We the parents of small children would like to give you a few pieces of advice regarding what we view as "kid friendly". This applies to several different types of venues, most notably, restaurants. Below we will list our our grievances by topic and provide a short explanation of what would need to be presented in order for us to believe your establishments were indeed set up for families.
1) Natural Ambient Noise - like as in Roadhouse LOUD. We parents often have small kids that are whiny and dramatic and can hit pitches that would freak out small dogs, so we need a place that has so much bustling background noise, it sort of drowns them all out. We WANT our children to be seen but not heard; it keeps the dirty looks from single newlyweds sitting at the table next to us to a minimum.
2) Alcohol and STAT - while I personally don't know a single one, I do understand that there may be some parents that think drinking adult beverages around your kids is a sin. For the remaining 95% of us practicing sinners, raising upstanding members of society is hard fucking work, and we need a cocktail...like 5 minutes ago, so please...be quick with the drink orders...and feel free to just double me up. Thanks.
3) Elbow room/ Stroller Capacity / High Chairs/ Slings - Many of us have little ones, and there is nothing worse than entering a place that literally has no idea what to do with your stroller, your assisted sitter or your infant seat. Come on World - get it together - more people are going out - parents got money - help us to help you! If I have no where to park my kid, I am headed elsewhere.
4) Baby Changing Tables in the Bathroom (Both in Men's and Women's) - With all the hoopla around Gender Neutral bathrooms, the only result I have seen is that I am now exposed to disgusting urinals that I used to be able to avoid unless I was peeing in my pants at a concert and chose to go to the Men's restroom. What would really be neutral is to ensure that both the Men's and Women's bathrooms have diaper changing tables. The fact that most places only have tables in the Women's room (if at all) is just unacceptable. The 1950's are calling and they want their gender roles back.
5) Fast Food Timed Service, but with way better food - Here's the scoop people: any non-tantrum time with a kid is borrowed time. They have an attention span that can be occupied with the provided crayons and coloring sheet for like 2 minutes, and whatever us parents bring (because we never enter a restaurant without some sort of activity bag) for maybe 13 minutes. This means you have 15 minutes before we have Chernobyl 2.0. If you take 45 minutes to get us food - YOU'RE FIRED.
6) Kid's Menu - We parents already dread ordering for fear that our kids will change their minds on what they want to eat in a matter of seconds, so please, please don't make me order a full size quesadilla or some sort of artisan duck confit mac and cheese for my child. They will hate it, and I will hate you.
7) Kid Cups WITH LIDS - Kids are messy and clumsy as fuck - please, please, PLEASE, we beg of you, have cups with lids. It's really not that hard. If you put a full glassware glass in front of my kid, I will immediately go into Fight-or-Flight mode with the anxiety that that shit will be broken in a matter of seconds. Like milk all over the fucking floor with shattered glass everywhere broken. Save your Busboy 15 minutes and the disgusting task of cleaning up smelly milk an invest in cheap plastic cups with lids. It will also save you on napkin cleaning costs. You're welcome.
We hope that you have taken these things to heart and can at least admit when you are NOT kid friendly. We won't hold it against you - although we may never get the chance to dine with you. The rising cost and availability of babysitters these days has made Date Night just a pain in the ass, and you will most likely be out of business by the time my kids can stay home alone, so good luck to you. We wish you the best.
For all those establishments that are out there that are ready to accept this challenge and deliver accordingly -we salute you - and remember, we always tip well!
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.