Parents splurge on dining for kids
KIDS as young as two are being treated to adult dining — and parents are unperturbed about the cost.
Households are splashing about $100 per restaurant outing or almost $2300 per year, new research has revealed.
Once their children reach 22 months, parents are happy to take them to restaurants.
New independent research commissioned on behalf of restaurant reservation platform OpenTable found 39 per cent of parents will spend more than $100 when dining out with their gourmet kids.
As for kids meals, $14 is the average price parents are willing to fork out.
OpenTable’s spokesman Tim Domelow said the research also revealed families are happy to spend up twice a month on restaurant meals.
“Australians are known for being advocates for dining out, so it’s no surprise that our children are being exposed to gourmet tendencies from a young age,” he said. “Parents these days are feeling much more confident starting their children even before they are two (to eating out).”
The research also showed Australians are splashing $8.9 billion annually to dine out. Mr Domelow said many younger families did not want to change their lifestyles after having children so eating out regularly was becoming the norm. But the data found many diners are picky when choosing their next eatery.
The most important things parents look for is a play area with children’s toys (55 per cent), a restaurant with colouring books and pencils (50 per cent) and a place that has a pram-friendly layout (38 per cent.)
Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive Juliana Payne said there was “a full spread” of restaurants to choose from.
“If people do have small kids or those in a pram or high chair should do their research, ring the restaurant or check the website beforehand,” she said.
“People generally know what they want to spend and they will adjust accordingly.”
Ms Payne said the industry was “so competitive” that restaurants had to make sure they could cater for all types of diners.