SINGAPORE: A restaurant that has imposed a “screaming children surcharge” said that it has yet to impose the fee on any guests and that there have been fewer complaints about misbehaving children since the implementation of the dining policy.
In response to CNA’s queries, Angie’s Oyster Bar and Grill along Outram Road said on Wednesday (Sep 21) that parents have also been “a little more mindful and also make a greater effort to ensure their children are not disturbing other patrons”.
The restaurant implemented the surcharge “a little over a month ago” following increasing complaints from diners.
A screenshot of a reservation confirmation text message sent to news platform Mothership showed that diners were warned that they will be charged S$10 for screaming or uncontrolled children.
“Prior to the introduction of this policy, we were receiving comments or complaints from other customers on a weekly basis,” the restaurant said.
It added that it “purposefully informs” parents and caretakers of the restaurant’s policy when they make a reservation, noting that “99 per cent of our guests are extremely respectful and very understanding of the policy”.
“Majority of our guests understand the policy was introduced with good intentions and appreciate our efforts to make the dining experience enjoyable for everyone and not just a select few,” it said.
While there have been parents or caretakers who disagree with the policy, the restaurant said they see it as “a forewarning” and prepare for the diners’ arrival.
“We understand that we can’t please everyone, but we can do our best to deter egocentric behaviours and encourage reciprocal respect between all our guests,” it said.
In a post on review website TripAdvisor on Aug 25, a customer said that they tried to make a reservation at Angie’s, and was told about the surcharge when they indicated that they would be bringing children.
Angie’s reportedly added that they were not “a kids friendly restaurant”.
“This was the first time we were informed of this even though we had been on other occasions,” the customer said. “While I understand that a screaming child would disturb other guests, I thought Angie’s could have taken a more polite approach.”
They added that they were “pretty put off by the reply” and will not return to the restaurant.
In response to the review, Angie’s said the restaurant had received “an increasing number of complaints of children running around unattended or disturbing other people during the service period”.
“Not only is this dangerous as servers are often moving around with hot food and sharp cutlery, but it is also disrespectful to other diners who may wish to dine in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere,” it said.
In its response to CNA queries on Wednesday, the restaurant said its “top priority” has always been to provide a comfortable dining atmosphere for all guests.
“We honestly believe this approach is a win-win for everyone,” it added.
“We seek parents’ and caretakers’ kind understanding to take the necessary measures to tend to their children as we aim to provide as many pleasant and memorable dining experiences for as many customers as possible.
“As long as there is mutual respect from all our guests, everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their dining experience.”