Restaurants Serving Dinner With A Side Of Childcare Should Become The Norm

Dining out is one of life's simplest pleasures. Whether you're rich, poor, young, or old, people from all walks of life deserve an occasional night out with friends and family. Dining out not only brings us together socially, but it also brings us closer to different cultures and cuisines. A good restaurant has the potential to transform our culinary perspectives and broaden our scope of what's possible in the kitchen.

As enlightening as it can be though, dining out with children can quickly turn an inspiring night out into a sloppy, stressful, nightmare. It's not exactly easy to admire the peachy, oaky aroma of your pinot noir when your darling toddler is hurling complimentary breadsticks across the restaurant. Whether you're the parent of an eccentric, bread-launching toddler or the innocent patron on the other side of the catapult, a free-spirited child can interrupt the meaningful moments that define a night out at a restaurant.

Although it's unconventional, restaurants can redefine how foodies experience dining out by offering guests in-house childcare. After all, enjoying a chimichurri-topped filet tastes much better when no one has to accommodate a jumpy four-year-old wearing Gatorade lipstick.

Accessibility for new parents

For couples new to the chaotic (albeit thrilling) world of parenthood, finding time to enjoy life outside of the playroom is unthinkable. The parental limitations of child upbringing aren't restricted to a negligent portion of the population, either. Each year, over 3.6 million babies are born in America to parents who've lost a chunk of their personal agency. Although few things in life are as beautiful as family and the promise of new life, some parents just need a margarita and smothered enchiladas from their favorite Mexican cantina — and there are more of them hankering for this than the restaurant industry might realize.

Just because a couple has a child doesn't mean they should sacrifice a date night at their favorite restaurant. Instead, restaurants should adapt to the needs of new parents. You might be thinking to yourself, "Just hire a nanny!" For some parents, that's the obvious solution to breaking away from the nursery for a night out. For others, hiring childcare can run up a steep bill that doesn't fit into an already-tight budget. And for single parents, affording a babysitter can be even more expensive. Does that mean they should be barred from restaurants until their child is enough to maintain public composure?

Restaurant childcare makes dining out more accessible to the millions of American parents who deserve to enjoy common luxuries.

In-house restaurant childcare benefits everyone

It's not just fatigued parents who will reap the benefits of restaurant childcare — the establishment and its employees alike can profit from the initiative.

If you've ever been a restaurant server, you may have cleaned out a makeshift witch's brew of ketchup, salt, mustard, ice, and milk from a bowl that once bestowed the integrity of a Caesar salad vessel — the handiwork of a child, of course. When a restaurant allows its servers to focus solely on creating a memorable experience for their guests, the job they were hired to do, rather than scrape mustard crust from a highchair, they'll work more effectively and with a better attitude.

When a restaurant isn't, for lack of a better word, infested with high-strung children and crying babies, the ambiance is elevated. The better a restaurant's atmosphere is, the more likely customers are to return. Plus, parents will go running to their friends with intel on the new hot spot for child-free dining, leading to more customers and more revenue. After all, reputation is everything.

The more restaurants that join in on the trend, the better! In-house restaurant childcare creates new jobs for local economies and expands occupational avenues for young and experienced childcare workers alike.

Changing the restaurant industry for the better

In order to promote equity and fairness in social settings, restaurants should consider the needs of every one of their customers. Yes, social groups are complex, complicated, and ever-changing at the hands of an evolving social and political climate, but running a well-rounded restaurant requires an intimate knowledge of how to adapt to changing social norms.

We're not saying there isn't a place for children in restaurants — the entire concept of restaurant childcare is designed to promote accessibility for everyone. The objective of restaurant childcare is to instead foster an entertaining environment that supports parents, partons, employees, owners, and children equally.

These spaces can help socialize young children in an enriching atmosphere supervised by well-trained childcare professionals. Plus, they can play catch with breadsticks, rustle up a condiment cauldron, and slobber over their meals in a non-disruptive environment.