How to Make Eating Out a Success

October 5th, 2011
Ever find yourself wanting to eat in a restaurant but are sure it will be a disaster?  Want to provide your children with the social experience of eating out, but have nightmares about how it will turn out?  Here are some hints of how to make eating out a success: -Go early so the restaurant is not too crowded, and the staff is not frazzled, but not too early when there might be a single server for the whole place.  You can call ahead to a restaurant to find out how many servers are working.  Never go anywhere that requires a wait for a table! -Avoid eateries that cater to families with children.  The food is awful and there are lots of kids whose behavior is not a good model for your children. -Avoid places that are so quiet you can hear glasses and silver wear clink, and avoid restaurants with loud or piped-in music.  It’s unpleasant and over-stimulating for children who can’t tune it out. -Order ahead.  Restaurants love quick turnover for their tables.  Call your order in, sit down, eat, and leave. -Request a booth off the main traffic route.  Sitting too close to senior citizens, in the main area, or close to the entrance can make you the entertainment for everyone. -Bring engaging activities.  Play a game while you wait like “I spy with my little eye.” -Have the server bring the check as soon as the food is ordered so that a quick exit is possible, if necessary. -Remind children about expected behavior and family or social rules before leaving home and again before entering the restaurant.  If you have to give more than one warning for each, leave! -Let other adults at the table know to decide immediately what they want, so they can order the first time the server approaches. -Tip well. -Keep your sense of humor!