Parents with babies and children who disrupt other people in restaurants should pay more for their meals – at least that was one view aired during a prickly Good Morning Britain debate on Friday.
Author Anna May Mangan raised the controversial view that people with babies and children should perhaps face the prospect of paying extra to deter them from bringing their kids to restaurants where they might disrupt the enjoyment of others.
The debate comes after a restaurant in the US revealed it is charging some of its customers more over their inability to control their children while they dine.
At the other end of the view spectrum on GMB, mother and podcast host Carina White disagreed strongly, saying children ‘need to be socialised’ and asking how societies had become so intolerant of young people.
The Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, in Georgia, recently told diners it was adding an ‘adult surcharge’ on to their menu – and ‘adults unable to parent’ must pay it.
Anna May said of the young diners tax: ‘I think they should pay it, and give it to the waiting staff who get on their hands and knees and clear up the mess that children leave behind.’
Carina argued: ‘I have been in restaurants where adults are behaving badly; who are being disruptive and spoiling my restaurant experience. Are we going to start charging badly behaved adults as well?’
However Anna May argued that adults don’t sit next to you in ‘a smelly nappy’ but Carina said often adults ‘do smell.’
The author of memoir Me and Mine, added: ‘I don’t want to smell a baby, see a baby or hear a baby in a restaurant when I am paying a lot of money.’
While Carina said people ‘should be more tolerant’ of children asking how we’ve become ‘less inclusive.’
She said: ‘Only a few weeks ago we were having a discussion about airplanes which were just for adults, banning babies and children, how did we get to this point?’
Carina added: ‘A mother, or parent, has to take their child on a plane, a train or a bus to get somewhere, but there’s no child that wakes up saying mummy can we have duck a l’orange for dinner tonight.’
ITV viewers took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to leave their own thoughts on the subject.
Some claimed that children shouldn’t be aloud in fine dining restaurants saying ‘loud families are rude.’
One person said: ‘That or just throw them out. Why should other customers have to put up with loud families and poorly behaved children.’
Another said: ‘If some parents won’t instill manners, decorum and respect into their children especially in public places then yes they should pay an extra charge. This behaviour could potentially lead to crimes if it is not managed at home and at a young age.’
While someone else wrote: ‘Yeah the parents should be made to pay for their disruptive behaviour of their children in a restaurant or even in a cafe if the children are not behaving themselves , even in places like McDonald’s or Burger King.’
While others disagreed saying people need to be more patient as children are learning.
One person added: ‘How do you define ‘disruptive’? Children are not mini adults, they are still learning. They can be noisy and impatient.
‘Babies and young children cry sometimes and yes they play up, but so do some adults! Also some children may have additional needs.’
Another said: ‘Absolutely not! Would restaurant’s charge groups of rowdy people for being too loud as well?
‘Because that happens just as much as kids being disruptive! Also, what if the child is autistic or has a disability that might make them act up whilst being out?! That’s discrimination.’
While someone else penned: ‘Children are unable to learn restaurant etiquette without visiting restaurants.’