What Makes a Great Family Restaurant?

If you’re keeping an eye out for a new restaurant, you might be looking for something that will appeal to the whole family. Choosing a family restaurant doesn’t have to be a challenge, especially if you keep your options open and remain flexible as far as the entertainment goes. Even a standard eatery could be deemed a family hotspot if it’s suitable for everyone, but what about those of you that want to find a dedicated family-friendly establishment that prioritises food as highly as entertainment?

What are the differences between usual restaurants and those made for families and groups?

If you consider a regular eatery for a moment, you’ll most likely have an image of neatly arranged tables, an easily accessible bar area and either a buffet or kitchen where all of the food is prepared. Many brands focus on providing exactly this and as enjoyable as they can be – only parents will understand how difficult it can be to keep their children entertained at events like this.

When kids start to feel like they are lacking entertainment they often get fidgety and when this happens, the entire night can take a turn for the worse. It’s not the fault of the children; they might not understand the concept of fine dining, or eating out. It’s not the fault of the restaurant either, in fact even those that aren’t aimed at kids will often pull out all the stops to ensure that they are sufficiently entertained.

But to think that all of this could be avoided by booking a table (or two) at a dedicated family restaurant in the first place. So, what makes these facilities any different?

The making of a good family eatery

All family-oriented bars, cafés and restaurants will pay special attention to the types of guests that they are expecting to serve. These include young children (such as babies and toddlers), infants, teenagers, adults and the elderly. If the location isn’t equipped to deal with all of these visitors, then it won’t be able to claim family-friendly status.

For babies

All babies will need comfortable seating, especially high chairs. Most parents will bring a buggy with them, but some restaurants will go a little further by offering their own (on a temporary basis). As long as there are no smoking areas and changing rooms, most parents will appreciate the consideration.

For infants

Younger members of society typically love arts & crafts, toys and play areas. In the winter a restaurant might offer indoor entertainment features that cater to the above requirements, and during the summer there’s no reason why the dinner couldn’t be taken outdoors. As long as the facilities are safe and secure, that’s what really counts.

Teenagers and adults

Most adults and their older children will be pretty happy with music (live, or via a playlist), or a television playing the latest sports matches. Some eateries will go a little bit further by providing TV sets for each table, but this isn’t a huge deal. As long as some form of entertainment is going on, you won’t need to worry if the conversation hits a temporary barrier.

Elderly guests

Although many elderly individuals are still as capable as their own children (and even their grandchildren), it won’t hurt to have support when it’s needed. Toilets should be fitted with rails and emergency buttons, and comfortable seating should be provided as standard; with optional extra cushions for if grandparents would like a little more support as they eat their meals.