Friday, April 17, 2015

Restaurant's Epic Apology After Banning 'Small Screaming Children'

When Nova Scotia’s The Lobster Pound and Moore restaurant declared that they were banning kids, customers got so upset, the owner quickly recanted.

One restaurateur served up more controversy than he’d bargained for when he banned “small screaming children” from his eatery. Richard Moore, owner of The Lobster Pound and Moore in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, had become so frustrated with the upset that fussy young diners had been causing other patrons that he took to Facebook Sunday night declaring, “Effective as of now, we will no longer allow small screaming children.”

Outrage ensued among the patrons in the Cape Breton Island community and people took to Facebook to protest as well as local media. “If it doesn’t want my kids there,” one mother vented to CBC News. “Why would they want me there?” By Monday morning the post had been deleted. In its place, Moore issued an extensive apology that he tells Yahoo Parenting he “really hopes” soothes sore parents.

“I chose the wrong words to convey a message I didn’t want,” he writes in the mea culpa posted Monday. “I love kids and would have them if I could. I shouldn’t have used the word screaming but should have said something like, ‘Lil’ diners having a moment.’”

He didn’t stop at that, either. Moore explains how he’s “tried cheering upset kids with carved fruit and treats but those items aren’t always on hand.” Acknowledging the upset he caused, he adds, “I know I’ve lost some of you. I can’t take it back but I can try again… I will do better even if you don’t give me the chance. I was trying to be different and the ‘go-to’ happening place.”

The fact that his note offended so many has really hit the business owner hard. “I’m feeling pretty beaten and broken right now,” he tells Yahoo Parenting, adding that the controversy has broken “a big rift” in the community of less than 32,000 people. “I didn’t want to upset so many people. I was just trying to provide an environment where everyone is happy.”

Still, many have also written in on social media to show their support for not only Moore but his original no-kids policy. “I applaud you for saying something that most are not brave enough to say,” wrote one commenter on Moore’s apology post, which has more than 900 likes. Another weighed in: “I have just as much rights to expect some peace and quiet with my wife as you have the right to take your kids out.”

Etiquette expert Rachel Isgar tells Yahoo Parenting that whatever side you fall on, you’ve got to admit Moore effectively made amends. “He made a goof with his post but he did the right thing by apologizing quickly,” says the Please Pass The Manners consultant. “Now he needs some good tools in his tool kit to help parents help the kids get through an enjoyable dinner and not disturb the other patrons.”

Even so, it shouldn’t really be all up to him, she adds. “Ultimately the parents have to have the responsibility for their children’s manners.” On that the business owner agrees. “People take the effect that the disruptions have more seriously now,” he says of his eatery post-brouhaha. “Customers are asking me, Are we still welcome? And I have to tell them, absolutely, but if little Spencer loses his cool, please take him out to the porch.”


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