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This Restaurant Banned Children Under 5 … And Business Couldn't Be Better

There's plenty of outrage over the decision, but sales are way up

Anyone who’s flown on an airplane, seen a movie in a theater, or sat in a waiting room knows that even the best parents can have a hard time managing their kids from time to time. For bystanders, a disruptive child can be frustrating, but as angry as one can get at the situation, it’s hard to know who’s really at fault. You can’t yell at the kid, and the parent would be a convenient scapegoat, but they’re often trying their best.

So what do you do when you see a kid going wild?

If you’re Caruso’s restaurant in Mooresville, North Carolina, you avoid the problem and the blame game that follows by just banning kids altogether.


The fine dining restaurant is drawing the outrage of parents and nonparents alike for what’s, objectively, age discrimination against kids, and discrimination against parents for adults. That said, the restaurant is within its legal rights, and the ban has led to a clear spike in business.

Speaking to The Washington Post, general manager Yoshi Nunez says the eatery’s gone from about 50 customers per night to 80, all due to the no-kids policy. While it might be a topic of controversy for some—but not many—Twitter seems overwhelmingly supportive of the policy), Nunez calls it a dream come true. “ Banning children has always been a topic in the industry and every owner says, ‘I wish I could do it. Our owner has the full support of the staff. We work here to make a living, too, and we support our owner 100 percent," Nunez said.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came when a little girl was playing with her iPad at full volume, disrupting and annoying nearby diners. Despite repeated requests by staff to turn the device’s volume down, the parents refused. From that moment forward, Nunez decided he wouldn’t rely on parents to control their kids, but rather ban any child under 5 from the restaurant.

Caruso’s isn’t the first restaurant to ban kids, but the revelation that the controversial move could actually increase business may make the restaurant a pioneering force in a new trend. The spike in adult (read: drinking) diners certainly makes the controversy easier to bear.

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