Despite the preconceptions of fine dining restaurants as being a formal dining atmosphere meant for adults and adults alone, a new survey suggests that 77% of UK fine dining restaurants welcome kids in their restaurants.
The questionnaire was coordinated by gift company Truly Experiences and received 98 responses out of the 500 restaurants they reached out to. The inquiry found that the majority of fine dining and Michelin starred restaurants throughout the UK welcome, and in fact love, having kids in their restaurants.
While 32% of those restaurants have certain age limits and/or dining times for children, 59% of them always welcome children and have the proper accommodations to keep any child happy, regardless of how picky they may seem.
Only 9% of the child-friendly restaurants didn’t have accommodations for them.
The survey revealed the attitudes of many restaurants towards having children in their place of business and the various ways in which they work to accommodate or include children in their dining experience.
In terms of accommodations, the 59% of restaurants that were willing to make child-specific arrangements offered amenities like high chairs, children’s menus, colouring activities, baby changing stations. Some restaurants were happy to adjust meals on the menu or even make something new for a kid on request.
Several family-friendly restaurants were eager to mention their special dining experiences catered specifically towards children. Smith & Wollensky London, a high-end, white-tablecloth steakhouse, offers a supervised Sunday lunch for kids with activities for them to do.
“We work with Kids Club on Sunday lunch which specialises in providing professional and accredited childminders to run a supervised lunch in a private room for children with lots of engaging activities while parents enjoy a civilised lunch in the restaurant, able to relax in the knowledge that their children are having fun and eating healthy food.”
A few of the restaurants in the survey also noted that despite the misconception that all kids are picky eaters, the few kids who do come to their restaurants are typically more willing to try new things.
“It’s a bit of a misconception that kids are going to just want nuggets and chips,” said Tredwells, a Modern British restaurant in Covent Garden, “as we find the younger children visiting us are actually very open to new tastes and textures and are actually less fussy than the adults.”
One restaurant, Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, mentioned that some younger diners want to be treated like any other adult guest and want to receive the full formal experience. While they still might need a high chair or a smaller portion, the kids might enjoy a fine dining experience just as much as any other guest.
View the full list of child-friendly fine dining restaurants here.
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