The age-old debate of children in pubs has once again reared its head, and once again proved typically divisive between the people who are quite happy to embrace the little terr… I mean nippers, and those who consider sharing pub space with kids to be akin to that of having your teeth drilled with no anaesthetic while having an albino ferret fed up your left trouser leg... sans underwear.
As a father of two mildly (ish) boisterous boys, I can see both sides of the argument, ie, when I’ve got the kids with me I yearn for the pub that embraces children, allowing me to numb the agony/embrace the delights (delete as appropriate) of parenthood. However, when I’m child-free, I’m less happy to find myself trying to enjoy a quiet pint while a trio of screaming toddler tearaways run in circles round my table like some kind of miniature Navajo war party rounding the wagons for a scalping.
Ultimately, the pub sector, in many areas, acts as the hub of the community it is in and, as such, it’s important that operators act in as inclusive a way as possible – after all, if you can appeal to as broad a section of the community as possible, it’s good for business.
However, if your customer base is predominantly made up of adults who would consider the thought of anyone under the age of 18 crossing the threshold to be akin to her Majesty doing a stint on I’m A Celebrity… then you might want to rethink inviting the little tinkers in.
Although, and here’s a thought for you – those little rascals will grow up and be your potential customers of the future, and the miserable old sods at the bar might not be around, so, perhaps a little bit of groundwork in encouraging the next generation to see the pub as a fun place to go might not be too daft an idea?
Just keep them away from my table when I’ve not got the kids, OK?