There are a lot of creative ways for restaurant owners to deal with rowdy kids.
They can add a dry cleaning charge to the bill of parents whose little artists' deface tablecloths. They can straight up ban kids from their dining room, to the dismay of parents and to the delight of virtually everyone else. Or, they can let off some steam on Facebook and ramble on about "satanic" toddlers and child abuse.
Those opting for the latter should be advised to keep their antinatalist posts private though, as it could ignite a shitstorm of controversy from reasonably concerned regulars and parents.
That's exactly what happened to Jen Bennett, the owner of a well-known eatery in San Francisco called Zazie, who took to Facebook to rant about kids and their place in the dining room. Somehow, she accidentally posted it on the Cole Valley Neighborhood Facebook page, which she moderates.
"This may shock you, but choosing to have children means you can't go out to eat for roughly three years. Please. Accept your fate—it's killing me," Bennett wrote in a Facebook post that was intended to be private, adding that "toddlers are satanic and it's exhausting. I'm dangerously close to child abuse." Yikes. The satanic imagery and child abuse sounds more like the plot of True Detective's first season than a Facebook rant, but Bennett went there.
In her defense, Bennett told local news outlet ABC7 News that the rant was not even aimed at children at her restaurant. Apparently, she was referring to "satanic" toddlers at another restaurant, whom she encountered after a stressful shift and put a serious damper on her meal.
Bennett added that Zazie, which is know for long lines and $18 French toast, goes out of its way to cater to parents and their kids. "We have six high chairs, a children's menu, every Christmas I buy ornament kits for them to put together ornaments over brunch, we have always been a family friendly restaurant," Bennett told ABC7. Still, she apologized and acknowledged that her rant went a little far.
While some local parents were rattled at the mention of child abuse, others came out to defend Bennett. One parent told ABC7, "She can absolutely express what she's feeling in the moment. And if the Internet would just calm down, please?"