An upscale Italian restaurant in Mooresville, N.C. is receiving plenty of criticism-- and praise-- on social media after banning children under the age of five.
Yoshi Nunez, the manager of Caruso’s restaurant, decided to instate the policy after a little girl was reportedly using an iPad with the volume on high in the dining room-- and her parents refused to turn it down after waitstaff requested them to lower the volume on the device.
“Finally, we had to ask them to leave. They were upset, but they didn’t seem to care about what the other guests thought," Nunez told The Washington Post.
"We tried to be nice about the situation, but we’re here to take care of customers and we can’t tell a parent how to control their kids."
The decision to ban children under the age of five went into effect in January and has since received plenty of praise from patrons who have apparently had enough of loud kids at other establishments.
Since implementing the ban, the restaurant says they have seen a dramatic increase in reservations, and a spike in diners from about 50 to 80 per day.
“Banning children has always been a topic in the industry and every owner says, ‘I wish I could do it,’” said the owner of the restaurant and father of two, Pasquale Caruso. “Our owner has the full support of the staff. We work here to make a living, too, and we support our owner 100 percent.”
Online, plenty of people are applauding the restaurant, too.
@news4buffalo CARUSO Restaurant NO KIDS BAN, Great to have a quiet peaceful dinner without kids misbehaving for all adults. GET A BABYSITTER— jennifer alessio (@licoricecat49) March 29, 2017
Finally an NC ban we can get behind -- North Carolina Restaurant Bans Kids Under 5 https://t.co/CHgxMBCEFz— Jeff (@saintwarrick) March 29, 2017
The restaurant’s website clearly states that there is no children’s menu available and that proper attire is required of all guestst in the dining.
“People don’t want to come in and spend money on a nice meal and an evening out, when there’s constantly food on the floor, loud electronic devices keeping kids entertained, and small children screaming,” Caruso told the Mooresville Tribune.
“It was just the right decision for my business."
But not everyone agrees with Caruso's ban, with some blasting the rule as "heartless."
@foodandwine this is awful! I know that small children can be a handful, but parents must eat too. We can't be this heartless— Gabriela Toneloto (@gabitoneloto) March 30, 2017
The decision to ban children has become a recent trend in the restaurant industry. Restaurants in Houston, Pennsylvania and California have all implemented similar bans, according to Eater.
But some eateries are taking a different tack when it comes to catering to patrons of all ages. A restaurant in Italy recently made headlines for rewarding parents of well-behaved diners with a discount on their meal.