One New Zealand restaurant has banned children and says things have never been better.

Fabian Prioux, owner of Abbey Road Burgers, Bar and Cafe on New Zealand’s South Island, has banned children from his restaurant. The decision followed constant damage to his restaurant, and says that it has been ‘like heaven’ ever since.

Problem Children, Problem Parents

The damage to the restaurant included broken chairs, scratched tables, damaged paintwork and destroyed menus, forcing Mr Prioux to ban children under the age of 12 and only allow children aged 12-18 when accompanied by a parent.

“The decision has been made after a year of drama and problems with non-educated children,” he told news.com.au. “The kids make some damage and the parents don’t say anything. The tables have been stabbed with knives, the chairs have been damaged as they climb all over them with their shoes, and there has been damage to the paint. We should not have to deal with this damage, especially when their parents are right beside them and can see what the child is doing.”

We can’t help but feel that Mr Prioux might have a point. We’d be pretty annoyed too.

Not All Happy

The decision to ban children hasn’t been an easy, with Mr Prioux often forced to turn away families wanting to try his food. “Of course some families have come with kids and they are upset because they can’t come and taste our food. Some people don’t understand, but in a way I don’t really care. We’ve had great comments from most customers that come in, and I think it’s really positive in the end.”

It’s a tough one. On the one hand, we don’t think parents should have to leave their children at home with a babysitter if they want to have dinner out. Then again, we can also see where the restaurant is coming from. After all, we wouldn’t like it if someone scratched our table, drew on our walls and climbed on our chairs. Maybe NZ families just need to find burgers somewhere that’s family friendly?

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Do you think restaurants are entitled to ban kids? Let us know in the comments.


  • People should teach their children to stay sitting at the table until everybody has finished eating.
    Even then you don’t let them disturb others or get in the way of the staff. I hate it when people are so busy talking that they don’t watch their children at all. I personally rescued one toddler who ran off and was standing next to a door that opens inwards. The toddler could easily have been injured or escaped out on to a busy road.

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  • If it works for this restaurant good on them. There is obviously enough customers that want a child free environment to make it viable for them

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  • We went to a restaurant on Boxing day for our wedding anniversary, we booked in advance. My youngest has Down syndrome and freaked out in the restaurant (she was not misbehaving) and cried for a lengthily amount of time. I’m sure this has annoyed some people :(

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  • It is the parents responsibility to look after their children at all times, how could you allow your kids to destroy property.

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  • Absolutely they are. With an understanding that they may lose money or increase their clientele. People are less and less respectful of dining out and teaching their children appropriate behaviour in restaurants so I totally support this owner. If you want to eat there, you can do so without your kids.

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  • Yes but instead of ban kids altogether how about banning those parents too. It’s the parents fault that they weren’t controlling their kids.. The owner shouldn’t have to put up with people vandalising or destroying his restaurant..

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  • Parents should be more accountable for their children. Most are but as usual the minority of people that parent badly reflects on the majority who parent well.

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  • Eating out can be expensive and no one wants their meal ruined by unruly children, ,just like everything a few spoil it for the rest, I am sure there are more well behaved children. Why not just ask them to leave if they are not keeping their kids in line?

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  • I think it’s terrible that it has to this. I only ever took my children to a restaurant if they were behaved and they knew it was a treat. Even babies in bassinets never cried in a restaurant because they were fed first and they then enjoyed a different environment. To me it is common sense to not annoy other diners. I know I HAVE to put up with screaming children these days in a supermarket, although mine knew if they misbehaved when I took them shopping then they wouldn’t go again for many months till they would behave, but I won’t put up with misbehaving children in a restaurant who will serve me food that I can cook equally well myself at home.

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  • Our rule for restaurants is: if it doesn’t have a playground then it isn’t a restaurant to take kids to.

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  • Some places are specifically for children, some for adults only and some are for everyone. As the mother of a child who was loud and shouted a heap, I honestly don’t see an issue with children being banned from a restaurant. We would always be asked to be seated away from other diners as we knew people would like to enjoy a meal in peace. Most of our meals ended up becoming take away also. People are entitled to have a nice meal without kids running around or being noisy.

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  • people are allowed to enjoy their meals, not everyone likes children and I would rather take my children out to a place where there are other families than grumpy child haters giving fowl looks all the time

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  • Yes the restaurant is entitled to banning children if they wish. They just miss out on the potential customers that do have kids under 12

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  • I think if they’re clearly advertised as child free, it’s a reasonable decision.

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  • I’m sure it would be blissful. Very quiet an calm. But also don’t think they should have banned kids.

    Reply

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