Add messy kids to the growing list of things restaurants call out customers for online: According to local media outlet King 5, Lorraine MacDuff, owner of the Rainy Day Caffe in Lake Stevens, Washington, caused a major stir by posting a photo of the cafe's floor covered in crumbs to Facebook with the message: "Like to take a moment to thank our customers with small children whose kids don't make a mess. A couple of ladies came in today and this is the mess their children made."
One of those ladies, military mom Kellea Poore, explained to King 5 that MacDuff was angry because the carpets had just been cleaned. Poore claims she was asked not to bring her children back again, then a few hours later found the Facebook post. Apparently the children had been eating scones. Since the incident happened, the story has been picked up by national news organizations including NBC.
Rainy Day Caffe took down the photo, but posted an apology which has roughly 2,000 comments on it. The apology says: "I want to apologize for posting that picture. It was not right to do that and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment it might have caused anyone." Commenter opinions are mixed about whether MacDuff was right to post the picture, but in a radio interview yesterday with Kiro Radio, MacDuff said she's been receiving threatening emails with messages like "I hope you die in your sleep." While she regrets posting the photo to Facebook, she stands by her decision to call out the moms for making a mess in her restaurant and for letting their kids be noisy: "We are kid oriented, but we are not oriented to people who let their kids act out."
MacDuff is not the only restaurant owner struggling with how to deal with children in their restaurant. One Houston restaurant recently banned kids after 7 p.m. Below, a video from King 5 featuring mom Kellea Poore and cafe owner Lorraine MacDuff giving their sides of the story, and the photo that led to the whole mess:
Video: Lake Stevens coffee shop criticized for refusing service to kids
· Lake Stevens Coffee Shop Criticized for Refusing Service to Kids [King 5 via Today]
· All Children Coverage on Eater [-E-]