It's a dilemma as old as time: How do restaurants tell parents to keep their children in line without offending them? One Houston, Texas restaurant has resorted to offering written instructions.
According to KHOU, Mexican restaurant Cuchara recently began handing out instructional cards to families who dine at the restaurant. The cards feature a cartoon illustration of well-behaved kids and read: "Children at Cuchara don't run or wander around the restaurant. They stay seated and ask their parents to take them to the restroom. They don't scream, throw tantrums or touch the walls, murals, windows or other patrons. They are respectful!" The cards are placed on the table along with the menus, leaving it up to parents to read them.
These plates are heavy. And the restaurant was worried abt kids running around so they handed these cards out #KHOU pic.twitter.com/l67hzILQ8f— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinKHOU) November 6, 2015
KHOU notes that several months ago, "a child scratched some walls with a quarter causing more than $1,500 in damage" at the restaurant. The restaurant's decor includes a plethora of art pieces, most of which the owner says are handmade and imported from Mexico.
Reached for comment by Eater, Cuchara co-owner Charlie McDaniel says the response to the cards has been largely positive: "If we’ve had 200 responses to this, there's been maybe three that were negative and said they would never come to the restuarant. The other 197 applauded and said it was way overdue."
Policing kids' behavior doesn't always turn out well for restaurants: Applebee's publicly apologized after it called the cops on a family with two rowdy kids and kicked them out. Other restaurants opt for positive reinforcement, like one Japanese restaurant in Canada that offers a "well-behaved kids" discount. Cuchara's decision to hand out the cards is certainly less of an extreme measure than banning kids outright, though: A number of restaurants from California to Australia have done just that — and the Australian restaurant in question says it's busier than ever after barring kids from the premises.
Watch the news report on Cuchara, below: