Babies vs Earls

Anne and I live in Vancouver, Canada. This restaurant-based issue is more of a local one but it is applicable to many cities and many countries around the world. Would love your thoughts after you read through the article.

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

As new parents, Anne and I are discovering the joys and challenges of bringing our baby with us to restaurants. Once a week, we leave baby Rianne with grandma so we can have a husband-wife date night, but every now and then, we face the situation of eating out with our baby (usually after Church on Sundays and on some evenings).

I recently discovered that Earls, a popular West-Coast chain of restaurants, has no high chair, diaper change stations, or children’s menu because it doesn’t consider itself a “family restaurant.” Anne and I used to go there on dates and now that we have a young family, we would like to take baby Rianne there.

However, having no high chair and diaper change station is a major inconvenience for any family with a young baby. We like the food, service, and atmosphere of Earls and don’t want to boycott it. However, one of us would have to hold the baby the entire dinner or we would have to bring our own high chair with us to make the meal work.

I recently wrote a few posts on Facebook about what is happening with Earls and quickly got over 50 comments ranging from people supporting Earls to unhappy parents to single people and dating couples wanting to eat in peace without a crying baby present. Sad to hear that a baby interrupts people when a baby usually brings joy.

There are now close to 500 comments on this issue on the official Earls Facebook Page. Fascinating to read the vast range of opinions on this conflict. To me, the solution is simple: buy some high chairs…case closed.

In older times & in traditional cultures, the whole village would get behind the family supporting the child as he or she grows up. Unfortunately, in Western society, parents are left to raise kids on their own while many in society find a screaming baby a nuisance. Sad reality of the day and age we live in.

Would love to hear your feedback – what do you think? Should Earls provide high chairs and diaper change stations?