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Tell McDonald’s what’s important to you when eating out with your family - £300 voucher to be won! NOW CLOSED!

(573 Posts)
EmmaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Feb-18 11:12:20

Whilst eating out with the family can provide a much-needed treat and opportunity to reconnect, it can also entail much compromise in order to ensure that all members are satisfied with the outing. McDonald’s UK is keen to find out what is running through your mind when it comes to making that often tricky dining decision whilst keeping smiles on everyone’s faces.

Here what McDonald’s has to say: “We’re looking at new options for our Happy Meal and invited Mumsnet behind the scenes as we started the food development journey! Our restaurants have changed, options like kiosk ordering and table service make it easier for families to enjoy our food but we want to know what you look for when eating out as a family.”

Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, visiting your favourite family restaurant or simply popping into a local take away, we want to know on what basis you make such decisions. Is it the provision of colouring sheets for the kids, or haute cuisine for the more mature members of the family? Maybe you find it difficult to identify a restaurant with menus capable of pleasing all parties and resort to visiting several locations? Is making sure your children’s meals are well balanced or that the location is family friendly important to you?

Whatever your main considerations are when choosing somewhere to eat out with your family, please share them below and you will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a £300 voucher of your choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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OP’s posts: |
pestov Thu 15-Feb-18 16:08:31

Clean high chairs that go right up to the table and room for a pram nearby! DD is an excellent eater so can go to most restaurants if there's room for her, but so many have high chairs as an afterthought and they don't fit under the table or have a tray

TeddyIsaHe Thu 15-Feb-18 16:11:51

Healthy kids food! So often the kids menu is some form of breaded thing and chips. Can’t stand it.

High chairs that are clean (Wagamama’s) that clip onto the table are fab as dd really feels part of the action.

Somewhere that having a toddler isn’t going to bother other diners. I love eating out with dd but tend to go to child appropriate places as I think there’s nothing worse than shelling out for a nice meal to have a kid screeching nearby.

DailyMailareDicks Thu 15-Feb-18 16:13:41

I have no problem with McD as a treat, but do not want DS to be marketed to at all. Happy meals with toys in, 1 of 8 to collect o er x period, encourages kids (and parents) to buy McD more often than is healthy. For this reason alone, I will not allow my DS to eat there. Only if this changes will I allow the occasional McD.

foxessocks Thu 15-Feb-18 16:14:11

Good toilet facilities things like low down sinks for small children to wash their hands - always appreciate that. Lots of highchairs that are clean and not those horrible folding wooden ones that costa have! Food wise I'm not actually that bothered if it isn't healthy because I see it as a a treat anyway. Less salt on kids chips is good not sure if that is already done though.

Ashhead24 Thu 15-Feb-18 16:16:50

Somewhere with a family friendly atmosphere where you won't be glared at for bringing a toddler in. Somewhere that provides cups toddlers can drink out of and not just glasses. Somewhere that provides food that a toddler will eat for reasonable prices that have at least one type of vegetable on the plate.

Wetherspoons provide a snack the minute you order to keep little ones going whilst you wait for food.

ChristmasCakes Thu 15-Feb-18 16:18:15

As above high chairs are important. I like to go somewhere I can give DS a Little taste of what I am having but McDonald's food is pretty salty so I try not if we are there. It would be great if they had a little selection of finger foods for children who are too young for happy meals but not just fruit - a proper little dinner. They are still part of the family after all.

Royalsteph Thu 15-Feb-18 16:26:09

We went to a pub recently that had booths with tvs in, whilst I don't normally let my kids watch TV when eating this was good as a treat. Also places that offer plenty of room, we have a double pram and usually have to leave it far away from where we are sitting. If there are tables crammed in together it puts me off. Plenty of kids activities and not just the usual crayons and paper that get ruined in 5 seconds.

ReelingLush18 Thu 15-Feb-18 16:26:58

Value for money and healthy inclusions. Also a 'tween/teen' option rather than Happy Meals. Not all teenagers (particularly girls) have huge appetites (or more than pocket money to spend) but they get beyond wanting to be seen with a Happy Meal.

MammieBear Thu 15-Feb-18 16:30:29

A healthy well balanced meal for children is very important, clean highchairs and equipment, tables, chairs and of course baby changing area and toilets. Knowledgeable staff that can help with any important questions you may have regarding ingredients and nutrition and last but not least a child friendly atmosphere where you don't feel your being rushed.

BuckysRoboticArm Thu 15-Feb-18 16:36:20

Cleanliness. Clean tables, chairs, floors, toilet, everything. This makes me very happy. I also used to appreciate it when the high chairs were in good working order, no broken straps for example, and when they fit with the tables nicely, were easy to move about etc

Keeping on top of the pencil crayons in the colouring in section is always good. Wherever we go (not just food places) where there is a colouring station they are either broken or need sharpening. Kind of defeats the purpose. Some places give new little packs of crayons which is always nice but McDonalds probably gets too busy for that tbh. (The balloons are always a nice touch in McDonalds by the way.)

