Goodbye Earls

by Cookie

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Yesterday I read an interesting blog at:

http://www.embracethechaos.ca/2013/01/earls-restaurant-unfamily-friendly-policies-on-facebook.html

If you want to see the original information, see the link above.  But here’s the lowdown:

The author met a couple and their 9 month old at Earls only to find they had no high chair or change station in the washroom.  When the company was emailed, suggesting they consider adding these conveniences for their patrons who are parents, they basically got told that the company, shareholders and other customers would not accommodate them.  Pretty much a “fuck off with your kids” in the most polite round-about way ever.

NOW.  Are you ready for this, kids?

I kinda agree with Earls.

Disclaimer:  I fucking hate Earls.  I think their food is overpriced, overrated, and the service is substandard.  The only pre-requisites to getting hired as a server at Earls is having big tits, fake hair and an ability to walk around in 4 inch heels for your entire shift.  I have never, ever, had good service at Earls.  When I’ve gone, it’s for the atmosphere.

An atmosphere that would be ruined by someones kids at the next table screaming, puking and throwing their food at me.  Or more likely, my own kid doing those things.  Cause she’s cool like that, and I’m not allowed to bring the dogs with me to clean up her mess under the table.

Having got that off my milk-filled chest, let’s discuss.  As a “new” parent, I took The Destroyer everywhere.  I mean, she was tiny and contained in her car seat, and easy to entertain with a bottle and a little bit of rocking motion.  She slept all the time.  I probably would have taken her anywhere for lunch, whether they had high chairs or not.  But once they’re big enough for a high chair, the game changes.

Now they make a fucking mess.  Now they get bored.  Now it is no longer appropriate for me to cart her everywhere.  Because you know what?  The people next to me aren’t paying 10$ for a glass of wine to listen to my kid freak out because Netflix won’t fucking load fast enough.  They don’t want to be part of the Elmo crisis.  Neither do I, for that matter, but I’m the one who signed up for it.

As a parent who still wants to have a social life, (and who generally likes having her kid around), I try to be considerate of the venues I bring my toddler to now.  If the place doesn’t offer a kids menu or high chair, then I need to accept that it is probably not a kid-friendly environment.  And you know what?  That’s ok with me.  Because I need adult time too.  Sometimes I need both hands to eat my steak.  Some movies are rated “R” because they are inappropriate for children, and I’m not gonna start a protest over that either.  As parents we sometimes need to accept that OUR lives may revolve around our kids, but not everyone in the universe has to be in orbit.

However, I still think Earls, right as they may (or may not) be are pretty dumb.  I mean they keep building right beside shopping malls in suburbia for crying out loud.  Who the fuck do they think is at the mall during the day on a weekday?  Parents with young children.  Stay at home moms.  Moms and Dads on parental leave.  People with children, you fucking morons.

I don’t think Earls has the meat-market, bar atmosphere at 11:00 am, but if you want to shun the entire demographic of where you are situated by being stubborn, it’s your loss.  I’m sure Moxies will gladly scoop up your business.

What do you think?  Should all restaurants be forced to accommodate small children?

Should some spaces be reserved for adult time?

Are some establishments getting that we need to take off the parent hat from time to time so that when we return home and pay the babysitter, we appreciate the time with our kids more, feel recharged, and can be more effective in our roles?  I think so.

I think we need to take the hint.

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