Restaurant sparks debate by introducing ‘noisy kid fee’

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A restaurant in Singapore has divided opinion after introducing a fee for families with noisy kids who may disrupt other diners.

Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill, which can be found in the Tan Boon Liat Building at Outram Road, got people talking after one mother received a warning text ahead of her booking, informing her of the ‘screaming child surcharge’ they had just put in place.

The restaurant informed the recipient there would be a S$10 surcharge if their children made any noise.

They wrote: “All children are welcome to dine at Angie’s. However, screaming/ uncontrolled children disturbing other guests will NOT be tolerated.”

crying child singapore restaurant charge

Crying children could land parents with a charge in one restaurant (Credit: Alamy)

The text message was submitted to online publication, Mothership, by the recipient, who wished to highlight the unfriendly conditions of the restaurant.

There is also a similarly frustrated Trip Advisor review for the restaurant, which reads: “While I understand that a screaming child would disturb other guests, I thought Angie’s could take a more polite approach.”

The user added that they were “pretty put off by the reply,” and added that they wouldn’t be “heading back” to the restaurant again.

In response to the review, the restaurant explained that it added the surcharge because there had been kids “running around unattended or disturbing other tables during the service period”.

The restaurant added that such incidents were not only “dangerous” but also “disrespectful”, and so they had to try and mitigate them.

crying child singapore restaurant charge

The restaurant has no time for noisy kids (Credit: Alamy)

In a statement to Mothership, they added: “It pains us to impose the policy but it was never our intention to diminish any of our guests’ experience. We seek parents, caretakers’ kind understanding to tend to their children as we aim to provide as many pleasant and memorable dining experiences for as many customers as possible.”

And despite their controversial approach, there were some that seemed to agree when news of the plan reached the rest of the internet.

“I fully support this charge,” wrote one Twitter user. “Nowadays parents really don’t bother to discipline their kids. They condone their kids’ ill manner.”

As a second supporter joked on Reddit:The percentage should be of the decibels of said screaming.”

Meanwhile, mum-of-two, Nimran Kaur, 34, and previous Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill visitor, told local media she understood the need for the charge, but thought its execution was flawed.

“I understand where the restaurant is coming from. But this policy might open the restaurant up to further disputes,” se said.

“If my child is being noisy, and another table complains, do I get a warning, or am I charged 10 dollars already? What if my kid quietens down after that? And who decides what is too much noise? The manager?”

It’s clear the concept of a ‘screaming child surcharge’ needs some ironing out, and is certainly controversial. As for whether it would catch on elsewhere?

The jury is still out…