Din­ing out now part of grow­ing up


KIDS as young as two are be­ing treated to adult din­ing and par­ents are non­plussed about the costs in­volved.

House­holds are splash­ing on av­er­age about $100 per restau­rant out­ing or al­most $2300 per year, new re­search has re­vealed.

And once their tiny tots reach 22 months they are happy to take them out to restau­rants to give their taste­buds a se­ri­ous work­out.

New in­de­pen­dent re­search com­mis­sioned on be­half of restau­rant reser­va­tion plat­form OpenTable found 39 per cent of par­ents are happy to spend more than $100 when din­ing out with their kids.

As for kids meals, $14 is the av­er­age price par­ents are will­ing to fork out for each of their young diner’s meal.

OpenTable’s spokesman Tim Domelow said the re­search also re­vealed fam­i­lies are happy to spend up on 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.

The re­search also showed on av­er­age Aus­tralians are splash­ing $8.9 bil­lion an­nu­ally to dine out.

Mr Domelow said many 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 a picky bunch when choos­ing their next eatery.

The most im­por­tant things par­ents look for when din­ing 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.)

The man­ager of Omeros Brothers Seafood Restau­rant at Main Beach Mark Hun­ny­bun con­firmed the trend.

“It hap­pens all the time,” he said.

“We’re a kid-friendly restau­rant. We see the par­ents spoil the kids and some chil­dren are about two years old.”

Mr Hun­ny­bun said the restau­rant served a se­lec­tion of four meals specif­i­cally for young din­ers and that chil­dren re­ceived a colour­ing-in pack on ar­rival.”

Sand­bar in Surfers Par­adise has recog­nised the de­mand for fam­ily-friendly ea­ter­ies, putting in pool ta­bles and hand­ing out colour­ing pens and even USBs to chil­dren.

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