Mystic, Connecticut

Eating at Restaurants with Kids: 4 Useful Tips

DenaSeptember 7, 2022

I have been wanting to share this post for years! I have been eating out at restaurants with kids for 9+ years now. Dining out is one of my favorite things, and even though doing so with kids can be tricky, we shouldn’t let that stop us from doing things we enjoy. In my almost-decade of experience eating at restaurants with kids, I’ve picked up a few helpful tips that I’ll share with you today. I hope that they will be as helpful for you as they have been for me.

Call Ahead with Questions

The first thing you’ll want to do is choose your location. Once you know where you want to eat, you can search for the best restaurants in the area. For instance, if you need the best breakfast in Fort Myers, you can search for the best cafes and restaurants nearby that offer the best meals. Ensure that you also read reviews about these restaurants to get an insight into what other customers say.

Once you have your restaurant selected call ahead with this list of questions:

1. If you have babies or toddlers — Do you have highchairs available? If they don’t, make sure that they have a space for a stroller because you don’t want to eat with little ones on your lap.
2. Do you have paper and crayons available? Many restaurants do, but if they don’t make sure you bring these along to pass the time during your wait for food.
3. When is service the busiest? Try to eat when things are slower because long lines + long waits for food do not mix well with little ones. If you need to opt for lunch over dinner, it will be worth it.

Order As Soon As You Are Seated and Ask for the Check When Your Food Arrives

If you can, check out the menu before you head to the restaurant and get an idea for what everyone wants to order. This will allow you to order your meals as soon as you sit and it will cut way down on waiting time. Additionally, as soon as your food comes out, ask for your check. This way you can enjoy your meal and then hop out of the restaurant within moments if little ones start to get fussy.

Ask for a Corner Table or Booth

It can be tempting to go for a table with a view or outdoor seating, but sometimes requesting a booth or a corner table inside is the best bet when dining with little ones. Sitting them in the inner-most spots helps to keep them from wanting to run around and encourages them to stay in their seats a little bit longer. It traps them in a bit and minimizes distractions.

Meal Price & Tipping

It’s so nice to enjoy a high-quality meal and this can definitely be done with little ones. But we also love to visit restaurants that have a reasonable children’s menu, too. Kid’s meals will often include a smaller portion, a drink and a dessert. It’s a great value and it cuts down on waste. There are also plenty of great restaurants that offer affordable meals for the entire party. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Lastly, don’t forget to tip generously. Waiting on little ones, and especially cleaning up after them, isn’t an easy task, so be sure to take good care of your waitstaff and thank them, too.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re dining out with little ones. My favorite tip and the one that has helped us the most is asking for the check when the food comes, so id nothing else, remember that one! Hope this post encourages you to get out there and start dining with your littles! Who knows, you may just find out that you have a future restaurant critic on your hands. xo

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