Keeping children happy in a restaurant is the responsibility of both the caregivers and the owner of the establishment. Of course not all restaurants are designed for people to take their children to. Yet if yours is then you need to make sure parents feel comfortable bringing them in. The more you can do to help them keep their children happy the better it will be. Your other guests will appreciate it too because they can enjoy their meal with out children being upset or crying.
If you don't already offer booths and tables in your business you need to consider doing so. Not everyone feels comfortable sitting in a booth or there are large groups and tables are nice. Many families do like to seat in booths though. It makes it easier to keep children safe and to help them with their food.
For very small children you need to be offering both booster chairs and high chairs. At a table a child is more likely to fall from a booster chair though. With a booth they have some support on the sides. High chairs are a necessity for people with young children and they will expect you to have enough on hand to meet the demand.
The wait can seem like eternity for some children when they are sitting still and waiting for their food. They may be so hungry they just can't wait. If you don't offer something complimentary when guests sit down then you may ask the parents if they want you to bring out something quickly for the children. They may want some crackers or even some mashed potatoes before the rest of the food comes out.
Games are something that children of all ages can take part in. Come of with some fun ones that don't have too many rules. These games can be placed on the table for everyone to enjoy. Look for those they can build with or easily get the hang of. You want to make sure you don't have very small pieces that a child can choke on and that everything can easily be washed.
Nothing is simpler that providing them with a page to color or to do activities on though. It can be something related to your business or to the season. Try to get new ones in on a regular basis too. This way children that come in frequently don't end up bored as they have already done that one over and over again.
Parents know better than anyone else what is going to keep their children entertained for a meal. This is why they may bring in some things from home. They don't want to deal with a restless child while they are dining out. It can be embarrassing when your two year old is throwing a temper tantrum in a restaurant.
Make sure your restaurant is appealing to those with children. This will bring plenty more business your way. It is understandable that not every type of restaurant is appropriate to bring children into. Yet if you are leaning in that direction then you definitely want to be as accommodating as possible.
Patrica Farnham is a veteran on the restaurant industry. She now writes about her experiences in the restaurant industry , and starting a restaurant , on her website.