All kidding aside (clearly, I'm kidding), I have been really surprised at the reaction this issue has provoked. If you're not in the know, a reservation was refused for a group of people that included a three-month old baby. Various excuses were offered as to why the reservation was refused, ranging from shielding patrons from the possibility of breastfeeding (shock, horror!), to not having the amenities to accommodate a child (did I mention the child in question is three months old?). The refused party, in return, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (and yes, it's a completely legitimate complaint, breastfeeding rights in Ontario are protected under the HRC, you don't want to start that argument with me!).
As disappointing as the original incident was, even more disappointing was the debate it touched off among foodies,
Anyhow, there are a few points raised by the foodies that I would like to address:
Your children aren't the center of the universe! You can't expect everyone to love them as much as you do!
Yeah, I get it, you don't like my kids. It's OK, some days, I don't like 'em either.
Why should my dining experience be ruined by people who are too cheap to hire a babysitter?
It defies logic that a person who can't afford a babysitter would buy their child a meal from a menu that offers $40.00 entrees. That theory needs a little work.
I can't bring my dog to dinner, why should they be allowed to bring their kids?
I'm sorry you can't bring your dog to dinner. Maybe it's time to make some friends. Human friends.
I don't want to sit next to a child, I'm going to have to censor myself!
If you have to censor yourself because you're sitting next to my child, your conversation isn't suitable for public consumption (I don't care to hear what you may or may not be wearing under your pants either!).
When I leave my kids at home and see other kids while I'm out, it makes me weepy, I miss them so much!
Oh come on, you're lying through your teeth! Just admit it, you enjoy your time away from your kids just as much as I do!
Business owners should be allowed to decide who is allowed to patronize their establishment.
Great idea! You're not allowed in my shop.
I had suspected the exposure would be good for the restaurant, after all, there's no such thing as bad publicity (unless you're Mel Gibson), and sure enough, Taylor's certainly seems to have generated a loyal following amongst the Ottawa Foodies bunch. Despite being given the 'green light', I would like to assure the foodies that Taylor's, much like any finer restaurant in Ottawa, likely won't be experiencing a surge in business from the under-18 crowd. Like you, if I'm going to pay for dinner at a restaurant, I want to enjoy myself. If we take the kids to a kid-friendly restaurant (think kids' menus and crayons), they'll be happy. If they're happy, we're happy! The simple reality is we don't want to rub elbows with you anymore than you do with us (no offense).
I would also like to assure the foodies that *if* we should happen to make it into your neck of the woods with the kids in tow (and that's a big *if*!), I will do my best to ensure that they are on their best behaviour. It's not special treatment just for you, believe it or not, whenever we're in public, regardless of where we are, I expect good behaviour from our kids. Now, would you pass the Grey Poupon?