Quiet, Please! Restaurants Shush Customers

Restaurants are noisy affairs. Loud cooking in the kitchen, awkward dropping of plates and glasses, and conversations run throughout the night as couples enjoy their meals and company, children whine, and…

Actually, no. One restaurant has decided to do away with children, at least after 7PM. Houston restaurant La Fisheria has announced that, after 7PM, they will no longer allow children in the restaurant, Consumerist reports. The restaurant posted a notice on their Facebook page:

After 7:00 pm, people over eight years old only.
For your understanding,
Thank you.

We are a familly friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant.
thanks for your understanding.

Consumerist reports that responses to the restaurant have been largely positive, and that their clientele appreciate the absence of children running around. The rule doesn’t prohibit all children, either, since many would consider people from eight to twelve children (not that teenagers are usually considered more polite to many adults, but they do manage to keep their screaming and spilling in check)

For a few though, any sort of vocal communication at all is a detriment to the act of eating. Buddhist monasteries that have a quiet breakfast have inspired one restaurant in Brooklyn to take up that mindset. Eat in Brooklyn has a four-course meal that starts at 8PM, with silence encouraged.

How do you order? How do you get drink refills? The first is handled very simply; you order your food before the 8PM meal serving starts. For refills, questions, and other concerns, you have to get creative. Waving over a waitstaff member and pointing to an empty drink may be simple enough, but make sure to offer a smile for politeness-sake. The concept of a quiet meal allows customers to focus on the food’s taste and deliciousness, not the banal conversation about what movies they want to see, or how the local sporting team are doing. It might actually be a good test of a relationship for couples, though; can they enjoy the company of one another without simple words being said?

The New York Times has covered the benefits of eating in quiet. “Mindful eating” rises from Buddhist culture and teachings, with such extreme practices as focusing on a three raisins or a tangerine for around a dozen minutes, give or take. While not a large amount of food for most people, they are nourishing dishes that are a bit simple for time and effort when it comes to consuming. Focusing on them makes the eater a bit more appreciative. The concept doesn’t limit you to small amounts, or even certain kinds of food, but it does encourage you to take each bite with an appreciation for what went into it, how it’s tastes, feels, smells, and looks, and what it does for your body. A slower eating regiment does have the natural effect of letting your body realize when it’s fuller, instead of allowing you to eat more than you need to because you finished eating before your body registered what had gone into it.

Could your restaurant use a bit more silence, or even more appreciation for the food coming out of the kitchen?