Florida restaurant forced to ban 'Monkey Mondays' after a capuchin bit a little boy

Florida restaurant forced to ban 'Monkey Mondays' after a capuchin bit a little boy

While I've never worked in the restaurant industry, you don't need to wait tables or manage other people to know that's a real jungle out there. With so many companies vying for our attention when it comes to one of life's unadulterated pleasures - food - it's easy to get left behind if you can't quite convince the public to eat at your eatery.

So, how do you combat that? Some companies rely on the quality of their output to keep people coming, but others resort to gimmicks to keep people interested. Sometimes, these gimmicks work - like when KFC come up with a new, absolutely insane way of selling you fried chicken.

This is not one of those occasions where the gimmick paid off.

Carraba’s Italian Grill out in Stuart, Florida wasn't necessarily on the lookout for a new gimmick, but when a nine-month-old capuchin monkey named JoJo started to make regular visits along with her couple owners Mary and Richard Van Houten, what else is a restaurant to do?

The Miami Herald reports that JoJo and another capuchin eating outside in the patio with their parents became such a regular thing, that waitstaff and customers soon referred to their visits as "Monkey Mondays". Monkey Mondays was a success for a while, but after an unfortunate incident occurring last July, the restaurant had to ban the little guys.

On July 16, the Van Houtens warned an eight-year-old boy Jaxson and his father, Joseph Ignelzi, that JoJo was "being hyper" on that particular day. But if you're an eight-year-old eating a meal and there's an honest-to-God monkey out on the front porch, why would you bother with all that food business?!

The Herald reports that Jaxson then pet JoJo, before returning to his dinner. It all seemed well and good, but when Jaxson returned to pet JoJo again once he and his dad were done with his meal, the monkey was not having it. She bit Jaxson on his pinkie finger, and this simple contraction of the jaw marked the end of Monkey Mondays.

Although the boy only suffered a minor cut, investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were forced to investigate the Van Houten's home, where the couple took care of as many as five monkeys. Although they deemed the home to be of adequate standard to house the monkeys, they did cite the Van Houtens for not having JoJo's rabies medication up to date - an issue they have since rectified.

Ramona Cook, manager at this particular Carraba’s Italian Grill, says they have decided to change their policy in the wake of this monkey business (sorry). Monkey Mondays, I'm sorry to say, will be no more. They're now going to adopt a policy "like at Publix"; from now on, the only animals allowed on the premises will be service dogs and ponies.

What, what was that about the ponies?