Alright, folks. I’m sorry, but this isn’t going to be a typical 8BD post. I’ve got quite the axe to grind before I burrow it in the next restaurant manager’s chest who sends out a high chair with a broken or missing waist belt.

Let me start by filling you in. Last weekend, my family and I were visiting a place in town that we all really enjoy (it’s the only place in town that can really cook a burger charred rare). The hostess seated us and brought us a high chair with a busted clasp on the waist belt. I asked her to get a different one, but she came back telling me that the only other chair they had was also broken.

At this point I had a flashback to a few weekends ago when my family and I were out on the road. We stopped at a popular franchise steakhouse for supper. The waiter there also unwittingly brought me a busted chair. When I pointed it out to him, he was embarrassed and very apologetic. I reassured him, and told him it was a frequent problem. I asked him to check out the rest of his chairs while he was away getting us another one. I predicted that at least half of his chairs would have similar problems. He was shocked to find that I was right.

I wasn’t so shocked. In fact, I’ve about had it with broken high chairs.

Now I’m not a complete lunatic. I know it’s my job to keep my kids safe in public, and no one else’s. When my wee one raises up out of the high chair and dives for my lap, it’s on me to pay attention well enough to catch him, with or without a fastened waist belt.

But you know what’s nice? A functioning waist belt on the high chair your restaurant decides to bring you. You know what else is nice? A good charred-rare hamburger, which is something I was not fortunate enough to enjoy last weekend. You see, the wee one didn’t jump in my lap. He jumped into Mom’s lap. And at the end of a rough day, she was not putting up with that crap. Neither was I. If momma isn’t happy, then nobody’s happy. We took off.

Now why did this have to happen? I lost my burger. The restaurant lost a chance to serve a family during a slow part of their afternoon. My wife and I both lost our patience. So…why?

Honestly? Because whoever runs this restaurant (and the multiple restaurants I’ve visited all over the country with the same problem) won’t bother to spend five bucks – let me say that again – FIVE bucks, to buy a replacement for their broken waist belt that can be installed with a screwdriver in a few minutes.

That’s right. It was not worth five dollars to satisfy some family customers at this restaurant.

This happens everywhere. I’m sure it’s happened to you. I’m sure you’re probably sick of it happening too.

I’m spending the rest of this evening writing letters to the restaurants I’ve visited recently that can’t or won’t fix their high chairs. I’m going to show them where they can get replacement waist belts for five bucks. I had some success using this letter-writing technique after I had to kick in a ladies restroom door to find a changing station in a Texas pizza place. Last I heard, that pizza place does have a changing station in the men’s room.

So normally we put a source at the bottom of our posts for news items. The link you’ll find below is to a website that sells high chair belts for five bucks apiece. They haven’t paid 8BD for this link, and they haven’t paid me. Don’t take this as an endorsement, I just think the URL is pretty easy to remember.
I’m adding this link for the the 8BD readers out there who might be a manager at a restaurant with busted high chairs. Or, feel free to include it in your own letters to restaurants that fail to correct this easy-to-fix problem.