Things Restaurants Need to Know For Families Dining Out with Small Children
We’ve taken the family out to eat a handful of times since the twins arrived. It took me awhile to get up the courage to do it, more so out of the concern for other restaurant goers than myself.
The first time we all went out to eat it was awesome! Attentive service, kid-friendly atmosphere, and food that pleased the entire table.
Since then, I’ve started noticing things about restaurants, that aren’t too kid-friendly even when the restaurant itself is.
I am in no way saying that restaurants need to cater to families with small children. I prepare for those types of outings in every way, shape, and form.
That is my responsibility as a parent. But, there are some things that I expect from a restaurant when I take my small children out to eat.
Lately it seems like restaurants are letting those things slip. So, here are some things I wish restaurants knew for families dining out with small children.
1) Working Highchairs are a Necessity
If the straps on your highchair are broken or missing, it falls into the useless category for parents. Without straps, our ability to keep our child at our table (and limiting destruction to the restaurant) immediately drops to 10%.
Yes, the lack of highchair strapping at a restaurant gives parents a 90% success rate that their child will escape their chair. (Not a real statistic, a “just sayin'” statistic)
2) Timing of Food is Vital
If you bring my food, yet my small child has to wait for theirs…we have a problem. Especially with toddlers. Have you explained patience to a child when they are waiting for a Funny Face Pancake??
As a parent, I would love for their food to come out first, or at least with mine. That gives me a chance to cool down their food, cut up what I need to and still enjoy my meal while it’s somewhat warm.
3) Kids Menus for Little Kids
I love the concept of the kids menu, and the fun inside that is designed to occupy our child while the food is prepared. The problem, the majority of the Kids Menu customers are under the age of 5 and six games of tic-tac-toe are no bueno. Give the little kids something to actually color, even if it is a giant face of your restaurant mascot.
4) Please Still Check On Us
I know that our table can look chaotic when we go out to eat. Two highchairs, a teenager, a tween, and two parents trying to corral and organize everything.
Even among that chaos, we still have drinks that may need refilled, desserts the kids want to devour, or maybe we need our bill a little sooner so we can escape before a meltdown. Please still check on us, even in the chaos.
What do you wish restaurants knew when you take your family out to dinner?