A good restaurant night with the family can be a great bonding experience and something you’ll remember the rest of your life if you choose the right place. It can also easily turn into a complete nightmare for everyone involved. There are things that most families can do to prevent a meltdown and make sure that everyone is happy at the end of the night, however. It all comes down to preparing properly and getting your family members as involved as possible. Let’s look at how you can make nights at the restaurant with the family less stressful.
Everything starts with your choice of restaurant. You first have to make sure that the restaurants you consider are friendly to children and families in the first place. One of the easiest ways to know if a restaurant is child-friendly is if they have a kids’ menu or discounts for children. Don’t assume that more upscale restaurants won’t accommodate you either. Restaurants like Fratelli Cicchetti, for instance, offer a fine dining experience in a family-friendly atmosphere. You can check out the special deals or get a reservation at fratelli-italian.co.uk.
We know you’d rather have all your family there, but you don’t want to force your teenagers to come. You can’t force them to have fun and they’re at an age where they’re beginning to assert their independence, so you have to accept that. One thing you could do, however, is go on one-on-one dates with them. This could allow you to go somewhere a bit nicer and have a heart-to-heart conversation with them. Let them choose the restaurant as well. This way, they’ll at least appreciate the experience and will also appreciate that you made some time for them.
You also need to lay out some rules before leaving and make sure that they know that there will be consequences if they’re not respected. Tantrums cannot be tolerated, and everyone has to be on the same page. You also have to let your children know that you’re ready to cancel the whole night if they misbehave. You should know, however, that you cannot expect a 3-year-old to act perfectly at a restaurant. So, if you have very young children, decide whether they can handle restaurants before you even think of taking them.
Children can start to get tired very early in the evening, so it would be a good idea to book the table in the mid-afternoon if it’s for supper. If you get to the restaurant around five or six, you never know when you’ll actually be able to sit at a table and get your food. So, go early if you don’t want to have an over-hungry or overtired child on your hands.
If you want your next time at the restaurant with the family to go as smoothly as possible, follow our advice. This will make sure that everyone has fun and looks forward to the next time you go.