A friend of a friend (who is both a waitress and mother of young kids) offered up the following tips for dining out with LOs:
#1, When bringing children to a restaurant if ...they are screaming a high pitched horror movie scream, it's time to pack it up and go!
#2 If you give your child tortilla chips, cherrios, whatever they need to keep quiet, it would be nice to throw a couple of extra dollars to the person that has to spend the extra 5 minutes cleaning up that table disaster.
#3 When your child is dumping out all the sugar caddies and ripping up the kids menu into tiny shreds to throw under the table...stop them!
So here's the Poll:
- How often do you take LO out to restaurants?
- What tips have worked for you?
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO?
- How often do you take LO out to restaurants? Usually once a week (Saturday night with DH0
- What tips have worked for you? Go early, 5pm (even earlier!) and pick a family-friendly place. I figure anyone eating at such restaurant at 5pm should be comfortable with loud kids, lol. Also, lately LO is easily amused by the little things - straps, hookrs, straws, etc....but just in case, we do bring a lot of other things to distract her.
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? No...but if she is ansy while we're waiting for the bill, one of us will take her out of the high chair and walk with her throughout the restaurant (again, it is very early in the evening, so usually not crowded).
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? If the service is good/prompt, then yes.
- How often do you take LO out to restaurants? At least once a week, usually after church on Sunday.
- What tips have worked for you? Giving him cherrios, crackers, some applesauce, anything to keep him occupied until his food comes.
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? Not yet!! We have always taken DS with us everywhere we go so he was exposed to everything at a young age and it isn't something exciting and new to him.
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? Generally he doesn't make a mess. We bring along his placemat and if he misses his mouth, it either hits the bib or the "catch tray" on the placemat.
LOL, the tips are so true! We do a modified version of number one, more of the three strikes you're out. Everytime he gets crazy, one of us will take him outside the restaurant and walk around with him, but by the third time, we just leave. I feel like we need to at least make an attempt to wait for our meals :/
- How often do you take LO out to restaurants? Well, after the last few times of dining out, not often! He was really good when he was first old enough to sit in a highchair, but now he hates having to still for a meal that long. It is a pain.
- What tips have worked for you? Crayons (although it is a constant battle to keep him from doing "murals"), lots of snacks. Also, the more people who are there to entertain him, the better. When it is just me and DH, we know we are screwed.
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO?Yes, a lot unfortunately. The most recent time I had to leave early from a seafood restaurant down the shore, the ONLY time we went out to eat that week. The last time we went out to a sit-down restaurant, we had to leave too. And that was at the IHOP, so you know it must have been bad LOL
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? I definitely tip higher when LO is with us. Not by alot, because I think I always tip pretty well. I also try to do my best to clean up some of the stuff he throws on the floor so it isn't too much for the server to deal with.
- How often do you take LO out to restaurants? Usually about once a month.
- What tips have worked for you? We always bring toys and snacks for before the food comes. She loves to watch people (I'm sure she'd enjoy watching hookers too though we haven't seen any) and we tell her "that's a man, that's a woman, that's a baby", etc.
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? Not yet but again, we don't go very often either.
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? No, I try to clean up the worst of it and then I just tip what I'd always tip.
My DD always zones in on the waitress, she just knows that's who's going to be bringing her food and she always keeps her eye on her, almost like she's worried she'll give her food to someone else if she's not watching her close.
How often do you take LO out to restaurants? Once every 2-3 weeks. She has zero patience at her age to sit still for very long. If we get something to eat when we don't have a babysitter we usually oder it to go and DH picks it up.
- What tips have worked for you? I go during less busy times so we for sure don't go during rush times. We also pick family friendly restraunts where it's ok for her to be loud occasionally. Also, if I know she's hungry or soon will be I either feed her a light snack before we go or pack a few snacks in her diaper to keep her busy at the table. The last thing we need is a hunger melt down.
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? So far no but we have takem turns eatting before. One eats while the other walks LO around.
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? I'm so anal I am always crawling under the table and picking up large food off the floor. So I'm pretty good about picking up her mess. But if Stella's be a total turd then I for sure leave extra cash as thanks for putting up with us.
Me (27) DH (27) DD Stella born 3/10/2009 Baby Boy's EDD 1/28/11
How often do you take LO out to restaurants? NEVER anymore!
- What tips have worked for you? Nothing anymore! We try toys, coloring, ordereing his food to come out before ours. The only thing that has worked so far with us...letting DS drink a shake!
- Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? Yes! DS does not like to sit still anymore. He doesnt like the high chairs, boosters or even just sitting on his own. He wants to run the place. When we dont let him he gets really mad and throws a fit and screams. I waitressed for a lil over 5 years in multiple different restaurants and I DO NOT like letting my kid cry it out in the middle of a place. I know others dont like to listen to kids cry like that when theyre trying to enjoy their meal. So I dont sit there and just let my kid scream and make everyone else 'deal with it' since thats what they should expect going out.....I take him outside try to calm him down...but 90% of the time we just leave cuz I dont want to deal with it. People say they;ll never learn if u dont take them in public....i think its crap...they will eventually. So no we dont go out to restaurants anymore. Stores yes.
- Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? I try to keep the area clean as we go. But if I fail to do so then yes Ill throw a couple extra bucks for someone else to clean it. Again used to be in the business so I know how it can be!
How often do you take LO out to restaurants? Probably twice a week.
What tips have worked for you?
Have his sippy ready and available immediately
Order his meal as soon as the waiter/waitress arrives
Offer him snacks while he waits for food (doesn't always take them)
Keep him entertained. My husband and I take turns chatting with him.
Eat quickly. We used to be able to relax through our meals, but now we try to make it quick.
Radiohead is our savior! The kid loves this band, so we often play Radiohead songs from our iPhones if he really starts to get cranky. It works miracles. Haha!
Something sweet at the end of the meal usually keeps him going a little longer. Last night, we had chocolate cake after dinner. He was happy to behave for a few bites!
Have you ever had to leave the restaurant early due to LO? Yes. Just a couple weeks ago. We headed out to a local restaurant, and Joey was a complete handful. We left without finishing our meals. That was the first time we had to leave. He's been good since.
Do you leave a large tip when LO makes a mess? Usually, I clean it up myself, but regardless, since we've had him, we've left slightly larger tips. But that's mainly because the wait staff butters us up with their admiration of him. :)
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