Wetherspoons pubs are advising parents to stick to two alcoholic drinks if they are with their children.
The UK-wide pub chain has said the guidelines are intended to prevent “unruly behaviour” from children who are left unsupervised.
Wetherspoons clarified that the rule applies to children under the age of 16 and has been in place for the last eight years.
The advice came to light after a Wetherspoons pub named the Robert Pocock in Gravesend, Kent put a poster outside informing visitors of it.
The poster, which has now been taken down, read: “As part of our licensing it is our responsibility to ensure that we are protecting children from harm.
“Therefore adults in charge of children will be allowed to have one alcoholic drink and a further alcoholic drink with a sit-down meal.”
Some visitors photographed the poster and shared their reactions on social media, with many criticising the guidance.
“Surely the rule should be to ask parents of any badly behaved children to leave whether or not they’re drinking alcohol?” tweeted one person, who described the guidance as “judgemental”.
Meanwhile, another wrote: “This will not go down well”.
However, not everyone was quite so critical, with one parent calling the move a “step in the right direction”, adding: “Employees of anywhere which sells alcohol have the right to work in safe environments, free from drama, and awful behaviour”.
Another person applauded the sign and also argued that children “shouldn’t be allowed into pubs at all”.
Wetherspoons has since clarified its stance on parents drinking alcohol in a statement given to The Independent.
“Our pubs welcome children under the age of 16 with an adult. They must order a meal," said spokesperson Eddie Gershon.
“There is a guideline, though not a policy, that we will serve the adult a maximum of two alcoholic drinks with their meal.
“This has been the situation in our pubs for the past eight years. The reason is that we don’t want children being unruly in the pubs and parents thinking they can continue to drink while this happens.”