When kids were behaving badly at Lorraine “Rainy” MacDuff’s Rainy Days Caffe in Lake Stevens, Wash., they promptly got the boot.
“I told her that she was going to have to leave,” MacDuff told ABC News. “We had just paid good money to have our carpets cleaned and I didn’t appreciate that her kid was stomping crumbs into the carpet.”
But when MacDuff took the whole mess to Facebook, posting a photo of the messy floor and writing, “Like to take a moment to thank our customers with small children whose kids don’t make a mess. A couple of ladies came in today and this is the mess their children made,” her post went viral, prompting a ferocious Facebook debate with comments like “Rainy you fail!!,” and “News flash, you’re in the industry to serve. Suck it up and serve and clean!”
Many also came to MacDuff’s defense, however.
“Yay for you!,” one Facebook user wrote. “I’m a teacher who loves children, but some families have no behavior expectations for their children in restaurants.
The caffe owner explains she was trying to highlight her customers whose children behave well, rather than bash those whose don’t.
“I put it on Facebook for my regular customers who are always neat and tidy and ones who have very small children, and it’s not fair to them to not be recognized for the good work they do,” MacDuff said. “Everybody’s allowed to have their opinion, allowed to live their life, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
MacDuff isn’t the first restaurant owner to gripe about misbehaving children.
At La Fisheria restaurant in Houston, they live by the “Kids Eat Not” rule, meaning child diners under 8-years-old are not welcome after 7 p.m.
This controversial policy begs the question of who is really in the right.
“I think a flat-out ban on children in restaurants is going way too far,” said Catherine Donaldson, senior lifestyle editor of The Stir. “It’s way too extreme.”
“Sometimes parents want to get away from their kids, and they’re having a date night and your kids are running around, so it’s just a no-win situation,” comedian Glozell Green added.
So while it may be leaving a bad taste in some people’s mouths, for others, it’s their favorite off-the-menu addition.