I have been waiting tables since the dawn of time. At my first restaurant, the menu was basically a cave drawing. Inevitably, I spent six years working at a major hotel that offered a Sunday brunch buffet. Guy Beringer, the English writer who invented the word brunch in 1895, wrote “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings.” With those factors in mind, I have one question: Why are your kids at brunch? The only people who belong at brunch are adults who are nursing hangovers by sucking down bottomless bloody marys. For every child at a trendy brunch spot, there is an adult at the host stand waiting for a table and a server in the sidestand rolling their eyes.
This is why you shouldn’t bring your kids to brunch:
I once watched an unaccompanied little girl sashay up to the dessert table and proceed to touch, taste and/or lick almost every option before deciding on an eclair that ended up on the floor underneath her table. If you enjoy eating food that has been contaminated by hands that recently picked boogers, Sunday brunch buffets are for you. Also, a sneeze guard is only effective if the people who are sneezing are tall. Kids aren’t tall. Just sayin’.
They don’t appreciate the food.
You think children care about a mushroom and fontina omelet made from locally sourced, organic, free-range eggs? No, they want a dinosaur-shaped pancake with chocolate chips and whipped cream. If we don’t have it on the menu, then your kid doesn’t get to eat it, so don’t ask me to ask the kitchen to make something special for them. Shove a juice box in their mouth and hand them some Cheerios, but if I find one single crushed up Cheerio on the floor, I will resent your child even more than I did when you first showed up.
Maybe they are crying because they don’t like “green things” in their scrambled eggs (it’s called thyme!) or maybe the video they are watching on the iPad their parents propped in front of them is creating the ruckus. It doesn’t matter to me. The only noise I want to hear from a child at brunch is the sound of their squeaky shoes growing fainter as they get the hell out of my section.
They take up too much room.
How many times have I had to squeeze past a stroller that’s bigger than some midtown studios just so I can fill some waters? I’ve seen parents roll a double-wide stroller into an already packed restaurant and then have a meltdown that there was no place to park it. It’s brunch and it’s crowded. We don’t have room for your coats in the winter, but you think we have room for your stroller, diaper bag, three blankets, a container of Wet Wipes and every possible toy that your child might want to throw on the floor while you are eating smoked salmon? Nope.
They don’t spend money.
I want to serve adults who order $10 mimosas multiple times. I don’t want to serve children a $2.50 soda that I have to give free refills to over and over again. Each seat in a busy restaurant is a valuable piece of property and kids just don’t have the equity to make them a viable commodity. Also, they’re really gross.
Darron Cardosa is the author of The Bitchy Waiter: Tales, Tips & Trials from a Life in Food Service and blogs at thebitchywaiter.com. These are his strong opinions.