back to article UK kids' table manners a national disgrace

It's official: the UK's children are ill-mannered and ill-disciplined brats with a shocking disregard for proper table manners, The Telegraph reports. According to a Pizza Express poll published today, which asked 1,140 people how kids should conduct themselves, "the notion of good table manners has changed". Although 80 per …


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  1. Dave

    Show some restraint

    Unfortunately none of the restaurants I've been to recently are equipped with suitable chairs for small children - that is, with straps on the arms and legs in order to hold said children in place during the meal. High chairs almost work, but the larger, noisier children won't fit in them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What to do....what to do?

    You comment that most of your hacks think a stint in the military would sort the kids out....the Army? Um, maybe...

    The Navy? Ah well, given how easily young Arthur cried his eyes out when those nasty Iranians took away his iPod and then called him "Mr Bean", I suspect the difference between a Pizza Hut on a Saturday afternoon and Navel Basic Training cannot be that far apart.

    Mind you, I can only assume that in our current PC-riddled society, his training Sergeant (or whatever the Navel equivalent is) was not allowed to remove young Arthur's portable jukebox at the start of his training for fear of infringing the poor dear's human rights, and so denying young Arthur the essential training of how to deal with this horrific, demeaning, psycologically damaging outrage.

    God help us all....

  3. Rose


    Dave, for older, noisier, children, restraint is what parents are expected to have *taught* them.

  4. Michael O'Malley

    The Spartans were right

    Now I understand what the ancient Spartans were thinking of. Those old Greeks** used to expose unwanted children on the hillsides to be eaten by wolves.

    Judging by some British children who holiday over here in Ireland, we would prefer the wolves.

    **(no dear, not like Prince Philip. These old Greeks were really, really long ago)

  5. Barry

    Pizza Express

    Well, if you do a survey in a chav restaurant, expect a chav response.

  6. Paul A. Walker

    re:What to do....what to do?

    Be fair, Navel training is not for everyone... it depends on if you're an "innie" or an "outie"...

    I'll get my coat.

  7. Lloyd

    But, but, but

    It's not my fault, it's society or I wasn't given enough help by the government or I was never to taken to Pizza Express as a child and it's been traumatised me. The simple fact is that most parents in this country couldn't give a flying "4 letter word meaning copulate" about they way their children behave because of all this PC "8 letter word meaning bovine excrement" that's been thrown around for the last 20 years.

  8. Andy S

    depends on the resteraunt

    This survey doesn't appear to take into account that table manners scale with the style of meal. I would expect far higher table manners at some resteraunts than i would others. Unfortunately Buffet's are on the lowest end of that scale.

    chewing with your mouth closed, and not talking with your mouth full are, however, universal and no-one should be allowed to eat in public who can't follow these simple rules.

  9. Ralph B

    What about the waiters?

    Your article tells me that "32 per cent didn't believe politeness towards waiters was an essential social skill".

    However, in my experience, 32 per cent or waiters don't seem to believe politeness towards customers is an essential social skill either.

    Hmm, maybe it's just that waiters are just other people's children.

  10. Charles Hammond

    Too Uptight

    Maybe you are too uptight. I dont think anyone is teaching the skills you are looking for. Where did these stupid rules come from? Why is it important that a person put down silverware before they chew food?

    There is no logical reason for such behaviour!

    Even if there was, most likely this behaviour is not being taught. Where do you go to take classes in Chewing etiquite?

  11. Andrew Bright


    One of things that surprised me when I reached the US was finding that no one under the age of 13 know how to use a knife and fork, and those older barely.

    Most sort do this weird thing of using their fork for both job, quite an accomplishment when you consider how difficult it is to cut bacon with a fork.

    Eating with your mouth shut? Apparently no one is supposed to talk in the US unless they have their mouths stuffed with food.

    I suppose they are so in love with food here, that they find it sexy to see it spewing from the mouths of those around them.

    Anyone who's been here from England will have been through the truly odd experience of having Americans unable to understand half of what you are saying. Simple words take four or five attempts to get through.

    It's not stupidity - although not many are blessed in the brain department - it's simply they can't understand words that aren't spluttered with mashed potatoes, burgers or crisps.

  12. Dez Ware

    Childre are natural mimics

    "Children are natural mimics; they act just like their parents in spite of every effort to teach them good manners"

  13. David Chapman

    Pizza Express - not buffet or chav!

    Can I stand up for Pizza Express for a moment? (Before you ask, no, I don't work for them...)

    Despite their slightly tawdry name, I'd suggest they stand for a slightly higher class of Italian gastronomic establishment - I'm not aware they offer a Pizza Hut-style all you can eat menu, and I've always found their waiters to be excellent. Not really the chav den that others have implicated it as - not the ones I've been to anyhow.

    That said, I'd like to think that my 4 offspring were dragged up with a notion of what table manners means, so hopefully they rub the waiters up the right way. It's natural for people to fight fire with fire and match behaviour, so if you act like an uncouth and ungrateful git to someone, that's what you're likely to get back - irrespective of whether it's their job or not.

  14. Simon Painter

    Blame society if you like...

    Blame the waiters, blame the government, blame the teachers or blame society; either way the cold hard fact is that if parents were held more accountable for the actions of their children they would put a little more effort into making sure they behaved appropriately.

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