Fierce debate has been sparked in the UK after it was revealed that pub chain Wetherspoon limits parents to two alcoholic drinks if they have children with them.
The little-known rule has been in place at the pub chain since 2011, but it only came to broader light after a picture was taken of a poster in a pub in Kent.
The Robert Pocock pub in Gravesend put up a poster noting: “As part of our licensing it is our responsibility to ensure that we are protecting children from harm.
“Therefore adults in charge of children will be allowed to have one alcoholic drink and a further alcoholic drink with a sit-down meal.”
The poster has since been removed.
The chain said its guideline was designed to deter “unruly behaviour” by children left unsupervised which, as far as Wetherspoon is concerned, is anyone under the age of 16.
It has been a crime since 1902 in the UK to be drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven in a public place. The offence can be punished by a fine or up to a month in jail.
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “The manager took the decision to put the poster in the pub to emphasise to customers that she would not allow parents to drink while their children were running round uncontrolled in the pub.
“The notice had a positive effect, with mostly good feedback.”
However, some critics have argued that ‘Spoons was not a nursery’ and others have claimed the move smacked of a ‘nanny state’.
Wetherspoon added: “There is a guideline, though not a policy, that we will serve the adult a maximum of two alcoholic drinks with their meal.
“The reason is that we don’t want children being unruly in the pubs and parents thinking they can continue to drink while this happens.”