St. Francis Posts a Kids Lunch Menu and Sets Off a Little Debate About Children in Restaurants

Categories: Restaurant News
Evie Carpenter
It started innocently enough.

Last week, St. Francis, the stunningly cool bastion of contemporary American cuisine in Central Phoenix, posted a lunch menu for kids on their Facebook page and ended up with a discussion -- pro and con -- about children in restaurants.

The menu that started it all.

​We go there to escape, relax...not a Chucky [sic] Cheese experience," wrote one commenter. "We love you are kid friendly, that doesn't mean kids run around and destroy the place," wrote another. 

The back and forth comes almost two months after Eater reported a restaurant owner in Pennsylvania who banned kids under the age of six from his establishment, and also cited previous moves by former Top Chef contestant Dale Levitski (who banned kids from brunch at his Chicago restaurant), and a North Carolina restaurant with a zero tolerance policy with screaming children.

Check out the rest of the St. Francis comments and tell us what you think after the jump.

Below is a screen grab from the Facebook page of St. Francis. Check out all the comments and let us know what you think.


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Location Info

St. Francis

111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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You check out the Kid's Menu at the Spotted Donkey Cantina at Hayden Village they are Kid "On-trays" which kids food is served on porcelain kid food trays and there free from 4 to 7pm daily!!!!! 

Jacq Davis
Jacq Davis

Nice! I like the way you do it mamamia! It seems like we had similar childhood.

You know, when I grew up in Taiwan... there was no such thing as kids menu. You eat what is given to you, or you eat some of whatever the adults ordered. I was brought up to appreciate food early and not limited to just cheeseburger, pizza and fries... those are all very unhealthy things to encourage kids to eat in a restaurant or even at home. I was taught to use fork and knife to eat steak when I was 5-6 years old.

Although, most of restaurants in Asia are served family style, so everyone orders a dish or two of what they like and everything is shared among the family/friends. We also was not allowed to scream, make loud noises or cry when we are in a restaurant. Just something that was taught... when I was little, children were suppose to sit down and be quiet when the adults are talking. This might not be the case any more in Asia now-a-days though... If the parent is able to educate their children to behave at home and in the public, I don't mind them around. But if the parents let things get out of hand and the kids clearly have no respect for their parents, I would recommend them get to go boxes and head out so others don't have to listen and suffer through it. Just my thoughts...

Restaurant Owner
Restaurant Owner

Not all movies a appropriate for all kids. In the same spirit, not all restaurants are suitable for kids. Here are a 2 quick giveaways to check for: (PARENTS, please pay attention!)

1. If the restaurant is particularly small, ie 10 or so tables, it might not be a good fit for toddlers2. No kids menu, guess what? Best leave the little ones at home.

We all love our kids, but we cant expect everyone else to love them as much as we do. When the atmosphere of a restaurant is thrown off by a screaming or unruly child, that impacts the experience of all the patrons and potentially the reputation of the restaurant.

"It's a baby. That's what babies do, they cry", is what a patron told me one evening during dinner service. Here's a suggestion; if your child is upset please don't wait until the situation becomes disruptive before you address it. Simple remove your child to a private place until he/she id back to behaving well.

I would not go to the extent of banning young children from my restaurant, but I've sure thought  about it. Not all kids as created equal, but all it takes is one crying baby to ruin a lovely dinner.

Just be considerate of others and pay attention to the 2 giveaways mentioned above and we'll all be able to enjoy our favorite restaurant with or without the little ones.

John Hill
John Hill

Seriously people.  Get a life.  St. Francis has had this menu for sometime now, maybe since they opened?  The truth is, many children aren't taught manners or proper etiquette when dining.  It is a parenting issue, not a restaurant issue.

Kathy Monkman
Kathy Monkman

It's less the kids that's the issue and more parents who don't expect proper public behavior--from themselves or their kids.  I think sometimes parents get used to a certain decorum (decibel level) at home and often don't even notice how loud their kids are getting as they just are used to adjusting and becoming louder themselves. This happens in restaurants. This results in an experience where everyone is now having to adjust to that volume to just be heard.  In a restaurant where I expect a quiet environment for conversation and that going on, it's disruptive.  I like the instructive regarding loud kids.  Parents enter at your own risk.  This could be a good learning tool for kids to learn proper public behavior.  I don't want an adult screaming at a table next to me so I also don't want a child doing it just because they are "expressing themself".  I also don't want an adult crawling around under my table while I'm dining so I don't want that from a toddler.   Ya know?

Stephanie Downie
Stephanie Downie

re. "2. No kids menu, guess what? Best leave the little ones at home. "  Are you serious?  Not all of us are raising our children on chicken nuggets and french fries.

Too bad you didn't reveal the name of your establishment, because I'm sure restaurant-goers would like to steer clear of any business where the management doesn't know how to do its job.  If a disruptive child's parents aren't sensible enough to remove him or her, then it's your job to ask them to leave, just as your patrons would expect you to remove an unruly adult.  I seriously doubt you care about encouraging that family to return, so no big loss.


Are the types of families who even consider St. Francis as a dining option really the problems?  I take my kids to Postino for brunch, Chelsea's Kitchen, The Parlor, The Vig, etc.  The primary reason - this is MY/OUR 'hood!  And I want to support local biz.  All of which either have kids menus or are very family friendly.  Yes, we also hit America's, Culvers and Smashburger, but I'm trying to broaden their culinary horizons, just as my family did for me growing up.I do have a zero tolerance policy..they know under no uncertain terms that I will ask for our food to go and I will march right out if they act up (and hell will be paid at home).If my children are sitting and behaving themselves, yet the very notion of their presence offends some, well that's not my problem.  Now don't get me started about people who bring their dogs to restaurants... :p

Kathy Monkman
Kathy Monkman

See to me you are teaching your kids HOW to be in environments like this which is good for everyone involved, especially them!  Kudos.

To St. Francis, what would make sense, to me, is to have the kids menu (up to a certain age) open until, say 7:30 -- so people who don't dig that environment just plan to come later, parents get to bring their kids (who should really be winding down for bed after that time right?) and it's sort of a compromise.   What also bugs me is parents bringing very young kids in to a late movie at like 9pm...on school nights!  Yes it happens.  This is a good discussion though I think.


Yes, Richardson...we know your disdain for children.  And yet I still take them to your restaurants, with their grubby little fingers and snotty noses.  Oh...their love for grandma's chile colorado and posole rivals any adult's. 

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