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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Screaming Children

    Ok so sunrise coffee is finally open and it's now the 5th day and more people come in everyday. but today a couple came in with two 3-4 year olds and a toddler. They let these little monsters run around back and forth screaming and have the nerve to set their toddler up on the sneeze guard rail while waiting for their drinks.

    So they are just sitting down hanging out like cool people besides the fact that their kids are being psycho, screaming gibberish and brain melting.

    So my question is; What can I say to the parents? We just opened, I'm not ready to some of my newest customers to shut their children up before I go ape shit. But it literally scares me because these kids running back and forth across the shop and are moments away from falling and busting their heads open or something horrendous. I is there anyway I can at least rid myself of the liability without looking like a jerk? Maybe a sign?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Boca Raton
    put up the classic "uncontrolled children will be sold for medical experiments" or "unruly children will be sold into slavery."
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Salt Lake City
    A simple, but polite, "We expect young ladies and gentleman to behave like 'young ladies and gentlemen'." OR "It's not safe for them to run around-- you might want to grab 'em." or any direct, but polite phrase.

    And you politely ask once, after that, a simple "We really can't have that type of behavior in here", whereby, at risk of being publicly embarrassed even more, they will control their children. I haven't had to throw anyone out , but I have been very direct. It's NOT a public place. If you handle it in the beginning any outbursts will be so rare, they will be forgotten.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Just give the kids some free ice cream laced with sedatives!

    Seriously though John P is right, in the past we have asked people kindly to take control of their children for a safety factor. Not everyone responds well to children and if you can't control them then you need to leave. You wouldn't put up with that type of behavior in a library so why do you allow it in a public cafe?

    Since were located in Downtown Des Moines, we get a lot of people who some times do undesirable things. I've seen everything from people sleeping to having sex in the bathroom to even people getting high in the children's play room. So I understand what your going through.
    Have you ever walked through the aisle of your local grocer and smelled the death of a dying bean?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    thanks for the input, all good recommendations. especially the medical experiments thing.

    but i think i will stick with "It's not safe for them to run around-- you might want to grab 'em." that might be the best non offensive thing to say.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The "it's not safe" one is what we use and it's normally effective. I let them know that this is NOT a child friendly environment and explain about the sharp corners on bookshelves and so on it they ask why which is rare. I find that polite but firm usually works well.

    As a side note (and kind of funny little story), I did have one young lady tell me that it was a code violation not to have any sharp corners padded in case a child ran into it and hurt themselves. I politely told her that neither the city nor the health department mentioned it during the inspections and that if she'd be so kind as to inform them so I know which codes I was violating I'd really appreciate it. I never did hear from either organization and she has been back in and has not mentioned my "code violations" again.
    Thank you,

    Queen City Coffee

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi, I am not a coffee shop owner, but you can regard me as a coffee shop's customers. And yes, I might say that as a customer, I will be annoyed to hang around in your cafe if we have some wild children running and screaming. So, don't be afraid to politely warn them as you might as well have more new people coming to your store by not having these kids bothering them. Good luck with your store.



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