Well-behaved children will cost less at one restaurant

The restaurant has gained international attention after the move

Well-behaved children will cost less at one restaurant

Pictures of people eating and being served pizza | Image: Richard Gray EMPICS Entertainment

A restaurant in Padua, Italy is offering a discount to parents whose children behave at the table.

The restaurant, run by Antonio Ferrari, has gained international attention after the move.

Mr Ferrari told The Local the 5% discount was a way of showing his customers "we like having children here - as long as they behave".

"When you get parents who are rude, the kids think they can do anything. They might climb on the tables with their shoes on, play in the bathroom and make a mess with the taps, or annoy the other customers.

"The restaurant is essentially an enoteca (winery). We don't have a children's menu or any other special provisions, but on Sundays, parents often come and bring their children", he said.

The 40-year-old restaurateur says his inspiration for the discount came from a bar he recently visited in Miami, which offered a similar scheme.

Pictures of people eating and being served pizza | Image: Richard Gray EMPICS Entertainment

Paddy Agnew is Rome correspondent with the Irish Times.

He told Jonathan Healy on the Pat Kenny Show the reaction has been generally positive.

"Looking at the reaction to it on the web - because this story has provoked a great deal of interest - the vast majority of people agree.

"Indeed there have been also suggestions such as they should also give a discount to people whose dogs don't bark, a discount to people who don't shout loudly at the tables, a discount to people who - when their cellphones ring - step up and answer it outside".

"This is still a country where people still sit down, both in public and in private at home, still sit down to a table to eat.

"This is not a country where people graze over McDonald's burgers in front of the TV - this is a country where a lot of people still insist on a proper meal.

"A lot of people are old-fashioned - not that you want to call it old-fashioned - to believe that children should sit at the table, and be at the table and relate to their adults around them".

Irish restaurateur, and owner of Pasta Fresca restaurant in Dublin, May Frisby says Irish children are not used to behaving in such scenarios.

"It seems like there's a breakdown here of the family meal, and when they are eating out in a restaurant the norm for Irish children is to feel they can run about and shout and scream as if they're in the garden.

"They're completely unfamiliar with sitting at a table, eating a meal and engaging.

"And parents tend to be simply unaware of a child's needs at a table, or choose to ignore them because they're socialising."

Asked if parents were oblivious their children's behaviour or simply embarrassed by it, Ms Frisby says: "The problem is disturbing other people - disturbing business people at lunchtime, disturbing other people at nighttime who don't want to have children around them - and the parents of these children are oblivious".

But she also questioned the merits of the discount.