Kids eat for free at this restaurant – but only if they do so without screens or colouring books 3 weeks ago

Kids eat for free at this restaurant – but only if they do so without screens or colouring books

I have a pretty strict view on screen use with my own children – and think that much as we need to acknowledge that technology is here to stay, this is also exactly the reason why we need to allow our children to have a childhood that is spent more IRL than glued to screen.

And it seems this more low-tech view is actually spreading.

The owner of restaurant Pazar Food Collective in Sydney, Australia, Atilla Yilma, recently banned iPads and other screens from his establishment – and explained to website Babyology why he made such a radical decision.

One evening not long ago, Yilma explained he looked up to find 12 iPads and iPhones lighting up the communal tables. The entire restaurant sits just 65 people and according to Atilla, most of the faces behind the myriad of devices … were kids.

“It was a sea of screens."

Moments before, a family with young children had left the surface of their table completely covered in crayon.

 “The parents didn’t even apologise. In fact, they laughed it off as they walked out saying “kids will be kids.” But Atilla, a father of two children aged eight and six himself, was left far from amused, and took to Facebook to share some new rules for his restaurant.

Writing on his personal Facebook page, Attila said:

“Dear Customers. Thanks for letting your kids draw all over our tables and napkins and dining like civilised human beings. Truly appreciated. Leave your kids at home if they can’t sit at a dinner table without colouring books or an electronic device.

“Oh and no!! No !!! You can’t bring in Nandos from across the road because your kids don’t like what’s on our menu !! And no !! No!! We do not cater to your no salt, sugar, dairy, gluten, onion, garlic intolerant diet (all of these were one person’s dietary requirements) !! And no, no!!! Vegan is a choice, not a dietary requirement, and yes, we happily cater for that, easily. Dairy and Gluten are also not an issue and easily looked after with pleasure.

“I am about to introduce a no colouring book, toy and iPad ban to Pazar. Like my kids and many others that visit without such, it’s time for them to learn the art of dining, enjoying food, conversation and sharing. If you can’t handle it, get a sitter or go to the RSL club. I don’t know about you but when I dine out the last thing I want is some kid sitting at the table next to me with Dora the Explorer blaring away as I try to enjoy my meal illuminated by the glow of their electronic device.

“Stop being so fucking lazy and interact with your children, teach them social skills … please for the sake of future generations, engage with your kids or just stay home. #bantheipad #bancoloringbooks .

Unsurprisingly Atilla’s post got lots of attention – particularly from parents shocked by his comments.

“They seem to be accusing me of being a bad guy or out of touch with parenting. But I have two kids and every time we go out, they say no to the colouring books,” Attila explains to Babyology.

“But it’s a regular occurrence to see families pile in here, head for a table in the corner and set the table up for the kids – iPads on and backpacks come out, colouring books arranged on the table. I’ve even seen a family arrive, put a blanket down on the floor underneath the table and feed their kids from a box of takeaway from Nandos!”

What do YOU think, parents? Do YOU agree with this restaurant owner's point? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @herfamilydotie