Good behavior at school may earn children a gold star, good behavior at home may earn kids five more minutes of playtime, but at Italian restaurateur Antonio Ferrari's Padua wine bar, good behavior can knock five percent off a dinner bill. Ferrari got the idea to implement the discount, which appears on checks as a sconti bimbi educati, or "polite children discount," after dealing with a few too many ruckus-causing youngsters.
“I have seen five-year-olds put their feet on the table and four-year-olds jumping from chair to chair, while parents do nothing,” Ferrari told the Times. “And when I complain the parents tell me ‘My children can do what they want’.”
Ferrari first started adding the discount onto families' bills about six months ago but so far only awarded it to three families. It a grand total that he says goes to show just how rare good behavior is in his restaurant, where kids are more often found splashing water from the tap in the bathroom or running around waiters who are carrying plates to tables.
Even so, Ferrari does admit that since the implementation of the discount, he has felt a sense of calmness reenter his restaurant, which he says is incredibly important in maintaining the tranquil kind of ambiance that diners pay quite a bit to enjoy.
His reward-based approach for dealing with out-of-control young diners is quite different to tactics employed by other restaurateurs recently – namely, penalizing families for ill-mannered behavior by charging rude customers double or banning them from the establishment altogether. While it's tough to say just which method is the most effective in keeping unruly behavior at bay, we're hoping that giving families a little incentive will inspire better things.