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When Did Panera Become a Playground?

Posted Sun October 5, 2008 12:00 pm, by Mark L. written to Panera Bread Company

Write a Letter to this Company

This letter is featured on Mommage

Since when did the Panera off of the E.Beltline in Grand Rapids Michigan turn into a childrens playground. I hope a social worker reads this.

A group of people have decided to show up on Sundays with there children, THERE SCRREAAAMMMMING CHILDREN. These same people, let there children run freely amuk wildly in the resturant while they sit back and let it happen. These people will be at one end of the resturant while there children run around at the other end. These children are between the ages of 1 and 3 years of age. They are completely un-suppervised. Three people including myself left the resturant. I went to Buffalo Wild Wings were is was twice as quite for a cup of coffee.

I do not expect complete quiteness but I do expect to come to a resturant, oh I am sorry, I ment playground, with children running wildly in the forest of Panera.

How is that Panera has allowed this to happen? Since when did Panera turn into an un-supervised play ground of screaming children? Are you kiddening? This is a joke right? Are the Panera Company people concerened with the liability issues associated with this carelessness of the Parents not controlling there children?

It really really hurts my ears. I have very sensitive ears and cannot tollerate a screamming at there lungs children. I feel so bad for the people that work at Panera.

I hope that with this customer complaint that something can be done about this concern. I would be willing to meet with somebody on Sunday to point these people out. I hope that questions can be asked of other employer's of Panera to verify these concerns.


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by cissy Posted Tue October 7, 2008 @ 11:25 AM

The unruly children aren't bothering their parents so everything is
okay. This is the mindset of selfish people with kids. It shows how
oblivious some adults can be to their children's behaviour. Thank the
gods you don't live with them. Mayhem all the time and these are the
families who will wonder(later in life) where they went wrong.


by dulynoted (aka duttycalls) Posted Tue October 7, 2008 @ 8:11 AM

While I can understand that you would want to alert Panera to this
issue, why are you not bringing it to the attention of the general
manager for that particular restaurant?

And contrary to what anyone thinks, any employee can ask any patron
(no matter what age) to leave if they are causing a disturbance.
These parents do not seem to care that their children can get hurt or
worse yet, injure someone else. Just because these people pay for
their food does not give them the right to let their children run

There should be a sign posted that this is a place to eat and
unruliness will not be tolerated and the employees should be permitted
to ask anyone who is to leave the premises immediately.


by MA Cunningham Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 8:59 PM

You say you feel for the Panera employees, so to some extent, you must
realize how this situation would be kind of out of their hands.

As a parent, I'm embarrassed that any other parent would allow their
kids to run amok in public. It makes us ALL look bad. But that isn't
Panera's fault - it's the fault of people without the common sense
they were born with to recognize that small kids should NEVER be
permitted to run wild in ANY business.

But again, I can't seem to understand how you equate these parents
lazy and irresponsible behavior with an issue for Panera. Don't they
have enough to worry about without having to be concerned with the
actions and behavior of every patron that enters their establishment?

Here in Cleveland, there is a County sponsored hotline for suspected
child abuse/neglect. While I surely don't advocate sending social
workers on witch hunts, I'd bet you a coffee that if you loudly
BRATS!" those parents would wrangle up their kids in a hurry.


I think by RedheadwGlasses Mon October 6, 2008 @ 11:27 PM

Do you think we can order these thru by dulynoted (aka duttycalls) Tue October 7, 2008 @ 12:11 PM

YEEEHAAAA! by MA Cunningham Tue October 7, 2008 @ 9:09 PM

by dawniedawn67 Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 5:51 PM

In a business near me the owner has a sign posted:

"If you are not going to control your child(ren), your patronage is
not wanted and you WILL be asked to leave."

Funny, this place is always crowded, and the children that I see ARE

I wish more business owners had this guy's attitude.


That's a great idea! by WantToPlayAGame? Mon October 6, 2008 @ 6:02 PM

wondeful! by SuzieCat Mon October 6, 2008 @ 6:21 PM

I've seen one by Wolf Mon October 6, 2008 @ 8:58 PM

I love that sign! (n/t) by LadyMac Tue October 7, 2008 @ 12:13 PM
by Richard S. Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 4:52 PM

I agree this behavior is unacceptable

Did you try calling the store manager to see what could be done? If
the manager is unwilling to or can't do anything, you have a voice
that can be used.

If you are in this location again and the same kids are misbehaving,
you can just comment out loud something to the effct "I would never be
letting my kids run around the store like this". If you embarass the
parent enough they will do something or never come back to that

by Marty5223 Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:30 PM

I agree this is pretty unexcusable that the parents allow this.

Not really sure what the store can do.

If they even mention little Sally Jane ..or Billy Bob are out of
control I am certain the parents would freak out.

As far as you and your ears. It is not the best case plan but try
some ear plugs. Maybe even a head set with some soft music to block
out the kids.

They sound like beast to me.

I think you can see why the kids act the way they do. Apparently a
lack of good parenting.

Sometimes though I think people just grow use to their environment and
don't hear or see things the way others do.

Sort of like a barking dog. If you own a dog and it barks you might
not hear it the same as someone that does not own a pet.

