It’s one thing to ban smoking from places of business because it can be harmful to a person’s health, but are children now being put into that same category?It almost sounds hurtful when you compare a child to the bad habit of smoking, but if I compared the lack of wanting to hear a screaming child to the lack of wanting to breathe in smoke—well then we’re getting somewhere.
These past few months have brought us several businesses banning the presence of children in hopes that things will be more enjoyable for those who do not have kids (some for the very reason they do not want to hear them cry or watch them misbehave). Consider a few of the instances that have begun the slow revolution:
– First, Malaysia Airlines banned babies from first class cabins.
– Then, the Pennsylvania restaurant McDain’s banned children under the age of six because according to the owner, “their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”
– Next, Whole Foods stores in Missouri began to offer child-free shopping hours. Although childcare is available in the stores, they are nonetheless not allowed to disturb shoppers; only the childcare workers.
– A Texas cinema chain has issued “baby days.” Other than on baby days, children under six years old are not allowed in the cinema.
– Lastly, Florida began considering banning children from a condominium’s outdoor area.
The list of businesses, restaurants in particular, which are adopting the “no children allowed” policy is continually growing. This opens up a whole lot of debate as to whether or not it is appropriate to ban children from certain places. However, what you need to do as a business owner is ask yourself whether or not a decision like this would work for your business. The restaurant’s decision in Pennsylvania was supported by more than half of the community, so it worked. I think the idea becomes where is it appropriate to ban children as opposed to whether it is or is not. After all, there is no law that makes banning children illegal, and a business owner is allowed to do what they feel is right for their business. The question then becomes: How do you know if this trend is something your business will profit from?
5 Qualities Every Business Should Have Before Deciding to Ban Children
If you are thinking of banning children from your place of businesses, you’d better think twice. This choice will no doubt cause a scene, so you want to be sure that as a business owner you are doing what’s best for the future of your business. A decision like this is not one you can go back on very easily. After all, un-banning children isn’t the most welcoming thing a company can do for its customers. Consider a few of the qualities a company should have if they’re hoping for a childless future:
Quality #1: Your business is located in an older community
It is essential that a company is located in an older community if you want to pull off a no children allowed ban for two reasons. One, less people will be directly affected if there is one business in town who does not want children disturbing its customers. Two, your profits will likely not suffer if your customers were not many families.
Quality #2: Your business venue is small
Banning children would likely work in a bigger company as well, but if your business venue is small you have this on your side. Chances are if there was ever an unruly child in your business space, customers have noticed more-so than they would have had they been in a larger area. This will make more sense to people in your community, and people would most likely appreciate your gesture.
Quality #3: There is no other business within a 30 mile radius that has a child ban.
Parents are likely to get upset if a company chooses to not allow children, but if two companies make this choice you will find yourself in all kinds of trouble. It will feel like a community is ganging up on families with children if more than one company chooses to ban them. If you’re the first company, you may get a few looks, but if you’re the second company you will certainly bear the brunt of those who will choose to finally take a stand.
Quality #4: Your business does not concern children.
Restaurants and grocery stores are places that children have been going to for years. However, most children never attend a law office or a business meeting. In other words, if your business is one that does not involve children, you’re probably safe to make it a child free zone. However, this may not be necessary if you do not have many child visitors to begin with. All this will do is rock to boat, so think about whether or not it’s really worth it.
Quality #5: You run a high class business.
If your business is full of glass or expensive things, people will likely understand banning children. This should keep you out of any bad press that could potentially occur. In addition, avoiding screaming children will likely improve your atmosphere and give potential customers a reason to visit. After all, if people are going to spend a lot of money with you, they need to have the best experience possible.
Overall, businesses need to be careful about whether or not this is the right move. Although we may see this trend grow larger and larger, children are appropriate in many business settings (and not just businesses designed for children). Even though you may have those days where you can’t take all the kids running around, families often bring in a lot of business for a lot of companies. Try to embrace this by making your business more kid-friendly. After all, if the kids are occupied with crayons or a movie, they won’t be screaming.
Photo Credit babyminestore.com
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to commercial vehicle insurance. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including business insurance to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading B2B Directory, Business.com.