Texas Roadhouse Restaurant Surprises Everyone by Siding with a Screaming Baby

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texas-roadhouse-restaurantWhether or not it is OK to take a baby into a restaurant is a polarizing issue. Chicago’s extremely fancy Alinea made headlines when the owners considered banning babies after one screamed in the dining room loud enough to bother the staff in the kitchen (and the parents wouldn’t take the baby outside), and an Australian restaurant ticked off parents but still made a lot of new fans recently when it just outright banned children under seven. In these cases, restaurants are not normally Team Screaming Baby, but this weekend a restaurant surprised everyone by siding with the screamer and telling other customers to deal with it.

According to Eater, Katie Leach was having dinner with her family at a Texas Roadhouse when her 10-month-old son started shouting. That’s fine, he’s a baby and sometimes they get excited and shout. Leach or her husband should have removed him from the restaurant at that point, because even at a noisy restaurant one does not normally want one’s child screaming. Besides, removing a baby from the room seems more likely to train him or her not to scream than just flailing at the baby and saying, “No, don’t do that.”

Leach did not take the baby out of the room, but she says she tried to quiet him. Her efforts were apparently not effective enough to mollify the two older ladies in a nearby booth, because one of them reportedly walked over, smacked a note on the table, and walked back to her booth. The note said: “Thank you for ruining our dinner with your screaming kid!”

The note was pretty obnoxious. Who drops a note and then goes back to finish their meal? They could have addressed the situation with the Leaches, taken it up with the manager, or asked to be moved to a different table, or decided to ignore it because they’re at a Texas Roadhouse, which is a big casual-dining chain like an Applebees or a Chili’s, and one generally encounters a fair amount of noise and a lot of families with children at a place like that. Passing sarcastic notes is just so childish.

Leach says she apologized and told the lady she was trying to teach the baby to be quiet, but one reportedly sniffed back that she had children and grandchildren and none of them behaved like that. (Sure, lady.)

But then the manager got wind of what happened and came down firmly on Leach’s side. He reportedly told the complaining women that they should finish up their dinner and leave quietly, but he comped the Leaches’ meal and said they were welcome back any time.

A representative from Texas Roadhouse agreed with the manager, saying: “We were voted one of the loudest restaurants by Consumer Reports. We are proud to be loud. If you want to hear clinking wine glasses and clinking forks, then this probably isn’t the place for you.”

A lot of people on the Texas Roadhouse Facebook page are infuriated that the restaurant sided with the parents of the screaming baby, but seemingly an equal number of people are giving the restaurant a big thumbs-up. Several commenters said that they took small children to Texas Roadhouse specifically because it is a noisy restaurant, so if the kids make noise then it will be less likely to bother other people. That didn’t hold true for the Leaches, but I guess this situation lets all potential customers know that they should not expect peace and quiet at that particular restaurant. If you want quiet and no kids, you’ll probably want to go somewhere else. If you have a baby and want a steak, now you know at least one place you can go.

(Photo: Facebook/Texas Roadhouse)