Challenging Conventional Wisdom Leads to Profits for Restaurant

Date: April 04, 2017

The Wall Street Journal reports that an upscale restaurant in Mooresville, N.C., chose to challenge restaurant norms and ban children under the age of five, and is seeing financial returns from the decision. The ban took effect after the restaurant ejected a family with a child playing on an iPad with loud volume after requests to lower the volume were ignored.

As a result of the change, critics and supporters have become quite vocal about whether the new policy is a positive change, but the owners told The Washington Post that reservations were up from an average of 50 a day to around 80 per day.

“Banning children has always been a topic in the industry and every owner says, ‘I wish I could do it,’” the restaurant’s manager Yoshi Nunez told the Post. “Our owner has the full support of the staff. We work here to make a living, too, and we support our owner 100 percent.”

Banning children isn’t a new topic in the restaurant industry, but it is a policy that gives some restaurants pause. A 2016 look into the sometimes controversial policy by Eater found that some restaurants flourished with a “no-child” policy, and that the stigma associated with it lingered even after the restaurant in question reversed the change. In 2011, Pittsburgh-area restaurant McDain’s banned children under the age of six and saw many more supporters than detractors and saw reservations regularly fill up.

The Eater article also suggests that part of the change toward eating out is due to smaller family size, lowering costs for meals and making it more affordable to eat out.

As with any policy change, there are risks and rewards involved. The culture surrounding eating out has changed, but a policy that worked well in one town may not go over well in others.


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