Jump to content

Free Refills on Soft Drinks and other Beverages


crackers
 Share

Recommended Posts

dgreen,

Thanks for your feedback. I will alert the owner in Ashburn to your experience and your expectations regarding children drink refills.

In a suburban pizza place, I would expect to see free refills of fountain sodas and ice tea, but I don't recall ever getting free kiddie refills on milk or juices. My kids each could easily down a quart of milk or more at one sitting, so if restaurants are moving toward free refills of milk, I'm all for it! (Disney World just started doing this at their table service restaurants, so maybe it's a bandwagon worth jumping on.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a suburban pizza place, I would expect to see free refills of fountain sodas and ice tea, but I don't recall ever getting free kiddie refills on milk or juices. My kids each could easily down a quart of milk or more at one sitting, so if restaurants are moving toward free refills of milk, I'm all for it! (Disney World just started doing this at their table service restaurants, so maybe it's a bandwagon worth jumping on.)

Could someone please enlighten me about this? Are we talking about a single re-fill, which could easily be built into the price of the drink, or unlimited re-fills of milk, juice, etc.? Imagine the damage a family of 6 could do to the bottom line of a place like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a suburban pizza place, I would expect to see free refills of fountain sodas and ice tea, but I don't recall ever getting free kiddie refills on milk or juices. My kids each could easily down a quart of milk or more at one sitting, so if restaurants are moving toward free refills of milk, I'm all for it! (Disney World just started doing this at their table service restaurants, so maybe it's a bandwagon worth jumping on.)

Interesting. I honestly can't remember one other place I've had to pay for refills for kids.

Clay, thanks for the response. I look forward to more flatbreads (and water :angry:) in Ashburn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could someone please enlighten me about this? Are we talking about a single re-fill, which could easily be built into the price of the drink, or unlimited re-fills of milk, juice, etc.?

My EXPECTATION is unlimited free refills on kids drinks. That's my expectation because, in four years as a parent, I've never experienced anything else. Heck, I've been to plenty of places that don't charge us at all for kids drinks, but I certainly don't expect that.

Imagine the damage a family of 6 could do to the bottom line of a place like this.

I really don't think they'd do much damage. When we're talking kids drinks, they come in maybe an 8 oz. cup. My kids rarely drink more than two of those. Are profit margins really that tight at restaurants that an extra 8 oz. of milk per child is going to close the doors?

Now, AF, I believe, only offers organic juices and milk, so that's different. Maybe that is a bigger hit to their bottom line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My EXPECTATION is unlimited free refills on kids drinks. That's my expectation because, in four years as a parent, I've never experienced anything else. Heck, I've been to plenty of places that don't charge us at all for kids drinks, but I certainly don't expect that.

I really don't think they'd do much damage. When we're talking kids drinks, they come in maybe an 8 oz. cup. My kids rarely drink more than two of those. Are profit margins really that tight at restaurants that an extra 8 oz. of milk per child is going to close the doors?

Now, AF, I believe, only offers organic juices and milk, so that's different. Maybe that is a bigger hit to their bottom line.

I raised two kids and I'm not sure why anyone would expect anything free. It's nice that some places provide free refills, but that hardly seems like a fundamental right. Restaurant margins are indeed tight and, with high fixed costs, those few extra dollars of gross revenue are not insignificant. Besides, if they're giving away free drinks, they're dinging you somewhere else to make up for it, so it all comes out in the wash.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I raised two kids and I'm not sure why anyone would expect anything free. It's nice that some places provide free refills, but that hardly seems like a fundamental right.

"Raised" as in they are grown up now and your experiences are from 20 years ago? If so, things have changed. I'm 31. I can remember a time when even adult sodas weren't free refills in many places. For a while, I had no expectation of receiving free refills on sodas. Today, I'd be absolutely shocked to be charged for my Coke refills. It's now an expectation.

Again, the only reason I expect free refills is because all my experience as a parent is that my kids get free refills. I don't expect a free refill on my flatbread because I have absolutely no experience with free food refills. It's simply not part of the culture. That would be an insanely unrealistic expectation.

