'No loud kids' policy 'good for business' at California restaurant

PHOTO: A San Francisco restaurant owner says its policy on kids is "good for business."Chris Shake
A San Francisco restaurant owner says it's policy on kids is "good for business."

You might think that a restaurant with a sign outside that bans strollers, high chairs, booster seats and "loud" kids would be hurting for business.

You would be wrong.

The sign outside of the Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey, California is not a new one, but it continues to stir controversy. But that controversy, as well as the quiet atmosphere the restaurant insists upon, is excellent for business according to Chris Shake, the restaurant owner.

PHOTO: A San Francisco restaurant owner says its policy on kids is good for business.Chris Shake
A San Francisco restaurant owner says it's policy on kids is "good for business."

"The Grotto has been in business for 68 years. Since 1950 it has been the "Go To" restaurant for a quiet dining experience in Monterey and on Fisherman's Wharf," Shake told "Good Morning America."

The restaurant does not outright ban kids. Instead, Shake says, they have "house rules."

"Understanding and abiding by California State law that all children are welcome regardless of their age, we decided that we can have house rules and policies," he said.

Shake, who has one child, told "GMA" the sign was "legally approved by our attorney and was not going to be discriminating towards anyone."

The sign has been a business boon. Detractors, Shake said, "are offended by the sign and our policy" but have not necessarily dined at the restaurant. However, at least two recent YELP reviews are written by patrons who claim to have attempted to dine at the restaurant with their children and were turned away.

Still, the reviews regarding the policy on no loud kids is quite popular, with many reviewers including it as a reason their enjoyed their dining experience.

"We are not required by state or federal law to allow strollers inside the restaurant or provide high chair or booster chairs," Shake said. "We have never refused families with children but often times they do not come in because we are very clear about our policy and if their children become disruptive in the dining room they will be asked to leave."

The policy has been in place since 2011, Shake said, and since then "we have experienced an increase in sales and a shift in the type of diners who come in because of our children policy."

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