When I worked as a waiter in New York City in my early twenties, I experienced more than one brunch shift at a very upscale restaurant in Greenwich Village where the children of celebrities ran amok and tugged at my apron. Apparently, the posh restaurant where I worked should have taken a lesson from Arby’s and thrown those meddling children and their families out on the curb. Arby’s is taking a stand against rowdy children, and I’m honestly baffled at who the hell they think they are. Unless I’ve just been confused this whole time and Arby’s is actually the greatest restaurant on Earth.
Recently, an Arby’s in Elk River, Minnesota posted a sign on their door that read: “Notice: Only well-behaved children who can keep their food on their trays and their bottoms on their seats are welcome. If you can’t do this you will be asked to leave. Thanks.”
Basically, this single Arby’s, briefly, flirted with the idea of being the snobbiest, most exclusive restaurant in the known universe. Now, when considering the utter spotlessness of every Arby’s restroom and their sterling customer service, this makes sense. When I was opening a $500 bottle of wine for Gwyneth Paltrow and her family in 2005, it never occurred to me to tell her that her child was running around too fast. This brave Arby’s was truly onto something: All parents must be in control of their children at all times, or they will not get to eat the delicious Arby’s Double-Whammy-Meat-Melt-Stomach-Ache-Sandwich™!
After all, everyone knows that a rowdy child in public means the parents must be terrible. As a father, I know if my daughter has a tantrum in the grocery store, my first movie, always, should be to apologize for my basic failures as a parent and a human being. Why, just last weekend, I bought everyone at Whole Foods a round of gluten-free craft beer to avoid the public shaming that would certainly occur because my daughter ran around the store pretending to be choo-choo train.
Sadly, this brilliant parent-shamming Arby’s policy has been rescinded. According to Kare 11 news, an Arby’s overlord has deemed the sign “insensitive.”
A parent says this sign at a local Arby's made her uncomfortable: "Only well behaved children who can keep their food on their trays and their bottoms on their seats are welcome."
So, now those of us who live in fear of our totally normal children “misbehaving,” can once again, feel safe inside the confines of Arby’s. Which, as we all know, has the very best food for children anyway.