Mothers bringing their children to Cosmo restaurant in Croydon were shocked when the venue demanded they pay £3 for their babies, even though they were not eating.
The pan-Asian restaurant in Valley Leisure Park, is Britain’s largest eating venue and seats up to 800 people. However, a new policy implemented by Cosmo states that parents will still be charged for the ‘space taken up’ by their infant children.
Natasha Young, 34, from Croydon, visited the restaurant with her six-week-old son, who is breast-fed only. She was “upset and angry” when she was told she would have to pay £3 for a baby that didn’t eat, despite having brought him there in July without any problems.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Young said: “I was told the pushchair was taking up space. It was full but I had booked a table. When I got there they said I have to pay for the baby even though he does not eat. I was told he was taking up space. I offered to put the pushchair back in the car and they said we still had to pay for the space he was taking up. I was really upset and angry – I could not believe it. I have never come across something like this before. It’s disgraceful.”
Another mother, Ana Sheridan, 28, from Wallington in Sutton, said that she was charged £3 to bring in her baby too, despite the fact her child was also exclusively breast-fed.
“I was astonished as we explained she was exclusively breastfed and would be sitting on our laps, therefore not consuming any food or occupying an extra seat. They said it was their new policy. That was all,” she told the Evening Standard.
On Thursday afternoon, the restaurant issued a statement via its website apologising to Young, saying “it would appear that the training, for both the staff and the managers fell well below that of our other restaurants” and that retraining will be taken in Croydon as a matter of urgency.