Don't Kid

Would you consider banning little ones from your location?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Customers are seeking an escape in your upscale store or restaurant. But their solitude is interrupted by a screaming toddler. If you're lucky, mom scoops the little noisemaker up and leaves. If they stay, well, your other customers get to decide whether to stay or go.

Now, some businesses--mainly restaurants and coffee shops--are creating "no kids" sections, scheduling hours when children are welcome, or banning kids altogether. "A lot of parents have this laissez-faire discipline policy, which means kids go crazy," says Robert R. Butterworth, a Los Angeles psychologist. "This [trend] is part of a backlash."

But is it good for business? Banning kids could offer a competitive advantage, but weigh whether it's worth losing the mom market. Companies "have more to gain by making it more pleasurable for parents to shop with their children," says Maria Bailey, author of Marketing to Moms. She mentions Best Buy's "Jill Stores," which have kid-friendly areas with Leapfrog toys and Playstations. "They found moms shop longer in those stores than in regular Best Buy stores," says Bailey.

Butterworth suggests surveying customers to see if starting a no-kids zone is a good idea. "You could have your regular customers vote on it," he says. Ultimately, it's up to you whether your business needs to be quiet, clean and kid-free. "The verdict is still out," says Butterworth, "on whether this will be a good business move."

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur