The Family Behind Kid Friendly Cafes Australia
Posted on September 5th, 2017
We are often asked what made us start Kid Friendly Cafes Australia. So, we thought we would fill you in on a little bit more about what drives us to be Australia’s best source of information on kid and family friendly dining venues! Plus we share some of our own personal experiences along the way.
A mum and dad on a journey
Long before our days of searching for fenced-in play areas and babycinos that weren’t scalding hot, we were a new mum and a dad. You can imagine it – sleep deprived and conversation starved, but ready to head back out into our local cafe and restaurant scene and the new wide world of family dining.
Our lives had been turned upside down over the preceding six weeks by the arrival our little man. We were completely head over heels in love with him and it was time, we decided, to see what our new life would be like as we headed out to enjoy one of our favourite things – brunch out with good friends (and of course good coffee too!).
Our first few times eating out with a baby were ones that most new parents could relate to… Parking room for a pram, what’s that? Change tables, do restaurants have them? High-levels of new-parent anxiety as we worked out how many bags of baby things we really did need to take out with us for breakfast. These all posed brand new challenges that we would adapt to as we went along. But as our little one grew and developed, so too did our kid friendly cafe criteria as pram parking was swapped for high-chairs and change tables for kids play areas!
Our first experiences eating out as a family were, well, mixed.
We learned over time that going out as a family meant whole new levels of planning and preparation. But we also found that accurate and trustworthy sources of information were limited when it came to finding out how child friendly the cafes, restaurants and other venues we were planning to visit, were.
This was highlighted even more to us as we got back into one of our other passions, travel. We took our first family holiday (a road trip around Tassie). We had visions of cellar doors, gourmet cheeses and raspberry farms in our heads. Traveling with little ones is a whole other experience I’m sure we’ll write about along the way, but on this trip we took one recommendation from a very well-meaning Airbnb host in a town we didn’t know, which led us to travel across town for a “kid friendly” restaurant only to be refused entry because we had a child with us! You can imagine how this went down with a tired and hungry 18 month old – not to mention, tired and hungry husband.
The kid friendly cafes lottery
Choosing a cafe or restaurant as a family can feel like a lottery. We have also had some amazing experiences that have been truly family friendly. In our travels we have been lucky enough to be greeted and welcomed by some fantastic cafe and restaurant owners who (often parents themselves) have gone out of their way to accommodate our needs as a family. Making us and our little guy feel welcome and at home.
As parents with small children, you often feel like you create havoc as you arrive at a cafe and get yourself ready for the family dining adventure ahead of you! You can just see the looks on the faces of young hipsters enjoying their lattes and MacBooks, as you arrive with your tribe in tow. So, a welcoming approach and some help getting acquainted with the options and facilities available, can go a long way to finding somewhere that makes the trek worth it. Some of the amazing cafe and restaurant owners that we have come to know have even taken things to whole new levels, making small investments in their venue to help make them truly family friendly. Adding play areas, colouring-in books, separate complete kid’s menus and even supervised activities!
You’ve got to have passion
At Kid Friendly Cafes, child and family friendly dining is our passion. We believe that children should not be limited to a choice of chicken nuggets or fish and chips when they head out with mum or grandma. Nor do we think that busy mums and dads should have to suffer through terrible coffee and deep-fried food in order to eat out somewhere that also has child friendly facilities! You shouldn’t have to stop living your culinary and caffeinated life because you have kids! Should you? Well we don’t think so anyway!
Today’s mums and dads are connected, working, social and enjoy spending time discovering new and exciting places. They enjoy eating out, trying new and exciting food and coffee, and being looked after by skilled and friendly waitstaff. As baby boomers become grandparents, they too expect to be able to take their grandkids out for treats without giving up on a decent coffee and a yummy healthy meal.
Breathing life into an idea
So, we decided to have a go at bringing to life an idea that would help to solve some of the problems that we, our families and our friends with kids, had experienced. We are launching Australia’s most comprehensive and up-to-date directory of child and family friendly dining venues. Our mission is to be the first place that mums and dads (and anyone taking kids out for a bite) go to find the best kid and family friendly cafes, restaurants and venues across Australia. We want to help connect you to the cafes and restaurants that make you feel welcome, comfortable and confident.
It takes a village
But mums and dads (plus grandparents and anyone else dining out with kids) are just one side of the equation that together makes a kid friendly eating out experience. At Kid Friendly Cafes Australia, our community is also made up of the cafe and restaurant owners that help to make our experiences positive ones. We are so pleased to have a large and growing community that includes both parents and venues owners!
To support this community, we want to promote good customership or family dining etiquette – as well as hints, tips and resources to make every dining out experience a positive one. We believe that being prepared as a parent helps gives us the very best chance of having a great time when we go out for a coffee, brunch, dinner or a special event.
Together, promoting and supporting kid friendly cafes and restaurants along with helping families to make the most of their dining out experience, are what make us Kid Friendly Cafes Australia.
Kid Friendly Cafes Australia – we believe a parent with a coffee and a happy kid is an unstoppable one!