To make our lunches more interesting, we try to have a discussion topic ready for lunch when the Fork You Crew dines together. Sometimes each person comes with an idea, sometimes topics simply emerge, and we’ve even had handouts before. This week, the issue of kids’ menus at upscale restaurants was tossed around.
I have been to some restaurants that do not have kids’ menus. That may be to discourage children or it could be to boost revenue by forcing parents to shell out for higher priced standard meals. In every case but one, I agree the restaurant really was not a place for young children. The exception: The Cheesecake Factory. But it’s not even upscale so they must be angling for higher check totals by eliminating kids’ portions.
I took my children to an expensive steak house in a larger city during vacation. They were 7 and 9 at the time. We were seated in the upper level away from the majority of the crowd. They were old enough not to throw a temper tantrum during the meal, but I was not offended by the segregation. Vacation meals pose a problem because you are unable to hire a sitter to stay with your children while you go out for a nice meal.
Personally, if I am out at a nice place where I expect to drop a C-note for dinner for two, I don’t want the soundtrack of the evening to be someone’s noisy kid. Or kids that get out of their chairs and walk around the place. If the children are old enough to sit there like the adults and be quiet, then that’s a different story. Places I would not take small children around Charleston: Chop House, Lawry’s, South Hills Market & Cafe, and Aubrey’s.
How do you feel? Do you take your kids everywhere? Does it bother you when your quiet evening is interrupted by a crying baby? Do you think the absence of a kids’ menu is the restaurant’s way of saying kids aren’t welcome?