Seriously? a "mandatory gratuity" at a restaurant for a group of 5? Isn't that a low number, especially when the 5th is a 5-month-old? plus, it wasn't even 20%, and the server (who we know and like) would have gotten at least 20% from us. So, this silly policy actually screwed the poor server. When questioned about it, the owner of Ken and Dale's basically said it's a kid fee because kids make messes and they have to clean them up. SERIOUSLY? This is what I get for not wanting to cook dinner tonight. We'll stick with Wendy at the Chinese Buffet from now on. She loves kids, even when they are insane. Our kids were AWESOME tonight. We leave 2x the pigsty anywhere we go usually.
It's not like this is a fancy dinner place with white tablecloths and candelabras. It IS the fanciest place in town, but that's not saying much. It's more like a diner with all booths, pie slices in a glass case, and a "bar" that looks like it's straight out of a Shiny, Silver, Trailer-type 50's style diner.
I'm not arguing that a place can't have a policy on gratuity for standard group sizes. I didn't even have a problem with the group of 5 policy, although I do find that to be a LOW number. My problem is with the owner's statement that they should have charged the baby double! No, he wasn't joking.
It's a good thing Wyatt didn't get hungry while we were there. If he had, I probably would have started nursing him, and the owner probably would have asked us to leave or quit nursing or something. As it was, Wyatt was the perfect example of a good baby in a restaurant. He sat there quietly munching on his high-chair cover the whole time. Never made a squeak. Ok, so he did reach his claw out and pull a salad plate onto the floor--but that is OUR fault for not realizing he could do that. It didn't even break! The older kids have broken plenty of plates in lots of restaurants --better restaurants than this, with a group of 5 (3 adults and 2 little kids), and haven't been treated like kids are the worst possible customers.
Well, this was going to be a status update, but I guess it's turning into a blog post.
It's not news to me that this little town isn't toddler-friendly. It's not news to me that the Aloha Spirit is severely lacking from Nebraska. It's not news to me that the old "The customer is always right" policy is long gone from America, but come on, how stupid. Counting a 5-month-old as a part of a "party of 5?"
Now, instead of sewing tonight, I'm going to go find lots of restaurant review sites! whoo hoo! fun! This town thinks it is a "tourism destination." So, people must go online looking for reviews and recommendations of where to take their FAMILIES on vacation.