Screaming Children Surcharge

Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill, a restaurant in Singapore, recently introduced a surcharge of $10 on the final dining bill of parents of noisy, disruptive and uncontrollable children. There are many other restaurants around the world that do the same or have simply banned children under a particular age. Recently, we asked a few RobinAgers if this rule of ‘no screaming allowed’ or ‘no children allowed’ is anti-children or if it is a way of encouraging parents to be better at disciplining their children. Are children offended by this move? Here’s what they had to say.

February 01, 2023

Kashyap Hapaliya
Class 10, SN Kansagra School, Rajkot

Well, from my vantage point, the rule of ‘no screaming allowed’ and ‘no children allowed’ would perhaps be taken as an offence on the grounds of vicious inhumanity. Children being an intrinsic part of this society shall not be exempted and expelled from places of public interest. Such perspicacious ideas shall not prevail and one must reflect that though they may be noisy, children are an epitome of fresh courage and selfless innocence. Why would one want children to act like adults and be perfect? Let not their coherence be infringed and rather let them have unfriendly manners. Better choose some other places to dine in.

M Sudhiksha
Class 9, Jubilee Hills Public School, Hyderabad

As a 13-year-old teenager, I think it is an offence for us kids to be restricted from entering restaurants and hotels. Personally, I believe kids need to be given a chance to show that we can be civilised. Restaurants cannot ban us for their convenience. We, too, are people. We certainly are learning, and we have some special needs, but that does not mean we are eliminated from society. All adults were once children too. There is only one way to be a part of society—by being a part of it! If children are eliminated from society, we will never learn to socialise.

Gargi Kulkarni
Class 8, Podar International School, Pune

Children running amuck and yelling is not a scene that is unfamiliar to us whenever we visit a restaurant. Everyone in the area is disturbed as they are unable to enjoy a peaceful meal. It is great that the managers of this hotel have taken steps to curb this behaviour by levying a surcharge. However, not all parents might approve of this. No one wants their children to run in a frenzy and scream. But people should understand that children will behave like children. They often feel tired, hungry, agitated or unwell, which leads to these actions. I don’t think it is right to go against children for just being ‘children’. I believe that kids are happy when they are in a pleasing environment. So, people should take steps to make restaurants more child-friendly and not label them with a sticker that says, ‘please stop yelling!’

Keisha Arora
Class 7, Greenwood High School, Bengaluru

Having a meal is delightful, and food should be eaten in peace and quiet, in a way that people enjoy. However, some children are wilful and go around here and there, screaming, running around and banging things. This is a big nuisance to other restaurant customers who go to eat and relax. I have always been a quiet child myself and have been displeased several times when I come across children who are shouting while I try to enjoy my food. But does imposing a fine really solve the problem? For parents who are cost sensitive, it might help bring the situation under control. For others, paying a small fine wouldn’t matter. They would choose to pay the fine over keeping their kids quiet, which is more challenging. Instead of charging fines, childcare workers should be employed and there should be special zones for kids at restaurants. Children should be provided with activity booklets and crayons. This keeps children engaged, hence reducing the noise. If for any reason these solutions are not possible, then the money collected as a ‘screaming children surcharge’ should be given as a discount to other customers or complimentary items should be provided to them as they are the ones who are facing the problem.

Aarush Thariani
Class 5, AVM School, Mumbai

I feel that it is wrong for a restaurant to charge a penalty because charging a penalty is not good. Instead of charging a penalty, they can put a ‘no kids policy’. Adults sometimes need free time and privacy. They can go to such restaurants in their area if they know of this ‘no kids policy’. But charging a penalty is wrong as it is not the child’s, parents’ or restaurant’s fault that they make noise. There are anyways places like bars and pubs where kids are not allowed and parents don’t take their children over there. So in my view, it is okay to have ‘no kids policy’ restaurants rather than charging a penalty if they make noise.

Ayan Ranade
Class 3, Bombay International School, Mumbai

According to me, it is fair for a restaurant to levy a surcharge. It is a loss for the owner of the restaurant, as screaming children drive customers away. Also, it makes other customers very irritated and annoyed to have screaming children in the same restaurant as them. They do not enjoy their meal and give the restaurant bad reviews and ratings. As a result of poor ratings, the restaurant will have fewer customers. Waiters often get distracted because of screaming children. They may bring the wrong order and get yelled at by customers. Additionally, if the waiters are carrying expensive crockery on their trays and children crash into them, the crockery can break. The waiters may be blamed for this and money will be deducted from their salaries.

Aaradhy Abhijit Pancholi
Class 2, Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane

I think it is a very bad idea to impose a surcharge because children will always behave naughtily and scream. I think this move is very insensitive towards children. A child’s natural behaviour should not be suppressed. Levying a surcharge for a kid’s misbehaviour is unwarranted and unnecessary. Children sometimes shout or run because they are too small to understand discipline.

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