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We have a snack bar and we also sell birthday party packages that we host during our public sessions, but we also have a strong FS program and those kids are here all the time.
Our signage and our written policy does'nt allow outside food or drink. But those families that are here all day or every afternoon can't be expected to buy our snack bar food every day, so over the years we looked the other way when they bring in their own food and snacks.
We've tried to sell healthy items to them in the snack bar, but those items just don't sell well enough before going bad. We try to manage the lobby to keep out private birthday cakes or private cup cakes during our weekend public session, but some people say "but we've seen others bring in their food in here before".
We are trying to rewrite our policies to fit what "really" happens in our lobby, but we are struggling to find the right words. We want to allow regular customers to eat their lunch or dinner, but we don't want parties or celebrations to interfere with our birthday party business offerings. We don't want groups thinking they can bring large amounts of food in to share with each others during those busy public sessions. Most of you know what I'm seeing because it seems that many of you deal with this gray area too. What are your written policies or rules? I want to not be in this gray area anymore, but I don't feel we can go back words and 100% ban outside food because it'll never realistically work, but we can't a just open up the freedom to bring in what they want when ever they want either.
What do you do? How do you handle this gray area of our business?
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