A Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A is barring solo patrons under 16 after unaccompanied youth repeatedly mistreated the restaurant’s property, patrons, and employees, according to statement on the location’s Facebook page.
“To dine in our restaurant, anyone under the age of 16 is required to be accompanied by an adult,” the statement says, going on to explain in detail why the decision, which they “contemplated long and hard” was made.
“We want to provide a comfortable and safe environment for our guests and our staff, and also to protect our building. Therefore, we cannot allow this to continue,” the statement also says.
The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Royersford, Pennsylvania began its statement by saying saying they “love being a community restaurant and serving guests of all ages,” but that ongoing issues with unaccompanied youth engaging in unacceptable behavior at the restaurant had forced them into a corner.
“Children and teens are learning to navigate the world free from supervision and often push the boundaries. We simply can’t let them push those boundaries anymore at our restaurant,” the statement concluded, thanking patrons for their understanding and encouraging parents to speak with their children about the matter.
The “unacceptable behavior” cited in the post includes using loud, explicit language; vandalizing property; stealing decorations; disrespecting employees’ requests to change their behavior or leave; and walking in an unsafe manner through the parking lot and drive thru lanes.
The problems arise, according to the restaurant’s statement, on Saturdays and days off from school. Chik-fil-A is not open on Sundays. On those days, parents drop off children and teens at a local park, and then some walk over to the restaurant.
The statement also includes an apology to their patrons under age 16 whose behavior is appropriate. They place the blame squarely on the “numerous extreme behaviors” of their out-of-control peers.
The post emphasizes that Chick-fil-A is not blaming parents for the situation, a comment with which some patrons responding to the post took issue.
“Why aren’t you blaming the parents? It is absolutely a parenting problem … Letting your cherubs run wild in society isn’t parenting, it’s neglect,” one top comment said.
“I have the utmost respect for this post/decision and wish other places would take a similar stand … I’m not sure why businesses tolerate the terrible behavior when it disrupts loyal paying customers,” said another.
“When one can’t behave, they lose privileges. I agree with all your reasons for reaching this decision. Protect your business,” said a third.
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