After receiving several complaints from loyal customers, the owner of an upscale Italian restaurant in Mooresville, North Carolina, has taken the controversial decision to ban children under the age of five. And, despite facing some backlash on social media, he claims that business has grown significantly.
Caruso’s describes itself as a “traditional, classy, intimate” restaurant but young children crying, screaming or playing on iPads at full volume and disturbing the other diners apparently didn’t fit in too well in that picture. So the owner, Pasquale Caruso, adopted a “no child under five”policy in January 2017, to ensure that his upscale eatery lives up to its reputation.
“I had several customers complain, get up and leave because children were bothering them, and the parents were doing nothing,” Caruso told the Mooresville Gazette. “It started to feel like it wasn’t Caruso’s anymore, that it was a local pizzeria instead.”
Caruso added that he didn’t like taking this kind of decision, but in the end, he had to do what was best for his business. ‘I try to please everyone, and create a nice atmosphere, keeping the restaurant elegant. I want it to be a place where couples and friends can have a nice evening out,” he said. “I was starting to lose money and customers, because I had very young children coming in, throwing food, running around and screaming.”
Yoshi Nunez, the restaurant’s manager, told the Washington Post that the final straw was a little girl using an iPad with the volume on high. Despite repeated requests from the staff, her parents refused to turn down the device, so they had to ask them to leave. “They were upset, but they didn’t seem to care about what the other guests thought. We tried to be nice about the situation, but we’re here to take care of customers and we can’t tell a parent how to control their kids,” he said.