A family wrote in to Inside Scoop SF this week to complain about an unfortunate incident they had while attempting to dine out with a stroller. They arrived at a restaurant at 6:15 pm. Since they were unwilling to take the baby out of the stroller, there was only one table in the entire restaurant that would accommodate their party of four plus the stroller. They agreed to wait for it.
The staff, clearly annoyed with this situation decided to backpedal and offer the table to a different party of three. Family with stroller is pissed. Family with stroller asks party at table if they will switch tables with them. Party of three agrees. Restaurant manager gets so irritated with the situation – she/he kicks party with stroller out.
As someone who has spent a lot of time working in restaurants, I can tell you with some degree of certainty that this was a giant stroller. If it wasn’t, there would be more than ONE option of where it could be parked. Parents – never, ever assume that a restaurant will be able to accommodate your stroller. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. There’s nothing more annoying than a family that saunters into a restaurant and looks at the staff like, Hey. Here we are. You better figure out where to put our giant stroller, because we refuse to take our baby out of it.
Here’s the thing; if your baby is too small to exist outside the stroller, he’s small enough to be in a carrier strapped to your chest. If he’s too big too be in a carrier, he’s big enough to be in a booster or high chair. Period. Yes, it’s much easier if your baby can sleep soundly in a stroller while you enjoy your meal; it’s a pain in the ass to cut a steak while a baby is strapped to your chest. But, too bad.
It’s also worth mentioning that whoever made the decision to offer this party the table, not give it to them, and then kick them out – is a total dolt who should not be in the service industry. The family should have been informed when they arrived that the restaurant would not be able to accommodate the stroller. You don’t agree to something you don’t really want to do and then allow yourself to become so annoyed that you completely over-react and throw out customers. That is not customer service – and it did not need to get to that point.
Parents – don’t expect restaurants to have space for your strollers. Restaurants – be clear about what you can and cannot accommodate from the get-go and don’t be total jerks about it.