To Become a Child-Free Location or Not?

Small children can be integral to the success of some locations, in others they can be absolute terrors; for the staff and for the guests. You never know what might happen when a child comes into your restaurant and, although we mentioned here in this article how Kids are Key, it can still go both ways. Here we discuss some of the advantages, and potential disadvantages of becoming a child-free restaurant.


  • First and foremost, not allowing children into your location will improve the ambience of your location. The lack of unforeseen, screams, shouts and little people running around will be a welcome relief for guests and employees. Those that go out without children are intending to enjoy their expereince and their experience – along with their opinion of your location- can be severely tainted by the presence of children.
  • Secondly, once word gets around that you do not have children dinning in you location you could see an increase in sales from adults wanting to dine in with the comfort of knowing that they won’t be seeing or hearing any children. Then, over time, you could see more people return who’ve had an excellent time in your child- free location.
  • Finally, you no longer have a need for a children’s menu and the expenses associated with it; not to mention all the space you may now get in your coolers and on your stove to create other dishes and store new items. There is also no need for items such as: crayons, special cups, highchairs and booster seats; which are necessary in order to accommodate children in your location.


  • The primary disadvantage of becoming a child-free restaurant is the loss of business. If before you accepted children in your establishment and changed your policy to become a child free location then you will be losing those diners whom bring their children with them.
  • The second negative result of your decision could be a potential backlash from some guests and members of your community whom used to patronize your restaurant with their children and are now no longer able too. Such a backlash could spread wider than you think, as your move could instigate them to take action against your restaurant, whether that be spreading bad words about you and your decision or by posting negative reviews online.

A Final Word: Somewhere in the Middle

Unless the presence of children in your restaurant is noticeably affecting your business -such as if you’re a high-end fine dining location-then this might not be an easy decision for you to make. As an alternative to banning them entirely you could consider only allowing children above a certain age or you could think about introducing cut of times for when children are allowed to be in your location; such a cut off time could, for instance, be the beginning of your dinner service.

It would do you well to analyze your business related to children over the period of a couple of months before committing to anything; because if you do decide to take this option regaining old customers and their loyalty, if you attempt to reverse it, will be an extremely hard task to accomplish once you’ve pushed them and their children away.