Similarly, to bring this all back to AF, I expect to have a great flatbread next time I go to AF. The more I eat there and have good food, the more solid my expectations will be and the more amazed I'll be when my expectations are not met.

Restaurant margins are indeed tight and, with high fixed costs, those few extra dollars of gross revenue are not insignificant. Besides, if they're giving away free drinks, they're dinging you somewhere else to make up for it, so it all comes out in the wash.

On the flip side, by charging $2 for a kids drink and $2 for each refill, they're losing a few extra dollars because I'll order water. And, more importantly, if someday we're going out to dinner and we want to get something other than water, they'll lose the $40 my family would have paid for dinner.

I'm not expecting AF to change to meet my wants. I'm am a HUGE fan of the free market and they can do whatever they want. I just think my opinion on refills and $8 for kids drinks is probably somewhat in line with those of their target customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't think they'd do much damage. When we're talking kids drinks, they come in maybe an 8 oz. cup. My kids rarely drink more than two of those. Are profit margins really that tight at restaurants that an extra 8 oz. of milk per child is going to close the doors?

Ideally a restaurant should have flexibility to override refill policies on a case-by-case basis. With the retail price of a regular (not organic) gallon of milk now over $4 a gallon in Washington DC, imagine the effect of the local kids soccer teams descending on American Flatbreads after tournaments. I realize that's very different than topping off the sippy cup of a two year old. Like Mark, I'd like to know how other restaurants set their policies on free refills of milk and juice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Raised" as in they are grown up now and your experiences are from 20 years ago? If so, things have changed. I'm 31. I can remember a time when even adult sodas weren't free refills in many places. For a while, I had no expectation of receiving free refills on sodas. Today, I'd be absolutely shocked to be charged for my Coke refills. It's now an expectation.

Again, the only reason I expect free refills is because all my experience as a parent is that my kids get free refills. I don't expect a free refill on my flatbread because I have absolutely no experience with free food refills. It's simply not part of the culture. That would be an insanely unrealistic expectation.

Similarly, to bring this all back to AF, I expect to have a great flatbread next time I go to AF. The more I eat there and have good food, the more solid my expectations will be and the more amazed I'll be when my expectations are not met.

On the flip side, by charging $2 for a kids drink and $2 for each refill, they're losing a few extra dollars because I'll order water. And, more importantly, if someday we're going out to dinner and we want to get something other than water, they'll lose the $40 my family would have paid for dinner.

I'm not expecting AF to change to meet my wants. I'm am a HUGE fan of the free market and they can do whatever they want. I just think my opinion on refills and $8 for kids drinks is probably somewhat in line with those of their target customers.

Raised as in one is 14 and one is 18, so we're still in the soft drink stage, thank you.

I suppose AF, like every other restaurant, decides whether to conceal the cost of the drinks in their other offerings or charge it straight out. Ain't no such thing as a free refill, whether it appears on the check or not.

I got a free refill on my wine at Bistro du Coin yesterdy, that's the kind of freebie I like. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My EXPECTATION is unlimited free refills on kids drinks. That's my expectation because, in four years as a parent, I've never experienced anything else. Heck, I've been to plenty of places that don't charge us at all for kids drinks, but I certainly don't expect that.
We've had the opposite experience. If they're offering all organic juices and milk then that could indeed add up quickly. Usually once our kids have one glass of milk, if they are still thirsty they get a glass of water. Organic milk now retails for $4 a half gallon.

Does American Flatbread have a "kids menu?"

ETA: after a few minutes thought I realized that most places we go don't have "kid drinks" at all. Makes for some excitement when they get a glass just like the grownups. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can remember a time when even adult sodas weren't free refills in many places. For a while, I had no expectation of receiving free refills on sodas. Today, I'd be absolutely shocked to be charged for my Coke refills. It's now an expectation.

As I`ve been in the business for a while, only drink you wont be charged for free refills at many places are `ice tea and coffee`. Soda, juice or anything else will be in your bill as you drink. I recommend you should get used to it as the time is changing and it is not the same as 5 years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ideally a restaurant should have flexibility to override refill policies on a case-by-case basis. With the retail price of a regular (not organic) gallon of milk now over $4 a gallon in Washington DC, imagine the effect of the local kids soccer teams descending on American Flatbreads after tournaments. I realize that's very different than topping off the sippy cup of a two year old. Like Mark, I'd like to know how other restaurants set their policies on free refills of milk and juice.

Like many things in the restaurant business, as in other businesses, the cup of juice doesn't exist in a vacuum. The juice has a cost, the cup has a cost, the employee who must fill it has multiple costs: pay, disability, insurance, social security taxes, the rent and all other associated costs plus the ridiculous amount of liability insurance restaurants are forced to carry have an impact on the price, too. I think the key here is to determine what is a reasonable expectation versus an unreasonable one. A bottomless cup of moo doesn't seem reasonable somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in upstate NY some restaurants swallow the cost of fountain drinks and others don't. And yes I have heard my better half mumble under her breath after receiving the bill at those that don't. Yet I can't recall anytime seeing free refills on kids milk or juice. Honestly like others have noted up thread, that would be a significant blow to a restaurants food cost even though it may not seem like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to take a step back in this discussion.

I'm new to this MB. (Maybe that explains a lot.) I quickly realized I am different from the frequent posters here. I've never heard of many of the restuarants many of you praise. (I am glad to be learning, though. I wish I found this board when both my wife and I were working and we had no kids and frequently ate out.) However, while I'm not the typical poster on this board, I appear to be much closer to the typical resident in Ashburn than some of you. In fact, I think I've read some posts that would indicate many of you would admit to not representing an average suburbanite. There's an obvious disconnect here when I see several posters have different expectations and one even says that "many places" only offer free refills on ice tea and coffee.

From my experience in NoVa, here is what I expect to be a free refill:

Adult sodas and ice tea. I'm not a big coffee drinker, so I have no expectation there. Certain root beers tend to not be free refills.

All kids drinks.

If I'm in an upscale place, I have no expectations regarding drink refills. If I'm in DC, I'll expect some differences just because things tend to be different "in the city." However, I'm going to guess that the vast majority of restaurants in a typical NoVa neighborhood are going to be along the lines of my above expectations.

I'm curious if the expectations contrary to mine are from a DC or suburban state of mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many things in the restaurant business, as in other businesses, the cup of juice doesn't exist in a vacuum. The juice has a cost, the cup has a cost, the employee who must fill it has multiple costs: pay, disability, insurance, social security taxes, the rent and all other associated costs plus the ridiculous amount of liability insurance restaurants are forced to carry have an impact on the price, too. I think the key here is to determine what is a reasonable expectation versus an unreasonable one. A bottomless cup of moo doesn't seem reasonable somehow.

I agree the question is: What is a reasonable expectation? So far, I seem to be in the minority. :angry:

Let's try this as an analogy: Do you expect complimentary chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's try this as an analogy: Do you expect complimentary chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant?

Yes. Unlimited amount? No.

I am not being persnickety. I used to own a restaurant. Until you've seen someone order a glass of tonic water and then pull a small bottle of gin out of their purse when they think no one is looking, you probably won't understand that you should never underestimate what the public is capable of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree the question is: What is a reasonable expectation? So far, I seem to be in the minority. :angry:

Let's try this as an analogy: Do you expect complimentary chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant?

Yes, but that's not really a direct analogy. AF doesn't hand out free anything - no free while-you're-waiting nibbles at the table, and no refills on anything but tap water or iced tea, both of which are things that have an incredibly low per-unit cost. Perhaps someone who's been to one of the AFs someplace else, or the gentleman who's representing the chain, can speak to this, but I get the impression that it's a company-wide thing that if you want refills, you pay for them.

Since they don't have a fountain soda machine, this isn't surprising - pretty much anyplace that doesn't serve fountain drinks of any kind has the same policy. If they've got to open a bottle or a can to serve you a drink, then you pay for it, because they've had to pay for it, whether they're way out here in Loudoun County, downtown, Old Town, or wherever.

Sure, you get free refills at larger, more established, or multi-location chain-type places, because they're doing the kind of volume across the whole chain/at that location/over time that allows them to write off the cost of those refills - plus, with a fountain soda delivery system, the cost of the refills is covered by the $2 you've paid for the soda/juice/whatever in the first place. Even with milk, they're writing that cost off against what they're making on the other beverages. At this point, AF's economies of scale are not such that they're going to be able to do that - it literally is going to impact their bottom line if they start handing out free refills to every person who walks in the door, or even every child. Remember, they've barely been open 3 months.

Yes, it's mildly irritating. Should they rethink some of their policies? (Like only having single-serving bottles of water, even if everyone at the table wants sparkling water. Or putting some non-salad appetizers on the menu.) Probably. And when they've got a year or so of business under their belt, they might be able to do that. It's early days. It's good pizza. If the beverage thing is that big of an issue, takeout is always an option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious if the expectations contrary to mine are from a DC or suburban state of mind.
Let's just say I've done more than my share of time in establishments located in suburban shopping malls with animatron rodents and other furry critters as their theme. Chuck e Cheese does not give free milk or juice refills. :angry:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with crackers on this one. My kids are 10 and 7, we've been at every family friendly restaurant anywhere at one time or another, and I've NEVER seen free refills on milk and juice. If they order a soft drink, yes, but not milk and juice.

That's not to say that I haven't had the occasional kind server that offers a free refill, especially when something gets knocked over. But as a policy? Never seen it, doesn't make sense. As others have pointed out, the sunk cost of a glass of fountain soda (just the bubbles, syrup, and ice) is at most a few cents. Substantially higher for milk and juice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but that's not really a direct analogy. AF doesn't hand out free anything - no free while-you're-waiting nibbles at the table, and no refills on anything but tap water or iced tea, both of which are things that have an incredibly low per-unit cost.

Oh, I was only using chips and salsa as an analogy about expectations. Mexican places tend to offer complimentary chips and salsa, thus the expectation. AF does not appear, to a first-timer, as anything different than any other restaurant in any other strip mall in any other NoVa suburb. At first glance, I'd expect similar things there as other restaurants of "its kind." At first, "its kind" is defined very broadly for a first-timer.

Perhaps someone who's been to one of the AFs someplace else, or the gentleman who's representing the chain, can speak to this, but I get the impression that it's a company-wide thing that if you want refills, you pay for them.
I think so, too. It may even be a geographical thing. I remember being in Cape Cod about 8 years ago and a few places did not offer free refills on sodas. I found that odd at the time.
Since they don't have a fountain soda machine, this isn't surprising - pretty much anyplace that doesn't serve fountain drinks of any kind has the same policy. If they've got to open a bottle or a can to serve you a drink, then you pay for it, because they've had to pay for it, whether they're way out here in Loudoun County, downtown, Old Town, or wherever.

And I think the only roadblock is in understanding that is their situation. As I said, AF's general appearence is going to be that they are similar to other places until you go there and realize it is different. (Or until you get the bill and realize it is different. :angry:) They seem to want to be different, but that isn't easily recognizable by simply walking in.

Sure, you get free refills at larger, more established, or multi-location chain-type places, because they're doing the kind of volume across the whole chain that allows them to write off the cost of those refills - plus, with a fountain soda delivery system, the cost of the refills is covered by the $2 you've paid for the soda/juice/whatever in the first place. Even with milk, they're writing that cost off against what they're making on the other beverages. At this point, AF's economies of scale are not such that they're going to be able to do that - it literally is going to impact their bottom line if they start handing out free refills to every person who walks in the door, or even every child. Remember, they've barely been open 3 months.
Good points. My only point would be that it's the larger, more established, or multi-location chain-type places that tend to establish expectations. If I drive through Ashburn and eat at a different joint every night, I'm going to mainly hit chain places. Let's say I eat at 10 chain places before coming across AF. All my experience is going to lead me to believe my kid's second milk will not be an extra $2. That comes from the 10 places I just ate at and the fact that AF really doesn't appear to anything different at first glance.
Yes, it's mildly irritating. Should they rethink some of their policies? (Like only having single-serving bottles of water, even if everyone at the table wants sparkling water. Or putting some non-salad appetizers on the menu.) Probably. And when they've got a year or so of business under their belt, they might be able to do that. It's early days. It's good pizza. If the beverage thing is that big of an issue, takeout is always an option.

I can definitely see how I've made some believe otherwise, but I really don't see this as being anything more than mildly irritating either. I'm not looking for them to change anything. They can do as they please. I now understand why they do what they do. Thanks to the conversation here, I get why they charge more for their beverages.

My only real argument here is about expectations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's just say I've done more than my share of time in establishments located in suburban shopping malls with animatron rodents and other furry critters as their theme. Chuck e Cheese does not give free milk or juice refills. :angry:

Luckily I avoid Chuck e Cheese.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with crackers on this one. My kids are 10 and 7, we've been at every family friendly restaurant anywhere at one time or another, and I've NEVER seen free refills on milk and juice. If they order a soft drink, yes, but not milk and juice.

My kids are not of soda-drinking age. I think the only thing they ever order is milk, juice, or lemonade. Now, I really can't say where the juice or lemonade come from. Lemonade is almost certainly from a fountain at most places. Juice, not sure. But, I honestly have never paid for a refill. Not sure why my experience is so different from others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It shouldn't matter whether or not the beverage is for a kid or an adult. Any kid can outdrink any adult on any day, depending entirely on which one is thirstier. I generally don't price items differently that are served in the same way to adults and children alike. If anything, the restaurant carries a higher cost on kid's drinks if they invest in kiddie cups for the child to take home.

Every restaurant I have ever worked at (over the last 18 years) has offered "free refills" on drip coffee, iced tea and any soda coming out of a soda gun or fountain. Costs to the restaurant on these items are roughly between 12 (sodas) and 30 cents per serving (high quality drip coffee). These costs are built into the price which accounts for the $1.75- $3.50 price tag that these beverages typically carry for the customer.

Juices, espresso drinks and dairy are a different story. They carry a much higher cost to the restaurant. If the restaurant decided to offer "free" refills on it, the cost would put these beverages into the $7-$9 range for the consumer. Pretty shocking for the customer who truly only wants one glass of juice or one glass of milk, don't you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It shouldn't matter whether or not the beverage is for a kid or an adult. Any kid can outdrink any adult on any day...

Untrue. My kid can hold at most 4-5 beers, and the 14-year-old maybe two -- on a good day. I drink 'em both under the table almost every weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Untrue. My kid can hold at most 4-5 beers, and the 14-year-old maybe two -- on a good day. I drink 'em both under the table almost every weekend.

I stand corrected...and need to get my two year old to finally make the switch from beer to hard liquor. After 3 beers, her diaper almost always starts leaking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kids are not of soda-drinking age.

As the universally recognized arbiter of all that is right or wrong, I declare the proper soda-drinking age to be 40.

Why anyone would want their kids drinking unlimited soda (or those 64 oz barrels of soda at quickie marts) is beyond me. Might as well hand them a sack of sugar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why anyone would want their kids drinking unlimited soda (or those 64 oz barrels of soda at quickie marts) is beyond me. Might as well hand them a sack of sugar.

When I was a kid, my parents let me heap spoonfuls of sugar on my already too sugary Frosted Flakes for breakfast. Of course they had the good sense to send me down to the local park soon after, where on the average summer day I would stay and play until dinner. Every kid in my neighborhood held to the same routine. It was not a bad time to be a kid............... I cannot imagine letting my kids eat Frosted Flakes or add spoonfuls of sugar to anything. Nor would I let my 10 year old leave the house alone to spend an entire day at a local park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kids, who drink soda when we go out to dinner (we don't have soda at home) are strongly encouraged, if they finish their soda, to switch to water (my choice). I am the one, who's a waiter's nightmare-I generally order unsweetened tea & water & require frequent refills. If I don't have enough to drink, I get a bit cranky...(not obnoxious, mind you, just perturbed).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I walk over to the Mayorga coffee shop in my 'hood, drink 30 or 40 espressos and do a little work on my laptop. I have been amazed at the number of customers who walk up to the register and ask for a refill. Most of them just give a quizzical look when they're told there are no free refills, but I've seen a couple of folks get downright pissy about it.

WTF? Where does this expectation come from?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I walk over to the Mayorga coffee shop in my 'hood, drink 30 or 40 espressos and do a little work on my laptop. I have been amazed at the number of customers who walk up to the register and ask for a refill. Most of them just give a quizzical look when they're told there are no free refills, but I've seen a couple of folks get downright pissy about it.

WTF? Where does this expectation come from?

Howard Johnson's?

Back in my hitchhiking days I used to thumb down from Boston to court Mrs. B on occasion and I once spent a good piece of a long night at the HoJo's at Exit 4 (?) on the New Jersey Turnpike, reading Camus, chatting up a waitress whom I recall as particularly beautiful and friendly, and drinking a single "bottomless" cup of coffee. Cost less than a buck, as I recall. (Plus tip)

Actually, I can't ever recall not getting free refills at a traditional diner or "paper-placemat" restaurant. Neither can I recall ever expecting it at one of these new-fangled coffee shops. This, I suppose, falls on the "hate" side of my love-hate relationship with Starbucks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I walk over to the Mayorga coffee shop in my 'hood, drink 30 or 40 espressos and do a little work on my laptop. I have been amazed at the number of customers who walk up to the register and ask for a refill. Most of them just give a quizzical look when they're told there are no free refills, but I've seen a couple of folks get downright pissy about it.

WTF? Where does this expectation come from?

IHOP? :angry:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, well I got free refills on my plastic cup of beer after giving my $2 donation to the beer fund at keg parties back in college. Afterwards, I didn't expect free refills when I walked into a bar. :angry:
Well, sure, but you're not an idiot. B)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update...

So, we were at Eggspectation in Chantilly, VA, Friday night. We ordered a kids meal for our 4 and 2 year old to share, which comes with milk, and ordered another milk for child #2. They had no problem providing free refills on the kids' milks. They were in what I'd guess were 12 oz. cups. The kids milk was $1.50.

It probably wasn't organic, though, like at AF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update...

So, we were at Eggspectation in Chantilly, VA, Friday night. We ordered a kids meal for our 4 and 2 year old to share, which comes with milk, and ordered another milk for child #2. They had no problem providing free refills on the kids' milks. They were in what I'd guess were 12 oz. cups. The kids milk was $1.50.

It probably wasn't organic, though, like at AF.

A 2 year old child knocked down 24 oz. of milk?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Printed across the top of the kids menu: "Free refills on soft drinks only. Milk or juice refills 0.69"

An experience I had last week reminded me of your post.

I was at Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill, NC. While looking over the menu, I noticed it had certain drinks with an *. They were the ones with free refills. Sure enough, milk did not have an *. However, what actually happened wass more important than what's on the menu, IMO. My kids split a kids meal and both had milk. Technically, I think one milk came with the meal and the other was in addition to the meal. At one point, the waitress noticed my daughter's cup was empty and asked my daughter if she wanted more milk. She, of course, said, "Yes." I went ahead and handed the waitress my son's cup, too, since it was nearly empty. My assumption was that if the waitress was going to ask a 4-year old if they wanted something, then there wouldn't be a $ cost associated with it. When the bill came, we were not charged for refills.

At a restaurant in SC, we just ordered my daughter a lemonade and no food because she had already eaten and was just going to have some fries off our plates. When the bill arrived, we weren't charged for her lemonade. It was probably just fountain lemonade, so not a big cost anyways.

Not sure what to say. Maybe I'm just lucky. Although, I like to think it has something to do with how dang cute my kids are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they must not only be cute, but have such wonderful manners! Seriously, even with a four year age gap I can only shudder to think what would have happened if I had ever proposed that my two territorial little ragamuffins "share a children's meal"....The bigger one had the size and strength advantage but the smaller one had a sort of relentlessness, plus he was fearless and impervious to pain (later he was a lacrosse goalie) that made each tussle ferocious until she vanquished him...the "airplane trip to Disneyworld" and "car trip to camp" passages in Larry McMurtry's Texasville are instructive as to how it usually went...

Or if either of 'em were expected to make do with a lemonade while their mother and I ate, "because he/she had already eaten." Holy moley, you've got good kids, dgreen. I'd venture to say they'd do just fine at, say, Colorado Kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they must not only be cute, but have such wonderful manners! Seriously, even with a four year age gap I can only shudder to think what would have happened if I had ever proposed that my two territorial little ragamuffins "share a children's meal"....The bigger one had the size and strength advantage but the smaller one had a sort of relentlessness, plus he was fearless and impervious to pain (later he was a lacrosse goalie) that made each tussle ferocious until she vanquished him...the "airplane trip to Disneyworld" and "car trip to camp" passages in Larry McMurtry's Texasville are instructive as to how it usually went...

Or if either of 'em were expected to make do with a lemonade while their mother and I ate, "because he/she had already eaten." Holy moley, you've got good kids, dgreen. I'd venture to say they'd do just fine at, say, Colorado Kitchen.

:blink:

They usually do pretty well. We received good advice from a stranger once. When our daughter (first born) just a few weeks old, we were in a restaurant and some parents at the table next to us said, "That's the way to do it. Start taking your kids out to eat as early as possible so they'll learn how to behave in those situations."

We are quickly moving towards the time when one kids meal will no longer be enough. To be honest, we may already be there, but two kids meals is too much. Usually they'll eat a few things off our plates. The girl doesn't eat too much. The oldest boy (2 year old) may eat more than her. The newborn boy will soon start to challenge his big brother. It may get ugly then.

We eat out less and less as time passes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We received good advice from a stranger once. When our daughter (first born) just a few weeks old, we were in a restaurant and some parents at the table next to us said, "That's the way to do it. Start taking your kids out to eat as early as possible so they'll learn how to behave in those situations."
Funny, I was reading today's most popular article in the Wall Street Journal and remembered this thread. In "12 Ways to Make Your Kids Financially Savvy" Jonathan Clements passed along advice he'd received:
Indeed, the self-control needed to delay gratification is associated not only with good saving habits, but also with things like succeeding in school and coping better with frustration and stress.

Yet this isn't an easy skill to teach. Henry and Hannah grew up spending their parents' cash, so they didn't have much incentive to curb their desires. My response? Make them feel like they're spending their own money.

One of my early tricks was the soda game, which I learned about from a reader. When my children were young and we went to restaurants, I would give them a choice: They could have a soda or they could have $1.

Henry and Hannah ended up drinking a lot of water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another data point.

Traveling back home over the weekend, we stopped at the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville. With the main dining room being too pricey for us, we went to the bar to order a couple sandwiches. While we were waiting, my wife was walking around with our one-year old. She wandered into the coffee/tea room and noticed the whole milk container for coffee. She asked a doorman if she could put some milk from there in a small cup. He did one better and went to the kitchen and filled up a 12 oz. cup with milk.

Of course, there was no charge. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about not refills, but drinks?

I don't much like flat water if I can have fizzy water. I will happily drink seltzer/soda water from a fountain or a bar gun - it doesn't need to be bottled mineral water. I don't want pop, or lemonade, or iced tea, I just want fizzy water. Most places understand that I want fizzy water rather than flat water and will happily provide such in place of water (as long as it's fountain, and not out of bottles). But some places charge. And they don't just charge once - they charge for each refill. (Note, I tend to sit at the bar most of the time, so these requests are made of bartenders rather than waitstaff.)

Yes, Domku, I'm looking at you when I say that. It has happened in other places, but lately it's been consistent at Domku.

So I don't get it - insight?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...