I just love going to London and we have been several times with our boys but not since they turned teenagers. I really want to go back. I have to say though when they were younger restaurants probably got the wrong impression that kids only eat chips, sausages and beans! I have to say my two love a good proper meal.
I would love to go back and take them to restaurants where they could eat a three course meal, topped off with a trio of desserts. I know that restaurants now have much better options for children and teenagers. To find a great selection of restaurants I recommend you search Square Meal.
If you need help with getting the most out of meal time in a restaurant especially if you have toddlers or young children I have highlighted some tips below which I think will help you:
1. Call ahead.
Call the restaurant to make sure they have what you need in terms of a high chair, a booster seat or if you need other equipment to help you all enjoy the meal.
2. Pick your moment.
It can get busy in restaurants so choose when you go. If your child needs a nap at a certain time then it might be appropriate to go when it’s less busy so you child can have a sleep afterwards and you can relax with your partner and enjoy the coffee and cake afterwards! You could opt for a weekday instead rather than weekend.
3. Place your order.
You can view menus online now and to make sure things go smoothly you can order in advance. Give your child the opportunity to look at the menu and decide what they would like. Ordering ahead of time will make sure your order is ready when you arrive, this cuts down on time wasted and any potential tantrums!
Of course letting you child eat too soon and then there is a long delay to dessert is also a disaster waiting to happen so balancing the time is important.
4. Walk while you wait.
Children and indeed teenagers don’t like to wait, so make sure they have something that will keep them occupied, whether that is drawing, games or tablets. Although something that is not too noisy is more appropriate. You could also take your child outside between courses to go for a quick stroll or allow them to explore the restaurant if it’s not too busy.
5. Eat and run.
While it’s not ideal, if things don’t work out then eat and run. Don’t linger over coffee or skip the coffee altogether. You know your child so take your cue from them.
I hope these tips help you in your decision to take your child/teenager out to a restaurant. It can be a rewarding time spent over dinner as long as everyone is happy and there are no grumpy faces!
Are there any other tips you would recommend when taking children out to restaurants? I’d love to hear them.