CALGARY- It’s a battle that pits families against non-parents: should children be allowed in restaurants? Well, a Calgary eatery has come up with a unique solution, by rewarding parents with well-behaved children.
Over the weekend, a photo posted on the website Reddit showed a bill that Carino Bistro handed out to a family with a toddler, which included a $5 discount for their ‘well behaved kids.’
The photo has since been shared widely on social media, much to the surprise of owner Toshi Karino.
“We’ve been doing it for about a year,” he explains, adding that he’s shocked by all the attention his Japanese restaurant has suddenly gotten. “This is the first time that we’ve ever given it out that people have noticed.”
Karino says he came up with idea as a way to say thanks to families who enjoy their meal together, instead of arguing or spending their time glued to things like iPads.
“We only have a 35 seat restaurant, it’s pretty small, and between the tables it’s close together,” he explains. “We want to show some appreciation for the kids and parents, if they don’t make [other diners] uncomfortable.”
Karino adds the discount is handed out on the sly.
“We don’t say anything, we don’t let the customers know. We just say thank you when we [hand over] the bill.”
However, that may have to change now that everyone has found out about the deal.
“If customers feel unhappy when we don’t give them the discount for the kids, we are concerned about that,” he says. “Maybe we’ll have to think of something different…maybe to some people having a nice, quiet dinner.”
He’s musing over the idea of giving a discount to couples who are enjoying their dinner technology-free, for example, in hopes of staving off the Instagram-crazed foodies who spend more time photographing their food than savouring it.
Carino Bistro is located along Edmonton Trail, and has been open since 2012.