You live next to an airport or train tracks and you stop hearing the
loud noise. You visit someone that lives in an area like this and you
think the plane or train is coming through the room.


by Maegan Z. Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:18 PM

We need to return to the times of "children should be seen, and not
heard." :)


That's a little harsh... by D. R. Mon October 6, 2008 @ 4:04 PM
by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 12:33 PM

I completely agree with you. I like that this is more of a "anit-bad
parenting" letter, not an "anti-kids" letter. Even as a parent of four
kids, situations like this still tick me off. When I have my kids in
tow, it's usually so I can spend time with them, and I hate when we go
to a restaurant, deli, or coffee shop and other kids are running amok.
They usually end up flocking to us, and we end up leaving because I'm
really not in the business of teaching other people's kids manners if
their parents aren't doing it. I have a very high-spirited
three-year-old, and I have him at a point now where we can go
somewhere and sit down. But once another kid starts goofing off, I
have to remove him from the situation, because he'll just melt down.

As a corporate restaurant employee, I know that it's a big no-no for
us to say anything to these parents. I don't know why, but management
will flip out, because if the parent of the demon children calls
corporate, WE get in trouble. I guess it's because these corporate
big-wigs don't work IN the restaurant, so they only care about the
complaints they get. THIS is where your letter comes in. If more
pissed-off patrons write letters/make phone calls to corporate about
how kids are running around uncontrollably, they might actually
listen. And that makes my job, both as a server and as a mom, easier.


I like this response, because it confirms that the restaurant's hands by Steve-OH Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:09 PM

But what would by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:23 PM

Back to my retail days... by (What's With this Cheese Thing???) Peanut's Mom Mon October 6, 2008 @ 4:41 PM

I think it's by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon October 6, 2008 @ 6:04 PM

by Jeffrey/Branding/Alex Posted Mon October 6, 2008 @ 9:29 AM

As someone who's argued with the "anti-kid" crowd, it bothers me when
I read something like this. People who really do let their kids run
wild ruin it for the rest of us, who really do try to keep our kids


by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 10:40 PM

I think a lot of restaurant staff are leery of approaching parents of
unruly children for fear of getting an earful about accusing their
little darlings of being the less than perfect angels the parents
think they are. And it's too bad because I agree with Casmly below; it
gives the rest of us parents, the ones trying to teach our kids good
public behavior, a bad rap.

I wonder if anyone has complained before this letter. Or did they, as
I suspect, do as you did and just walk out? Either way, I think this
is a good letter and hopefully will empower the staff to take action.


by Sunflower Sarah Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 10:39 PM

There is no solution though. If the kids run around, patrons get mad.
If a worker steps in, the parents call corporate and the employee's
job is at stake because the company always sides with the person who

Working in retail really works out to a lose lose situation sometimes.


I think it by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:19 PM

by Casmly Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:54 PM

I really hate it when parents let their children run wild. It gives
parents like myself a bad name. You know, the parents who have taught
their children to be respectful of others and how to behave properly
in public.


by Donno Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:09 PM

I'm not a parent, and screaming kids would drive me crazy as well.
This sounds like a case of poor parenting.

I think the best solution here is to bring this to management's
attention in person. Tell her/him this has happened on several
occasions, and it is very annoying. While you realize parents should
be able to bring their children into the store, it would be
considerate to the other diners if the parents controlled their

It seems to me that management should be able to help out, since the
bottom line is they can refuse to serve these people. Realize that
these parents are putting management in a tough spot. However, if
management observes this behavior they may be able to put the kaibash
on it. Good luck.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 6:22 PM

For the employees/management to let unruly kids run around is
ridiculous. Would they have tolerated a group of loud older kids
(pre-teens or teens) who were disrupting other people's meals?
Probably not.

Time to teach the parents a lesson and politely but firmly tell them
that they need to either (1) control their children or (2) take their
food to the children's play area in the mall.


by SuzieCat Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 5:17 PM

The OP made a comment about panera's liability issues regarding
careless parents. I have to ask...IS there an issue?

If mommy allows a child to careen around the place bouncing off
walls...and said child dumps coffee or soup into a patron's lap...who
is responsible? the business or the parent of the careening child?


There by Wolf Sun October 5, 2008 @ 6:52 PM

Stella by SuzieCat Sun October 5, 2008 @ 6:59 PM

The McD's hot coffee lawsuit by RedheadwGlasses Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:11 PM

I know by Wolf Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:45 PM

I agree by RedheadwGlasses Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:53 PM

*headdesk* n/t by SuzieCat Sun October 5, 2008 @ 8:36 PM

Yup by Wolf Sun October 5, 2008 @ 7:13 PM

The one who has the most money, of course! by Cor H. Tue October 7, 2008 @ 8:30 AM

Liability by BirmanCat Thu October 9, 2008 @ 5:31 PM

by SuzieCat Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 5:13 PM

I dont blame this on the business nearly as much as I blame it on the
parents of said unruly children.

Myself, I would have said something to the parents, but that is just
who I am. We are ALL entitled to common courtesy in public.

Even though I would have opened my mouth to the parents first, then
the manager if the parents did not respond, I can understand folks
such as yourself who do not speak up at the time.

Hopefully, your letter will remind Panera ALL their customers deserve
to be comfortable.

by dottiejean28 Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 2:22 PM



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