Photo courtesy of Laura King
SEATTLE – To Laura King, her three children were acting normal while enjoying dinner at an Italian restaurant in their hometown in Washington state.
But staff members of the restaurant Sogno di Vino in Poulsbo were so impressed with her children’s table manners during their Feb. 1 dinner that they thanked her kids and gave the family of five a bowl of ice cream.
It wasn’t until King got home that that she noticed a $4 “well behaved kids” discount on her receipt to cover the dessert. A friend posted a picture of the receipt on the website Reddit, and the story took off.
“The server said staff didn’t even know there were kids at the table,” said King, whose children are 2, 3 and 8 years old.
King said it’s been entertaining to see all the attention her story has gotten, and she plans to dine at Sogno di Vino again soon.
Sogno di Vino owner Rob Scott said servers have the discretion to offer a discount to customers, adding that this wasn’t the first time well-behaved kids have been rewarded. What was different this time was that one of the staff members wrote it out in the receipt.
“It was just an act of kindness,” Scott said.
Scott said the restaurant was packed the night Laura’s family came in, which can be challenging to families with small children. But he said he was impressed with the way the family was interacting with each other and that even the 2-year-old in a high chair seemed to be having a good time.
Rowdy children are an issue all restaurant customers have encountered at one point or another, Scott said.
“You can tell when a (family) had a rough ride to the restaurant,” Scott said. “There tends to be sometimes activities where children get out of the chair or stand on chairs or get loud, as they get loud, it upsets other patrons, and they paid for a baby-sitter.”
Scott said he’s been asked if he would charge more to customers who have unruly children. That’s not something he does, he said.
“Everybody in my generation was raised to behave in restaurants,” he said. “That parenting skills have been forgotten in some cases.”
King said she has worked in the restaurant industry before and knows that families aren’t the easiest customers to serve. She said that at the restaurant, her kids apply the table etiquette used at her dining table.