FuzzyPenguin Thu 15-Feb-18 16:39:21

I tell you what doesn't help! Having a member of staff wandering between the tables selling the cakes when you are already eating your ordered food. I can't complain to loudly as it was raising funds for the Ronald McDonalds houses but still once DS3 sees the cakes he wants them.

Anyway back to the original question, aside from the normal clean facilities, space to park buggy would be nice saves blocking the aisles.

Abis04 Thu 15-Feb-18 16:42:09

Good service with people who are polite and know the menu enough to answer questions about allergens etc.

Somewhere that's clean, from the toilets to the tables. It's especially important to have toilets that are big enough to change an older child.

As for food, a good variety of food is important - both my kids like different things! Anything to keep them entertained is a bonus!

HermanCakeDestroyer Thu 15-Feb-18 16:43:19

I have teenage children. I’ve asked them what they like in a restaurant and they said they like the option of mayonnaise as a dip. They also like booths for families with TVs in. As a parent I would appreciate healthier options for teenagers. I think an app to order at your table would be good for teenagers. Good music to listen to would be appreciated. A pic and mix meal would also be good with healthy options for teenagers if they want them.

smartiecake Thu 15-Feb-18 16:51:21

Mcdonalds is our 'go to' choice as a family. We have 2 son's aged 13 and 10 and the youngest has autism and a severe nut allergy.
For us a successful eating experience requires
Confidence in the allergy listings and options for my son with his allergy and limited food choices due to his asd. I hate sitting scanning a menu trying to find something he would consider eating.
Flexibility so that there are choices for the rest of the family whether burgers or a healthy choice.
The food arrives quickly for hungry children (especially one who cannot wait).
That we can easily order a top up or extra if the kids need more.
That the menu offers enough flexibility for my older son who eats larger portions than a 'childs menu' but still wants kid friendly food choices.
There is options to keep them entertained - not colouring for ours now they are too old but both love the ipads mcdonalds offer instore.
Also essential is that we can easily locate a food choice that even the fussiest of our bunch will eat and enjoy. And for our youngest that means that the chips dont taste 'funny' and he doesnt eat them after we have sat and waited.
Also an affordable family option that doesnt cost half a weeks food shop for one meal!
For us McDonalds ticks all the boxes and we all eat something, the kids love it. I am happy knowing the food is nut free and safe for my son to eat and also happy that my son has eaten a decent amount and enjoyed his food.
We have tried many other chain options and independent places and none are anywhere as convenient for us, and often the nut allergy presents a problem. We have also eaten McDonalds in Europe and the USA on holiday as again we know its safe and the kids will eat it.
Oh and we are loving the gumball happy meal toys at the moment as this is a popular show in our house!

JellySlice Thu 15-Feb-18 16:55:22

Decent food, decent service, clean environment, reasonable cost.

NoStraightEdges Thu 15-Feb-18 16:59:52

Veggie food-and McDonald's are pretty far behind in this area TBH. We'd probably eat much more McDonald's food if there was more than one crappy veggie burger on the menu, sonperhaos you're doing us a favour!

NoStraightEdges Thu 15-Feb-18 17:01:17

*so perhaps

TerfsUp Thu 15-Feb-18 17:03:26

Quick service, clean eating areas and restrooms.

PerfectlySymmetricalButtocks Thu 15-Feb-18 17:04:43

Somewhere close to home, as we eat out once a week after clubs and the DC are tired.

Floralnomad Thu 15-Feb-18 17:06:26

Cleanliness and a gluten free option .

Telltaletall Thu 15-Feb-18 17:12:24

Quick service
Special touches like balloons and staff that are chatty/nice to the kids
Clean toilets
I love the mcds with play areas as keeping my kids sitting still in impossible

I'd like a better range of fruit juices for kids and something smaller than a happy meal, like a snack meal for kids of say, chips, veg and a drink

MissTFied Thu 15-Feb-18 17:14:33

We are happy with the food that is offered as we take it for what it is - a fast food treat restaurant. We go back because it's good value and the places are consistent.
Sometimes we use the self ordering system, sometimes we go to the tills.
Our children like the Happy Meals, but I am getting fed up of the plastic tat toys which I throw out after a week. I'd prefer more practical toys like when you had Lego/Ice Age cups, or small tubs like Shaun the Sheep tubs.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Thu 15-Feb-18 17:23:12

Fast service, things being in stock and a clean environment (tables, high chairs, toilets etc). I agree that the toys designed for children to collect them are off putting. If you take more than one child, you end up with duplicates as well which is utterly pointless. I also have a real problem with the amount of plastic tag that is given out. It all invariably ends up in landfill so when McDonalds are thinking about recycling waste, perhaps they ought to consider the amount of plastic that is generated for the Happy Meal Toys.

Tap water! I’ve asked if I can have tap water in the past and have been looked at as if I was an idiot because ‘there is bottled water available’. I didn’t need to use more plastic, I had a bottle with me and nowhere else makes a big deal about this.

The fruit bags are frequently out of stock too. Hence the comment about things being in stock!

LooksLikeImStuckHere Thu 15-Feb-18 17:23:38

Tat, not tag.

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