I get it. Space is tight, especially in New York. Kids can be noisy, though frankly, most NYC restaurants are so loud, I can’t imagine you can hear the kids over the crowd at the bar. I know the kids don’t look like money makers to you restaurants but here’s three very solid reasons, you want to start welcoming us: the diners with young children. Yes, go out of your way to make us feel at home! It will pay off.

Caya's messy eating

1. Families eat early.

Isn’t this one of restaurants’ classic dilemmas? You’re full at 7:30pm, prime time, but how do you get the diners to spread out a bit? Savored has a business model practically built on this issue, offering diners discounts to eat at certain times. You can get up to 30% your bill for eating at 6pm.  Some restaurants offer their own “early bird” specials or “early bird” prix fixe menus. Imagine having a good customer base of people who paid full price and ate at 5:30pm or 6pm. That would be parents who take their kids out to eat with them. Kids have to make early bed times so we have to eat early. Make us feel welcome and you could have a whole bunch of us as regulars.

2. Families eat fast.

The economics of restaurants is sometimes described in the number of times tables are turned per night, meaning how many times the tables seat new guests.  Reason #1, adding a group of early diners could help you add a turn. Speed can too. This is why you see busy restaurants rush to re-set tables and sometimes rush diners out (which is not such a good idea). When you see a table with kids, you don’t have to rush them out. They’re going to rush out on their own. As soon as food is eaten, families don’t linger and wait for the tots to get extra antsy. Plus, early bed time remember?

3. Families tip well.

Ok, I can’t guarantee that all parents tip well, but I know we do and a lot of the parents we’ve talked to do.  We feel guilty if our kids have dropped a lot of food on the floor. And, we know what it’s like to clean it. We feel bad if they’ve spilled water, and we definitely appreciate the efforts staff have made to help us out with our dining experience. We regularly leave an extra $5 on top of whatever is 20% or we leave 25%. I think that will make your wait staff happy, especially when we ate and left so fast.

To follow Caya’s eating adventures at places like An Nhau, Allswell, Vernick Food & Drink, Congee Village, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao etc. follow me on instagram.

 

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