but I’m not sure they stop being little shits at 7 or 8. They could, but it depends on the consistency of the parents discipline in the home.

@MrItty True

MissAusten's avatar

Personally, I wouldn’t even consider taking my two youngest (6 and 5) to an upscale restaurant. They are perfectly able to behave when we go to a family-friendly place with crayons and quick service. A nice restaurant that takes their time with food prep and various courses would put them beyond their ability to sit still. They fit the “little boy” stereotype a bit too well. I wouldn’t want to make myself, them, or other people suffer by trying to get them to sit through a meal intended for adults. Besides the fact that when I go out for a nice dinner, I want to relax and enjoy it, not be on duty as the Manners Police.

My daughter, on the other hand, has been able to behave well in good restaurants for quite a while now. She will be 11 this week where does the time go?!?!?! and I can’t think of a time I ever had a problem with her in any kind of restaurant. She always had a bit more patience than the boys and was never as naturally wiggly. Anyway, my husband works long hours and misses being home for the kids more, especially our daughter now that she’s getting to an awkward age and in the dreaded middle school. For a special treat, he will take her to dinner at a very nice restaurant. I would be mortified if, at her age, she couldn’t behave in that situation.

Really, it all depends on the particular child. By age 8 or so, I think most kids can handle it.

plethora's avatar

What I’m wondering is why a parent would even consider taking a child to an upscale (expensive) restaurant, although I see it happen all the time. Might that privilege not be reserved for adults who can appreciate it? Kids, at least mine did, loved McDonalds or some cafeteria.

davidbetterman's avatar

@plethora Maybe the parents don’t want to feed garbage to their children. Just because the kids like McDonalds is no reason to let them eat that swill.

Buttonstc's avatar

As a general rule of thumb, I would say that if they have logged in a few years of grade school without behavioral issues, you could consider it.

But I think you should take into consideration whether the child views this as a special treat or a dreaded bore.

If it’s the latter, why bother?

But what it comes down to is, how well you know your own child. A very well behaved child who enjoys social occasions like that could very well handle it at a much earlier age. A severely hyperactive child may not be able to handle it till much older and there would have to be some inner motivation on their part to want to cooperate with a venture like that.

Trillian's avatar

Funny that you should ask this question. my son just turned 17 yesterday and we took him to a Japanese place with the hibachi tables. There were six of us so they put another couple at our table and they had their f#$#ing kid with them who required a highchair! I could have spit nails at being forced to have this in my evening. Of course the kid screamed at everything all the way through. I tried to ignore it, and fortunately one of the women with us is a nicer person than I am. I’m pretty sure the couple heard me say “Please don’t make me sit by this kid.”
Who does that?
I’d have made them stand on the X on the floor and dropped them both through a trap door into a pit.

thriftymaid's avatar

It’s usually not appropriate to take children to truly upscale restaurants.

cockswain's avatar

When they are old enough to appreciate the food

plethora's avatar

@davidbetterman True….that was just the first word that came to mind. An upscale restaurant is about more than food. It’s about good service, fine dining, a private time together for couples, etc, etc, none of which a child can appreciate. Early teens yes, a kid, no. It’s an adult experience. Thus, my question.

Judi's avatar

When they have learned and practiced their big kid manners.
I will ask a waiter to move me if they try to seat me in the nursery, unless the children seem very well behaved. It’s not fair to the kids or the other patrons to bring screaming kids to an upscale resteraunt.
On a funny note, my daughter has found a “naughty corner” to put my 3 year old grandson in in a nice steak house before. He does pretty good most of the time, because my daughter is very aware of the effect her children have on the other diners.

davidbetterman's avatar

@plethora You’d be surprised what a child can experience. Also, what if the parents have a reservation and the babysitter calls in sick at the last minute?

MrItty's avatar

@davidbetterman then the parents cancel the reservation. Parenthood involves sacrifice.

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