10 Reasons You Should Never Take Your Kids to Fancy Restaurants


I have opinions on so many things – as does everyone else in the world. But one of the things about which I have the biggest opinion is children in high-end restaurants. Being that I am the mother of four, perhaps you might think that I’m all about it, but that would make you wrong. I am, like most parents I know, completely against taking my kids to a high-end dining establishment. And for those who still think that Red Lobster and Olive Garden are ‘fancy,’ I’m not talking about chain restaurants in which everyone in flip flops and jeans visits. I’m just not comfortable with my children in a high-end dining establishment. It’s not because they are not well-behaved in restaurants; they are. They’ve been dining out with us regularly since they were a week old, and they do very well in public places. However, I just have a feeling about this one.

My reasons are kind of selfish. For one, I love a good date night and I love a high-end restaurant. I don’t do everyday restaurants on date night, because those are the types of locations we take our kids. When it’s just my husband and I, I want something that enables me to dress up, that serves amazing bottles of wine and a place that allows me to feel child-free. And guess what? I don’t really care to see other children in these establishments either. It’s not that your kids bother me; they don’t. Kids in general don’t bother me in public, because your kids aren’t mine. I can ignore your kid like no one’s business if he or she is having a fit. I’m pretty good at it, especially being a parent myself. However, when I’m somewhere spending a couple hundred dollars on dinner, I don’t want to see kids. Sorry (not sorry). Here is my opinion

Fancy dinners are for date nights

Listen, if I want to go somewhere for date night and don’t care about the kind of people with whom I am dining, I’ll head to the Olive Garden and have dinner with everyone in their tank tops, shorts and with their kids. I like the Olive Garden’s unlimited soup and salad and breadsticks as much as the next person, and I go places like that fully expecting to see families with kids. I take my own kids there. However, when I head to New York City with a reservation at 21 Club, I am doing this fully expecting not to see kids. Fancy dinner is for date night – and date night is not for children.

People pay a lot of money for the atmosphere

It’s the simple truth. More often than not, it’s the atmosphere people pay for more than the food. When my husband and I choose a fancy restaurant, it’s typically because we want good wine and great ambiance. It’s also because I want to put on a pair of Manolo Blahniks and a gorgeous dress and feel fancy for an evening. That means I’m about to drop serious cash, and it doesn’t feel quite right with kids present.

People specifically choose these locations because they assume there will not be kids

Enough said. If you want to take your kids out to dinner, there are so many places willing to cater to the entire family. If you want to go somewhere fancy and amazing, then get a sitter for the night. If you cannot afford a sitter, you don’t need to go somewhere fancy.

There should be adults-only restaurants

You wouldn’t take your kids to a bar. You wouldn’t take your infant on a roller coaster at an amusement park. You wouldn’t take your kids to an adults-only resort in the Caribbean, so why take your kids to a restaurant you know probably does not really want your kids there in the first place? It’s just one of those things that, in my opinion, makes more sense to just leave them home.

It’s disruptive

I’m going to tell you something right now; kids are disruptive. Even when they are on their best behavior, they are disruptive. I know this because I have four of them. Waiters and waitresses end up standing around our infant twins wanting to ooh and ahh over them. They’re amazing in public, but everyone is so distracted. We can’t eat because so many people come up to us. The babies are disrupted by others, and we’ve even heard other patrons complain that the waitress was spending so much time with our babies that she wasn’t doing her job. Trust me – kids are disruptive.

It’s a bit rude

Here’s my stance on this; I know what a mess my kids make in public. They might be the most well-behaved kids in public most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t make a mess. When I’m spending $300 on dinner, I want don’t want to hear cheerios and puffs crunching beneath my feet as I walk through a restaurant.

Certain things are not meant for children

They’re not. Really and truly, do you want to take your child to a place in which they get to choose between escargot and oysters on the half shell for an appetizer? While both are personal favorites of mine, my kids would complain endlessly about eating either, and that’s because they’re just not made for kids.

Taking kids anywhere is stressful

We’ve had one meltdown in a restaurant (Chilis, at that) in which we had to pack up and go because our now 4-year-old lost her ever-loving mind and we were not about to subject other people to her meltdown – nor did we want to endure it at dinner. That was stressful. When our kids are in a great mood and behaving like angels, it’s still stressful. You worry that they will lose it at any time. You worry about the mess. You worry about what they can reach on the table, you worry about everything. Why do that to yourself?

You’re not getting the kind of night you deserve

If you’re spending $500 on dinner, you better enjoy every second of it, right? Right. And if you have the kids with you, you’re not enjoying it in the way that you should.

You need some time out

Parents need some time away. I’m an advocate of not taking kids to high-end establishments for many reasons, but this one is particularly important to me. I believe that parents need date nights and time away and a break. And when you do something fancy for yourself, you feel like a better person. You feel renewed and re-engergized and good. So don’t bring them.

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