Taking kids out to eat at a restaurant can be a wildly amusing (or terrifying) experience. Kids show a lot of character when their patience is tested, their environment is foreign and when they need to entertain themselves. Over the past several weeks, The Dish has done its best to offer advice and perspective on taking the entire family out for a quality restaurant experience, but we have yet to offer a view from the other side of the table. For that reason, we reached out to some of our Restaurant.com staff and asked their kids some questions on what they think about dining out.
Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?
The young subjects we interviewed included were Alexis German; the 11-year-old daughter of Tania German, Director of Marketing and Communication at Restaurant.com; Louie and Christopher Bryja, the 10-year-old twin sons of Email Marketing Director Louie Bryja; and Olivia and Lucy Gordon, 6-year-old twin daughters to staff writer and The Dish contributor Jill Gordon.
1. What is your favorite part of dining out (or going out to dinner)?
Alexis G.: I like to go out to eat because I can choose what I want to eat and don’t have to eat what my mom or dad makes.
I wonder how mom is going to like this reponse?
Christopher B.: My favorite part of going out to eat is the eating part.
A smart Alec or is he just being logical/just a boy of simplicity?
Louie B.: I also like the fact that depending on the place, the cook will actually cook in front of you.
2. What do you not like about dining out (or going out to dinner)?
Lucy G.: Getting in trouble for not eating.
I guess the food isn’t always a priority for kids when they dine out.
Louie B.: I don’t like sitting down and waiting for the food to come once you place your order. Waiting too long gets boring, and you try to figure out things to do while you are waiting, which usually gets me in trouble.
In most cases, I find any kid’s self-awareness to be admirable.
Alexis G.: In a sit down restaurant, they bring your drink first. I usually finish my drink before the meal comes. Then, I’m full and don’t get to enjoy the yummy drink with my meal.
An age-old issue for kids since the dawn of the sit-down restaurant. Fast service alleviates this problem slightly.
3. How often would you LIKE to go out to eat?
Olivia G.: Five times per week
Future suitors be cautioned.
Lucy G.: Twice per week
She must be a bigger fan of her parents’ cooking. That or she has a better concept of what brownie points are.
Alexis G.: Five times per week
I’m telling you, boys. Be cautious, you’ll thank me later…
Louie B.: Everyday
It looks like the boys aren’t being bashful.
Christopher B.: Everyday
Or maybe they are just less confident in their ability to cook for themselves? I know I was (still am).
4. Do you like fast casual (fast food) or fancy (sit down) restaurants?
Alexis G.: A sit down restaurant (not really fancy restaurants though). I like these restaurants because they take more time and I get to enjoy everything.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the total dining experience.
Louie B.: Fast Food, because you don’t have to sit and wait. Sit down restaurants are boring.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with it, unless you’re an anxious 10-year-old boy.
Christopher B.: I like fancy sit down restaurants because you can get whatever you want. It is better because you can actually talk to people before your meal.
My guess is Chris doesn’t like to order from the kids menu.
5. Do you prefer ordering from the kid’s menu or adult menu?
Christopher B.: Adult Menu, because I eat A LOT!
I guessed correctly
Louie B.: Adult Menu, because the kids portions aren’t as big as the adult portions.
Alexis G.: Regular menu because there are more options and more food TOO!
Olivia G.: Kids menu
She might be too young to think bigger than her stomach.
Lucy G.: Kids menu
I bet she likes the menu’s distraction from actually eating. (See question 2)
6. What is your favorite thing to do while waiting for your food at a restaurant?
Louie B.: Play with my iPad
The modern childhood…
Alexis G.: Coloring, especially if restaurants have the new colors (not the used ones they sometimes give you)
I hope they don’t charge extra for the newer, premium colors.
Olivia G.: Coloring
Lucy G.: Doing the “Cups” song.
I had no idea what this was before writing this article. After seeing the link above, it makes complete sense. The cup song references pop culture, uses a physical prop, has a catchy melody and it’s perfectly loud and boisterous enough to reverberate throughout a restaurant. (I don’t have kids, so pardon my brief cynicism)
7. What is the strangest thing you have had to eat at a restaurant?
Christopher B.: Escargot and Frog Legs – I tried both of these one time when I went on a cruise with my parents. I liked both of them so much that I got a second helping!
A mature young man with a sophisticated taste? Brace yourself for the next several years, parents!
Alexis G.: Sushi – it has A LOT of stuff in it… It was strange thinking about what I was eating. I mean, who knew cucumber and avocado (go) together? I guess the sushi restaurant knew.
It’s okay Alexis, I think sushi opens a lot of people’s eyes. Who knew eels went with anything?
8. What type of restaurant would like to try (or eat at) that you haven’t been to before?
Christopher B.: CiCi’s – I have been asking my parents to go there for a while but we can’t find one in our area.
All you can eat pizza sounds great, but it’s probably not worth the trip if you can’t find one in your neck of the woods.
Olivia G.: A restaurant where you get princess cakes and you can get married there.
I guess it’s always good to have options when dining out.
9. If you could create a menu item that would be on every restaurant’s kid’s menu, what would it be?
Olivia G.: Buttered noodles
Simple, not very messy and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Are you sure some parent didn’t pay you to say that?
Louie.: Mac and cheese pizza
American fusion food at its finest.
Alexis G.: Mini-sandwiches and more chip options, like Cheetos (instead of just fries all the time).
Good call, I’m glad to see that kids are aware of the potato’s versatility as a vegetable.
What type of restaurant would like to try (or eat at) that you haven’t been to before?
10. If you could create a restaurant, what would it be?
Lucy G.: A restaurant with every kind of candy.
I don’t think you’re alone Lucy. It still sounds distinctly like a candy store…oh wait, you clever girl.
Christopher B.: Cupcake restaurant – They would have all different types of cupcakes.
Don’t let him loose in New York City. You might not find him for days.
Alexis G.: A DESSERT TRYING RESTAURANT. I would name it “Treat Tryin’ – Where You Can Try Treats from Around the World”
There would be a treat buffet with candy, cakes, fudge, brownies, cookies, and all treats like that. I don’t really like all of those treats, but I think it would be a good money maker. It would be huge, so you’d have to make reservations to get in. It’d (have) a “wedding look” with fabric on the walls and ceilings. There would also be a stage with famous people playing. I would also have it so you could see the bakers behind a glass wall making things. I think we’d also allow other people to bring desserts to share so others could try theirs too.
This one sounds ambitious, but I’d absolutely have to pay a visit.
Have your kids given their opinions on dining out? Share some of their thoughts with us in the comments section below.