Parents often bring their children to fast-food restaurants because they're simply more convenient than traditional restaurants. They're more affordable and the wait time for food is much less meaning that parents can feed their hungry family on a budget without their younger and often impatient children having to wait to eat. Many fast-food restaurants even have designated play areas for children because they cater to families who have children who are often more interested in playing and running around than sitting down to eat. One Arby's franchise, however, has upset many parents after it listed a very direct ultimatum to parents who choose to dine at their restaurant with their children.
An Arby's restaurant located in Elk River, Minnesota recently angered many of their customers when it posted a sign on their door warning, "Notice: Only well-behaved children who can keep their food on their trays and their bottoms on their seats are welcome. If you can't do this you will be asked to leave. Thanks," local news station KARE 11 reported.
Christine Hemsworth is a mother of three who says the sign made her feel uncomfortable when eating at the restaurant. "I was like 'oh gosh,'" Hemsworth said of the sign, posted on the front door of the fast-food chain. "I've got a two-year-old with me and he doesn't always keep his fries on the tray or his bottom on the seat. He sometimes stands up."
Although she and her family still ate dinner at the restaurant, she said she was cognizant of the sign the entire time. "It was kind of uncomfortable in the restaurant the time we were there," Hemsworth told KARE 11. "I have a toddler. I wasn't sure if it was because they didn't want to clean up messes. I always clean up my children's mess anyways but it was an uncomfortable and stressful meal."
A fast food restaurant got into some hot water after its employees posted a sign for parents and their children. https://t.co/lRsoOEBUZs— KARE 11 (@kare11) November 9, 2019
Hemsworth couldn't help but comment that the note seemed out of place at a fast-food restaurant. "I was shocked to find a sign like that," she said. "It is a fast-food restaurant, it's not something with white tablecloths. It's supposed to be family-oriented as far as I knew."
Although the sign has struck a nerve with some parents, others on the KARE Facebook page didn't seem too bothered by it. " I will go to this Arby’s more just for this! We require our children to sit and be respectful both at home and especially in a restaurant. There is no excuse for bad behavior. (I’m not talking about special needs situations)" wrote one Facebook commenter. "I tend to agree. Teach your children how to behave in public. It’s that easy," wrote another.
Arby's responded to KARE's inquiry about the sign with a written statement. "We recognize the language on this sign was insensitive. We removed it quickly, and have disciplined the manager and team working at the restaurant. It does not reflect our company values and the family-friendly environment we aim to provide in all of our restaurants.”