A New Jersey restaurant that plans to ban children under the age of 10 is garnering both support and criticism on social media.
Nettie’s House of Spaghetti in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, announced in a Feb. 9 post on their social media platforms that they "will no longer allow children under 10 to dine in the restaurant" beginning next month.
Their decision, they said, was made because “it’s been extremely challenging to accommodate children” at the locale.
“We love kids. We really, truly, do,” Nettie’s post began, adding that “between noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant, we have decided that it’s time to take control of the situation.”
Nettie’s stated that the decision wasn’t made lightly, “but some recent events have pushed us to implement this new policy.”
The new policy will begin on March 8.
“We know that this is going to make some of you very upset, especially those of you with very well-behaved kids, but we believe this is the right decision for our business moving forward,” the statement concluded. “Thank you for understanding.”
The comments section on Nettie’s Instagram and Facebook posts were filled with mixed reactions from customers and followers.
“I love this decision. Nothing frustrates me more as a single working mom then when I get the rare chance to go out (with adults and not children and not to an Applebees or kid friendly restaurant) and there are kids not only acting up but parents completely oblivious to it and not even trying to discipline their children,” Instagram user ssevinsky commented. “I applaud this decision and can not wait to come dine there!”
Meanwhile Linen_guy wrote: “Can’t help feeling this will backfire spectacularly. (No I don’t have a kid under 10). The finest restaurants in NYC can accommodate kids but Netties can’t? Seems like the trouble is your patrons not the kids.”
User thismomslife brought up the issue of how some parents would now need to pay for a sitter to go to the establishment.
“You realize all the parents who dined with you now are expected to spend additional money for a sitter,” the user wrote. “You own a restaurant, you should expect kids to be dining there. Will you be checking birth certificates at the door? My 8 year old is the size of a 11 year old.”
On Facebook, Laura Jones commented: “That is really sad to hear .. I was looking forward to trying out your place but with a well behaved 9 year old I’m not welcome .. sad ..”
Meanwhile, Jill Sorrentino-Wilson called it a “fantastic idea” and wrote that as someone who worked in the restaurant industry, she could empathize. "Kids are out of control and most parents are oblivious," she said.
Nettie’s replied to Sorrentino-Wilson thanking them for the support and writing that “it’s become a liability to us — kids running around the restaurant in circles when we’re trying to carry trays of food and drinks has made doing our jobs extremely difficult.”
Nettie’s did not respond to TODAY.com’s request for comment.
This isn’t an entirely unheard-of policy. In 2021, California restaurant Red Rooster Burgers & Brew banned patrons under 18 from dining without an adult citing bad behavior from teens that had caused damage.
In 2018, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, in Monterey, California, also drew attention for its policy of not allowing “crying children” or kids making “loud noises.” It has also had a “no stroller” policy since 2009, which according to the restaurant was for the “safety of our staff and guests.”