Restaurant Baby Tax – Can we Make it a Two-Way Street?

The piece in the Huffington Post online (Parents Canada) had me at hello.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/london-restaurant-baby-tax_n_1119609.html?ref=tw

A woman brought her 6 week old child with her to a restaurant.  Said restaurant charged her a  £3 (around $5USD) on her bill.  For her baby.  He didn’t eat (obviously).  Apparently, he was taking up space.  In a 22,000 sq. ft. restaurant.

The restaurant claims that this minimum charge policy is meant for toddlers who eat, but don’t eat as much as a child and this woman was mistakenly charged. 

So if I bring my 3 year old to a restaurant, and I don’t feel like dishing out $7.99 for a crappy kids meal that she won’t eat anyway, I have to pay a charge because she is taking up space.  This in addition to the milk or juice I have purchased for her and the good tip I am going to leave because of the gold fish cracker residue.  Admittedly some parents probably don’t tip with this in mind, but that’s the nature of the service business.

Hmmm… It kind of got me wondering: if this same restaurant serves me glop, do I get to deduct some percentage from the bill?  No.  I can adjust the tip, but that ends up punishing the good server and other staff, not just the cook who screwed up my dinner.  So much for the ‘service’ industry.

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