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.