Loved these tips, via Sara Galvin (mom and wife of a chef) at www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Junior is one of my fave magazines of all time. Praying it comes to Zinio – I cannot find these gems in South Africa anymore.
1. Involve your child in every conversation, play word games, drawing games, take a little bag of tricks with you so that they are completely occupied, but you do need to join in with their activity.
2. Have it in your mind that you will only stay for two courses and then see how you go. If you build up the amount of time you spend in restaurants, rather than go for the long lunch early on, the children will see it as a more positive experience and grow into it.
3. Often children will listen to someone else other than their parent! Therefore, if your child is misbehaving, it is a good idea to ask the restaurant manager to intervene.
4. If you find a restaurant you like, it is worth getting to know the staff there and visiting them on a regular basis. Staff get to know you when you are a regular guest, and more importantly get to know your child, and your child feels more comfortable in a familiar environment where they feel welcome.