Taking children out for food

(37 Posts)
mumtoone91 Sat 02-Jan-16 21:28:16

Hello, i work in a restaurant and we'd like to make it more appealing for family's. A little stuck for ideas how to do this so would like some mummy or daddy advice on how to , we have a soft play area and serve childrens meals. Thanks

Whataboutnodetox Sat 02-Jan-16 21:29:36

Children's plates and cutlery and disposable bibs help. Nice clean high chairs are much appreciate. Crayons / stickers and something to do is always a nice touch.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sat 02-Jan-16 21:31:44

Ask on your local Facebook group. People might know your place and give you really targeted advice.

NewBallsPlease00 Sat 02-Jan-16 21:32:53

Small portions of normal menu not just Iceland freezer rubbish!

BathshebaDarkstone Sat 02-Jan-16 21:33:28

Plastic tumblers. I'll pick the DC's brains in the morning too.

Seeyounearertime Sat 02-Jan-16 21:37:03

An outdoor play area for summer time.
There's a little Pub called The Goldcrest in Hull. It's a fab place.
The meals are gorgeous, well priced, beers cold etc.
Outside they have a small play area with a slide and climbing frame for the kids, inside they have toys etc.

It all just says "Kids welcome" and that is priceless.

Buttercup27 Sat 02-Jan-16 21:38:00

Our favourite place to eat has an area fenced off with toys in e.g. large bead tables , wall mounted puzzles and an interactive screen, all aimed at children 5 and under. It's great as the children can play safely while they wait for food.
Also they bring out the children's food as soon as its cooked (if you want) rather than waiting for everyone.
The best thing about their menu is that they have a 2 sections of the children's menu. A small tummy's (up to about 5/6) and a bigger child's section (can't remember what they call it) so a lot less wasted food.

ceeveebee Sat 02-Jan-16 21:38:05

I'm not a big fan of soft play areas in restaurants although I can see the attraction if my DCs were older (I prefer to keep them in sight as they're preschoolers).
Carluccios is great - they do a little bag which has activities and crayons in it, the food is excellent and well priced, very fast service, nice clean toilets and changing areas (not needed now but appreciated at the time!) and staff genuinely seem to like children, not tut at them!

ceeveebee Sat 02-Jan-16 21:39:11

Buttercup, that sounds good - where it that?

Iguessyourestuckwithme Sat 02-Jan-16 21:39:44

Plastic tumbler and plates, or chinaware for over 2s.
Nice selection of food - sandwiches, hot food (that's not nuggets or sausages)
Nice snack food selection - veg sticks, fruit, hummus, wraps, pitta bread, olives etc
Clean tables and hugh chairs or booster seats.
Free tap water readily available

SweetheartLittleLove Sat 02-Jan-16 21:42:44

Clean child-friendly toilets and baby changing facility

museumum Sat 02-Jan-16 21:44:49

Nice high chairs (ikea). Small cutlery (also ikea) and drawing / colouring sheets and pencils brought to the table with the menus make us happy.
Also space for buggies/prams.

RhubarbAndMustard Sat 02-Jan-16 21:46:13

Child cutlery and plastic glasses/ beakers; paper and crayons; food bought out first; good changing facilities; child friendly outdoor space if possible.

lljkk Sat 02-Jan-16 21:46:26

Chips. Serve ruddy chips in basket on own.

It's just too expensive to take the kids out for a full meal, honestly, so a pretty rare event for us. I don't eat out myself much any more, either. I can't get my head around 'small chat' over an expensive meal.

We do hit cafes for small snacks if they are on convenient walking routes.

Jbck Sat 02-Jan-16 21:49:14

Never assume children will want their meal served with other's starters, always ask.

If possible, a child friendly area is good so that people without children are distanced a bit if they wish. If this area is not on the path to and from the kitchen all the better.

Proper nice food, not all children eat chicken nuggets, or at least, good quality home made chicken nuggets.

Good luck, I like when I feel places have made a real effort to be child friendly, the Europeans do it so well and we don't generally.

Wolfiefan Sat 02-Jan-16 21:49:41

Put paper on the table. Sort of a table cloth and sort of for drawing on. Supply crayons. My kids loved this.
High chairs or booster seats provided.
Not crappy children's meals but proper food options including veg.
Kids like to take charge. Wraps with choice of fillings or decent pizza with choice of topping. Make your own dessert.
My older nearly teen loves a mocktail or decent milkshake.

Ughnotagain Sat 02-Jan-16 21:53:34

Nice high chairs for sure. Not those bloody awful wooden square ones they have in Wetherspoons. IKEA Antilop ones are ideal, cheap and cheerful (and much better than the weird expensive egg-shaped contraption I encountered in Yo Sushi the other day).

Baby changing facilities as well, if possible. Clean ones.

Whatdoidohelp Sat 02-Jan-16 21:54:16

Room to park buggies. Nice changing facilities. Toys.

hufflebottom Sat 02-Jan-16 21:54:32

Went somewhere once when I was younger that served up chips in a toy boat that we could then take home.

captainproton Sat 02-Jan-16 21:56:42

Use a proper plate, don't serve small children food that comes in silly little buckets/gimmicks or those plates that are very rectangular and thin and cannot stop food flying about the table.

One of my favourite places is harvester. They give crayons, serve weak squash in a big jug instead of expensive and syrupy fruit shoots, and once you've ordered you can immediately get some salad to keep the kids happy until the food arrives. So any restaurant with a salad buffet always goes top of the list.

Oh and clean toilets, low sink for kids to use etc

I really hate it when it takes ages for the kids food to arrive and it has invariably be nuked to death in a microwave seconds before serving as an afterthought. This means you can't feed the kids it until it's a lot lot cooler.

Hope that helps.

Goodbetterbest Sat 02-Jan-16 22:06:47

Two size options for kids meal, or better still half portions from the normal menu.

I absolutely hate the 'nuggets and chips' options. Lazy and unimaginative, but often the only thing the right size.

Ikea do dessert cutlery. Smaller versions of proper adult cutlery.

I hate soft play in restaurants. I don't like kids running around when hot food is being served.

Someone else mentioned Harvester and I think they do have a fairly good approach to family meals (even if the food is burnt and inedible). Yes to jugs of squash/water for the table.

Depends on the type of thing you want though. I've taken my DCs to restaurants since they were tiny and instilled 'restaurant behaviour'. I would have gone to one with soft play if we were out as a group but not just us. I'd actively steer clear now my youngest is 8. Ball pits <vom>

Goodbetterbest Sat 02-Jan-16 22:08:19

Don't serve ANY food in a gimmick for anyone. Slates, chopping board, mini chip fryer basket ... Just a plate will be fine grin

Goodbetterbest Sat 02-Jan-16 22:08:56

I sound like a right PITA don't I? smile

JessesGirl Sat 02-Jan-16 22:09:45

I think all it takes sometimes is a bit of common sense, things like don't fill a drink that is intended for a young child all the way to the top, child friendly cutlery and plates and bring the kids meals out first so I can quickly cut theirs up before my food arrives so we don't all end up in a complete mess on the table. I have two four year olds and we eat out a lot to stop me from going completely insane at home and the amount of places we go to that claim to be child friendly that really aren't is staggering. Common sense... 😉

yomellamoHelly Sat 02-Jan-16 22:10:52

Pot of pens / crayons / pencils and some kind of activity / colouring in. Pasta on childrens's menu.

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