Cosmo restaurant in Croydon has introduced a £3 charge per baby to sit at the table with adults, according to the Croydon Guardian.
The restaurant is the biggest in the UK, with a capacity of 800. Visitors say the move came as a shock, after babies were previously welcomed free of charge.
Mum of one, Natasha Young, visited the restaurant with her six-week-old son, Kaedon, who is exclusively breast fed.
She told the paper she was asked to pay for Kaedon's spot in the restaurant: "I was told the pushchair was taking up space. I have been before - the last time I went was in July and there was no mention of it then. This has only come about since last week.
"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."
Another diner, Anna Sheridan, who has a six-month-old girl, was also told she would have to pay for her baby to sit in the restaurant.
"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."
UPDATE 25 November: The restaurant has since issued this press statement:
COSMO would like to apologise to Natasha Young for the terrible experience at our Croydon branch. COSMO is a family friendly restaurant and we pride ourselves on making children and parents feel valued. It would appear that the training, for both the staff and the managers fell well below that of our other restaurants. COSMO would like to assure customers that this is an isolated incident and we will be retraining all employees at Croydon as a matter of urgency.
Have you ever been charged to take your baby into a restaurant despite he or she not eating?
Would you ever choose to eat in a restaurant that does charge?
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