When dining out with kids, choosing a good family restaurant that caters to all the needs of young children is crucial. What makes an ideal restaurant for families with young kids? What do parents need to do? Here are some ideas for parents.
Choose Child-Friendly Restaurants
Waiting is a big part of restaurant dining. Diners typically have to wait to have their orders taken, wait for the food to arrive and wait to pay for their food. All this waiting is certainly no fun for kids. So be sure to choose child-friendly restaurants that provide coloring placemats, crayons or pencils that can keep children amused while waiting for their food. Colorful and child-sized utensils will enhance restaurant dining experience for young kids too.
If there is a baby in the family, make sure the restaurant provides high chairs and has ample space to move a pram around or put a baby bassinet on. Get the names of child-friendly restaurants from friends and families or do a quick Internet search to find a kid-friendly family restaurant.
Ensure Children’s Menu is Available
Many restaurants have a children’s menu. If unsure, call ahead to ask if it is available. However, kids’ menus tend to be quite limited and the kids may not be able to find something they like. In that case, ask the waiter if the kids can choose from the standard menu but have the meal prepared in a smaller portion. Parents of children with food allergies will also need to ensure that the restaurant they plan to dine in can cater for them.
Look for Restaurants With Friendly Staff
Word of mouth is crucial here as personal experience is the only way to tell if a restaurant truly have friendly and helpful staff. Some restaurants have waiters and waitresses who genuinely enjoy serving young children and take the time to amuse them. Some family restaurants even have mascots or clowns, a sure hit with kids.
Ask About Busy Times at Restaurant
When a restaurant is crammed full until the noise level is intolerable, the kids will start to get very cranky too. So It’s always wise to dine out with kids when the restaurant is quieter. Call ahead to ask what the busiest and quietest times are. Book the family table situated at a quiet corner when there are not that many diners around.
To enjoy restaurant dining with kids, parents must choose a good family restaurant. Go to one that comes with child-friendly facilities and services, a children’s menu or standard dishes that can be modified for smaller eaters as well as friendly, helpful staff. Parents should also pick a quieter time to dine at the restaurant.