The owner of a Chick-fil-A in a suburb of Philadelphia is banning guests under 16 years old from patronizing the fast-food restaurant after unaccompanied youth repeatedly attacked the popular eatery.
In a lengthy statement, the operators of the Royersford location explained they “contemplated long and hard” the decision to block unaccompanied minors from dining in the restaurant, writing, “We want to provide a comfortable and safe environment for our guests and our staff, and also to protect our building. Therefore, we cannot allow this to continue.”
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The statement outlined some of the problems the teenagers have been causing, including being loud and using explicit language, making fun of employees, mistreating restaurant property by leaving messes and vandalizing the bathrooms, as well as exhibiting “unsafe behaviors” while in the parking lot.
“As you can imagine, this is not a pleasant experience,” read the statement. “We want to provide a comfortable and safe environment for our guests and our staff, and also to protect our building. Therefore, we cannot allow this to continue. As a result, to dine in our restaurant, anyone under the age of 16 is required to be accompanied by an adult. If not accompanied by an adult, they may come in to purchase food, but must take it to go.”
Aware of the frustration this decision might cause, the Chick-fil-A owner apologized to those unaccompanied minors who are not causing problems but will nevertheless be forced to leave because of the disruptions caused by others in their age category.
The restaurant also made clear it is not blaming parents for the problem.
“Parents, we are not blaming you,” read the statement. “Children and teens are learning to navigate the world free from supervision and often push the boundaries. We simply can’t let them push those boundaries anymore at our restaurant. We encourage you to talk to your children and ask about behaviors they have seen and perhaps participated in.”
Several commenters expressed support for the Chick-fil-A franchise — but suggested parents are, at least in part, responsible for the problematic behaviors of the children coming into the restaurant.
“I can tell this was well thought out,” wrote one Facebook user. “Your post is very well written. I don’t blame you for making this decision, however difficult it may be. Thanks for thinking about the families.”
Another added, “How can you say you can’t blame the parents? It all starts in the home[.] Parents want to be their kids’ best friend instead of being a parent and take some responsibility on actions done by the kids.”
“When one can’t behave, they lose privileges,” commented a third person. “I agree with all your reasons for reaching this decision. Protect your business.”
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