Restaurant with ‘screaming children surcharge’ says guests are not yet allowed to levy a surcharge

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SINGAPORE: A restaurant that has imposed a charge for ‘screaming children’ said it has not yet imposed the charge on guests and there have been fewer complaints of misbehaving children since the food policy was introduced.

In response to TNZT’s questions, Angie’s Oyster Bar and Grill along Outram Road said on Wednesday (Sept. 21) that parents are also “being a little more observant and also putting in more effort to make sure their kids don’t disturb other customers.”

The restaurant introduced the surcharge “just over a month ago” after mounting complaints from diners.

A screenshot of a reservation confirmation SMS sent to news platform Mothership showed diners being warned that they would be charged S$10 for screaming or unsupervised children.

Before this policy was introduced, we received weekly comments or complaints from other customers,” the restaurant said.

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It added that it “purposely informs parents and caregivers” about the restaurant’s policies when they make a reservation, noting that “99 percent of our guests are extremely respectful and deeply understanding of the policy.”

“The majority of our guests understand that the policy was put in place with good intentions and appreciate our efforts to make the dining experience enjoyable for everyone, not just a select few,” it said.

While there are parents or guardians who disagree with the policy, the restaurant said they see it as “a forewarning” and are preparing for the arrival of guests.

“We understand that we cannot please everyone, but we can do our best to deter self-centered behavior and encourage mutual respect among all our guests,” it said.

In a post on the review website TripAdvisor on Aug. 25, a customer said they were trying to make a reservation at Angie’s, and was told about the surcharge when they indicated they would be bringing children.

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Angie’s reportedly added that they were not a “kid-friendly restaurant”.

“This was the first time we were made aware of this, although we had been on other occasions,” said the customer. “While I understand a screaming child would disturb other guests, I thought Angie’s could have taken a more polite approach.”

They added that they were “pretty put off by the response” and will not be returning to the restaurant.

In response to the review, Angie’s said the restaurant had received “an increasing number of complaints from children walking around unsupervised or disturbing other people during the service period”.

“Not only is this dangerous because servers often walk around with hot food and sharp cutlery, but it’s also disrespectful to other diners who want to dine in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere,” it said.

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In its response to TNZT inquiries on Wednesday, the restaurant said it has always been its “top priority” to provide a comfortable dining atmosphere for all diners.

“We sincerely believe that this approach is a win-win for everyone,” it added.

“We ask for understanding from parents and carers to take the necessary steps to care for their children as we strive to provide as many enjoyable and memorable dining experiences as possible for as many customers as possible.

“As long as there is mutual respect from all our guests, everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their dining experience.”

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