We all want to have a good time when we go to restaurants. It’s a social affair where we bond with family (and friends if we bring them along as well). But bringing kids to dinner can be an issue for yourself as well as for other patrons.
Now, has anyone, I mean anyone, experienced going to a restaurant and see kids that behave like perfect gentlemen and ladies? Nope, it would be a miracle if that will happen. The reality is that young children can be bothersome companions. Although dining with children can challenging, it’s not impossible. There are ways to go about it.
If you can follow these simple tips, then you can kiss the headaches good-bye:
1. Plan the menu ” some restaurants have their menu displayed in the internet. Check it out ahead of time so you’ll know what to expect when you go there (This will make sense when you get to Number 7). If your children have allergies, call the restaurant ahead of time to ascertain that the dishes offered to your children are allergen free.
2. Visit the restaurant at off-peak hours ” in this way, you can avoid the rush and onslaught of hungry, cranky diners who have little patience for children. Your server will be able to pay more attention to you and your children which will make for a more pleasant dining experience.
4. Keep kids out of the way ” so that the kids won’t bother the waiters or the cooks passing by, try getting a window seating or having a seat beside the wall.
5. Be ready ” kids have energy and get bored easily, so bring a few things (drawing pad or quiet toys) to distract the children while waiting for your food to arrive.
6. Take a walk ” prior to heading to the restaurant to burn off the excess energy that makes kids want to run and play. This will open their appetites (less complaining about food choices) and get them nice and tired for the ride home.
7. Order right ” when the waiter goes to take your order for drinks, include the meals for the children as well. Hungry kids are cranky kids, so make sure their meal arrives promptly. Also, stay away from juices and sodas, the extra sugar is a sure way to ruin a dining experience.
8. Get appetizers ” this would work for multi-course meals. You can keep the kids from getting impatient as the main dish is being prepared.
9. No waiting ” if you have to wait for five or ten minutes before you can get a seat, then look for another restaurant. Your child’s cries are not worth the wait.
10. Be a generous tipper ” taking care of your child’s mess can be extra work for the staff, so be ready to compensate them. If the service was exceptional, tip 30% instead of 20%. You may be the person who changes your server’s outlook on kids.