Dave & Buster’s — family "unfriendly" policy
Dave and Busters "Home of the Cakeless Birthday"
After booking a birthday party by phone for ten participants for September 7th, at 2pm, at the Pelham Manor NY location, we were informed upon arrival that our purchased and theme decorated birthday cake was not allowed. During the two previous phone calls to the location inquiring about their birthday celebration services, we were never informed about the "outside food" policy. A business like Dave and Busters must be very aware that most families would bring birthday cakes for their children's celebrations, so their failure to mention that rule to their customers in advance is obviously deliberate.
Imagine a child's birthday party at a restaurant where hundreds of dollars of food is purchased by several family and friends, arcade games are played, gifts are opened, but there is no birthday cake, candles, or birthday song for the child. Sounds horrible doesn't it? That was the experience at Dave and Busters, not only for our family, but for several others that I witnessed during our four hour stay. We spent over $400.00 in food and games at the location, and no birthday cake. That is a terrible policy that really ruined what should have been a joyous experience.
In fact, most families I witnessed that day, including ours, after spending money, were lowered to taking their children's cakes outside of the entrance or into the parking lot, to sing happy birthday and then suffer the embarrassing and degrading experience of struggling to slice and serve birthday cake, off of a park bench or the hood of their car, in full view of Dave and Busters employees, including the general manager Luis, who was very courteous and apologetic, but could offer no clues as to why this policy exists.
I personally am not aware of this ridiculous policy existing at any other restaurant.
To add insult to injury, the restaurant, after confiscating your cake, doesn't even offer purchasable alternatives, such as their own cakes, only slices of one flavor chocolate cake or brownies.
I will never be returning to Dave and Busters and if they continue this dreadful policy of taking away children's birthday cakes, most of which are excitedly decorated and personally themed with love by parents, hopeful to display them on the table after a birthday meal, I would hope that they work harder to ensure that this awful rule is better communicated to their customers.
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