Dining at a lakeside restaurant is undoubtedly one of the highlights and coolest points of any trip with the family, whether at home or on vacation in the Masuria region. However, keep in mind that you need to take “some” time, which can seem like an eternity to a child, to choose a dish, prepare it and enjoy the meal in a beautiful setting. Fortunately, restaurants are opening up to cater to families and are becoming more innovative in their approach. There are amenities for the little ones, such as high chairs, a play area and numerous activities, so anxious parents can dine in peace.
Therefore, with you and your children in mind, we have compiled a list of what to look for when choosing a restaurant for a family dinner.
What makes restaurants for families with children special?
Parents of toddlers will not be without a stroller when taking their children into the restaurant’s world of tasty dishes. As a result, just getting into a restaurant is often a big pain. When choosing a restaurant, consider the size and openness of the room. Of course, a separate area with space for strollers is the best option a restaurant can provide for its youngest customers (so-called “stroller parking”). Another issue is the transition from the vestibule to the dining room.
The ability to move between tables is key, as not all parents leave their stroller at the door. However, enough space is not enough. The key element is to have the right equipment:
What aspects of the restaurant should you consider?
- Do they have high chairs in the restaurant.
- Do they have cutlery and crockery for children.
- Are the toilets suitable for children, including toilet seat, footstool, baby toilet, sink of appropriate height, changing area, etc.?
- Are there child-friendly activities next to the table so we can keep an “eye” on the children.
How can toddlers be entertained while waiting for their meal?
There are several ideas. Especially popular are the games and cards available at the restaurant. In addition, more and more restaurants have play areas for toddlers (sometimes called a “play area”), where young children can burn off energy and time passes quickly and pleasantly, not just for children.
This is an especially nice time for parents, as they can have a quiet meal while keeping an eye on their young children. For this reason, it is important that the restaurant’s children’s area be close to the tables.
If you observe that your child is very active both before and after the meal, give him some time to play in the “play corner” before the meal, and at the table encourage him to draw pictures depicting food, for example.
In addition to toys and games for children, the restaurant should have trained staff who understand how to interact with families and what rules to follow. Restaurant staff should come to the table to start the order. This is the perfect opportunity to ask your child to eat first. In this way, you can gently help while the little ones are eating. The child will thus avoid uncomfortable waiting for food and burping in the tummy.
Finding the perfect balance between catering to toddlers and the demands and expectations of adults is therefore the responsibility of the service.
After the meal, in some restaurants children may be given a modest surprise gift, but the staff should quietly obtain parental permission in advance.
When choosing a restaurant for families with children, consider the menu. We’re not just talking about basic spaghetti when we say that restaurant menus should provide balanced, healthy meals. It is recommended to order a small portion of a typical lunch for children who want to behave like adults and who are not impressed by the crazy names of the dishes. Let the child choose the size of the meal, asking what he or she wants.
Ask the waiter if it can be modified if it differs from the portions listed on the menu.
Also pay attention to the amount of spices and allergenic ingredients.
How should parents choose a restaurant when taking their children on vacation?
Finding a decent children’s restaurant in one’s community is often easy; parents simply ask their friends, relatives and acquaintances for recommendations. However, the situation becomes a bit more complicated when traveling far from home. Before you leave, prepare and research in many sources.
- Do you find your own experiences and comments from loved ones insufficient?
- Check out various restaurant comparison apps, thematic websites and discussion forums.
- Many of them have customized search options that are designed specifically for parents of young children.
One of them is the page of Tumiany Campground and attractions for children, where you can choose an interesting place to spend the day with your family.
A restaurant with an outdoor playground will please you in summer, but a restaurant with a specialized area for toddlers will be more apt in winter. Think about the requirements that the restaurant should meet so that you will leave dancing and wanting to return to the chosen Restaurant again.
How can you improve your family’s restaurant experience?
Here are some tips from us.
For both parents and children, dining out can be a wonderful experience. However, it’s worth considering periodically whether others dining at the restaurant share your point of view. To no one’s surprise, toddlers can sometimes be loud, they are everywhere and always want to be the center of attention. This probably won’t be a problem in restaurants that welcome families. However, try to take into account the comfort of other customers, maintain a friendly environment and remember a few basics.
- Provide the waiter with information about the number of guests and the ages of your children when booking a table at the restaurant. This will give the staff more time to prepare for your visit, such as bringing high chairs or making sure the right cutlery is on the table.
- Adjust meal times to the child’s preferences and try to choose a time of day when the restaurant will not be too crowded.
- Before leaving home, talk to your toddler and explain to him the appropriate behavior in a restaurant. However, in doing so, set reasonable goals. It’s not that the child should be completely silent and act as if it doesn’t exist. However, it should not shout loudly and disrupt the meal for the other guests.
- If at all possible, avoid placing siblings next to each other, as children, especially siblings, like to play tricks on each other or play pranks on each other.
- Take enough of your favorite toys just in case. There are many activities available in restaurants for children, but your favorite doll, book or crayons should not be missing. Toys that are noisy should be put aside so as not to disturb other guests.
- Your little one needs a lot of your attention. Don’t expect your little one to take care of themselves, even when eating gourmet meals at a fine restaurant is the perfect way to relax. Spend some time with him on the playground or help him with a coloring book. Wait patiently until he is fully engaged in the game. Then you will have some time for yourself again.
- When leaving the restaurant, praise your child for good behavior. Tell her what you liked best about her actions, but also point out the negative elements By talking together, you can come to conclusions and prevent her from repeating the same mistakes on future visits to the restaurant.
- Inform the restaurant staff of your findings. Any restaurant that receives constructive feedback is motivated to make improvements. Good words from Customers for Service are a source of pride.
Taking a toddler to a restaurant is undoubtedly an interesting experience. The first step to success is thoughtful planning. Ask among your friends about child-friendly dining establishments and the specifics of their amenities. In addition, pay attention to the recommendations of other parents. Any group visit to a restaurant should focus on eating together in a relaxed environment and having fun to feel the holiday spirit.