Saturday, July 2, 2011

dining etiquette + children part 3: throwing spaghetti

Parents, I challenge you to clean up after your children while in a restaurant!  I know it is nice to be able to walk away from a floor littered with crayons and pieces of paper, bits of food and spilled pop, but the server should not have to be responsible for such a mess.

You certainly wouldn't let 'little Johnny' throw his spaghetti at home, or would you?  The atrocious mess that is commonly left behind after a table with children leaves is unacceptable.  I've actually had children throw food/crayons at me and the parents just laugh!

Thank you but I am not a janitor, nor a babysitter (I was once, but not anymore) and I don't want to have to crawl under your table after you leave to scrape crushed crackers out of the carpet.

I have served a few families that are tidy and pleasant, the children have great manners and are cleaned up after when they make a mess, but unfortunately there are a great many rotten apples spoiling the pot.  So please, to those who don't usually clean up after your children - not only are you being uncouth but you are setting an example for your children that will be perpetuated with their children!

At least leave a big tip so the time we take to clean up the mess isn't totally wasted...


  1. Having a toddler I totally know where you are coming from - I am so embarrassed when he makes a mess and do whatever I can to clean up. And big tips - you bet! (unless my child is served about 10 min after everyone else... that has happened at a local restaurant - not cool)

  2. Hmmm... for every 1 mess from a child I'm forced to clean up, I have to clean 12 disastrous messes from grown adults, and for every one of those I'm forced to clean up, I'm left with a dozen more dirty kleenexes on the table. GROSS!

    So for every 1 in 10 kids who parents actually leave a mess... whateve's. I'll pick my battles.

  3. thanks for your blog...i am in what i consider to be a service industry, at least thats what i believe separates me from my competition...but i'm not in the restaurant industry and never have been. reading your insights is very helpful and i think more people could consider your perspective before complaining of poor service (especially when showing up an announced in a group of 12 after a hockey game) question from my 15 yr old son about tippping out-how common is it for dishwashers to recieve a share of tips ? his experience this year is vastly different from last year, and its a substantial difference to his net wage

  4. Thank you for your comment, and your positive feedback! If I can shed any light on the situation regarding your son as a dishwasher, it is this: there are two sides to look at when it comes to a dishwashing position 1. it is hot, dirty and often thankless work 2. it is an entry level position that most restaurant workers face at some point in their careers.

    This being said I have seen it done both ways about 50%-50% tipping-out and not. The only explanation I can suggest is this; it is a terrible season for waitstaff and it has probably made them less generous based on their own decrease in income, not in any way related to your son doing his job well. Tell him to hang in there, next year will be better!

    Just wait until he is a server, then he too can stiff the poor young man slaving away in the dish pit *insert wry smile*

  5. Much worse than the messy child, is the noisy one.
    As a regular customer of most of the restaurants in Stratford, I very much resent the fact that I am trying to enjoy a rather expensive meal while being serenaded by the screaming baby or toddler.
    When my kids were small, they learned very quickly that if they were not quiet in a restaurant, then we made a quick visit to the lady's room and stayed there until they were ready to sit quietly. This is just common courtesy to other patrons.
    I was recently trying to enjoy a nice meal downstairs at Pazzo's when the table behind us was a never-ending cacophony of hollering children who then decided that running up and down the aisles was a great way to burn off some after-dinner energy...and the adults at the table turned a blind eye.
    Not cool.

  6. The importance of proper dining etiquette can make the difference between getting that job or promotion you're after. Do you have what it takes?

    Bryce Restaurant

  7. Hi there, just wanted to know if this image is yours? I'd love to use it on my website about "marketing that sticks" is it copywrited? thanks