Eating Out With Children
Eating out when traveling with children can be an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always interesting.
If you plan carefully, your family can have a pleasant dining experience without ruining the wait staff's day.
First, try to plan restaurant visits during less busy times. Waiting in long lines for a table, slow service and harried wait staff do not make for a pleasant meal for anyone. Small children get bored easily and a bored, hungry child is an unhappy child.
Let your children snack before leaving for the restaurant. In this case, it's not going to ruin the child's appetite to snack before hand. A small snack will tide the child over while they wait to order, and wait for their meal.
Look for kid friendly places to eat. Many mid-priced restaurants are family friendly. They offer kid menus, crayons and table games, and designated 'kids eat free' periods through out the day. And let's face it, eating out with the whole family can be expensive, so free is always good.
When you have the whole family in tow, be especially generous when you tip your wait staff. Most servers go out of their way to be friendly to your kids. Acknowledge that and let your server know it's appreciated.
Let your child choose what they want from the menu. They're more likely to eat what is served if they ordered it themselves.
If you have small children or babies, be sure to clean up after them. It's a fact of life babies and toddlers will spill drinks, throw food on the floor and smear catsup on the table. Be considerate of the restaurant staff. Pick up food from the floor, wipe up the spilled drinks and scrape the catsup off the table.
Be a good customer and you'll likely to be greeted with a smile the next time you bring your family in for dinner.