Why Can’t an Adult order from the Children’s Restaurant Menu?

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The other day I was out for lunch and I wasn’t feeling very hungry. When we were seated I asked for the children’s menu, only to be met by the waitress’s refusal to hand me one. Why? You cannot order a children’s meal for yourself if you are an adult.

Excuse me? I am well aware I am not a child, thank you very much. I’m just not that interested in buying a heap of fat-laden oversized meal portions when I want to consume two bites only! Why am I not allowed to order whatever I want in a restaurant? I know many girls who are on a diet, or who don’t eat big meals in restaurants, or girls who actually have the appetitie of a child. Are we supposed to consume more than we need or let the food go to waste just because of a menu title “techinicality”?

I’d understand the dilemma if the restaurant was a fancy one or had a minimum charge set and needs to meet it’s quota. I would have gladly ordered enough smaller appetisers or perhaps coffee and dessert instead. But not in the case of that restaurant I was in. I could have sat there, happily sipping from an overpriced bottle of mineral water from the menu and consumed nothing else, but they still wouldn’t budge and bring me the children’s menu. I should have said I had an invisible child joining us soon, perhaps that would have persuaded her!

Have you ever been unable to order from the children’s menu in a restaurant before? I have had some snickering from different restaurants when I asked about a children’s menu before but I always did end up ordering from it except for that last time. I wonder why that rule exists!

16 Responses to “Why Can’t an Adult order from the Children’s Restaurant Menu?”

  1. Ghadeer says:

    That’s unfair. I order children’s meals sometimes, and like you said, I get smirks sometimes but have never been refused one.

    • danderma says:

      Exactly! If there was a minimum charge I would have gladly paid it but there wasn’t any! Smirks I’m used to, I always drive waiters crazy with my customised orders but never before been denied to order from the kids menu!

  2. Yahalooo says:

    I always order from the children’s meals mainly because the sizes of adult orders are way to big for me unless I’m starving of hunger or sharing with another. I’ve had kids meals from PF Chang, Johnny Rockets, iHOP and Chills with nothing but a goofy smile from the waiter then saying when he repeats the order for madam “insert name of kids meal”.

    • danderma says:

      That’s sweet! There you go! Nothing is wrong with ordering from the kids meal! It shouldn’t be a problem!

  3. Eiman says:

    OK.. So I thought it happens only to me.. And how about when you out with a large group of people (friends or family) and you only want coffee and desert ? The waiters keep giving me a hard time about it, it is as I am begging for their charity. They give me despised or horrified looks thinking I am stingy (this happened to me in my country and abroad) and the most annoying thing is when they keep repeating loudly (Are You SURE??)).. Hey YOU, I am not stingy, I simply get sick when I eat greasy food no mater how much the restaurant promises that it is healthy. I have a very small apatite, but I eat at least 5 tiny meals a day and everyone related to me knows that. So, what I am supposed to do? ask a doctor for a letter to carry around whenever I want to join my family for a night out?!! My parents force me sometimes to order whatever just to keep face in fancy restaurant and we end up leaving it because they do not pack leftovers.. People are really inconsiderate, and they do not bother themselves to find excuses for others. There is nothing that customer care training can offer for such people, because if consideration does not come from within, it can never come from anywhere else!!

    • danderma says:

      I agree with you. Whenever I ask for something to become vegetarian I either get ridiculed or get very weird answer. The other day I was asking what vegetarian sandwich do you have, and they go “Chicken and Tuna”. OK… what vegetarian without meat do you have? Just Tuna! OK what vegetarian cheese only? Ah just Mozzarella! Or if I want a perfect salad without the chicken or the tuna, it’s either “are you sure?” or “hahaha what?” or whatever. As long as the meal doesn’t come packed from a factory the way it is, I should not be ridiculed for customising it to my needs! People have allergies, or different appetites, or dietary needs! Don’t get me started on the waiters who think you are being a spoiled woman on a diet when you order nothing but coffee for yourself… are you sure? are you sure? are you sure? Wallah el 3atheem I’m sure!!!!!

      • heheehee this comment made me laugh! I love your writing style, Danderma!

        lol I guess they are trained to repeat the “Are you sure?” question to guilt customers into ordering more than what they need, so that they could gain more money obviously…

        As for me, I don’t recall ordering from children’s menus… I would usually share or take leftovers back home. Haven’t really been in such situations…

        But it’s really annoying to order more than what you need… That’s why I always make sure the restaurant is the last place to visit, because I am sure to have leftovers when I go out!

        • danderma says:

          I guess the repeated question is indeed to guilt me into ordering more! But it’s annoying and makes you feel inadequate somehow, as if the order you’ve placed is not good enough.

          I sometimes order from the Kids menu because the food options are more friendly to my picky taste than whatever the restaurant is offering. If spaghetti is on the menu I wouldn’t mind at all!

  4. Aquamarine says:

    As long as i pay for my meal that should not be a problem. Did they say why they won’t allow you to order from the kids menu?

  5. N says:

    Casper & Gambini’s (Cairo) are always very understanding when it comes to ordering from kids menus although they do not serve it by default, you would need to request it

    • danderma says:

      Many places would not give you the kids menu by default but have no problem when you ask for the kids menu, except in that case I’ve encountered! It was very weird indeed. I love Casper by the way.

  6. Andrea says:

    Tuttu Italia – Epcot Disney World

    We have a child diagnosed with a autism spectrum disorder who is 15 years old. We asked for a children’s menu and we were refused. Manager was adamant about the 9 and under policy. He was informed of her condition and still refused to provide her with a Children’s menu. She is a very picky eater and eats very plain food. She has a hard time making decisions even when presented with only 3 choices. She has a hard time with transitions. It took her several months of exposure therapy for her to accept that she was flying on Jet Blue instead of Southwest. On top of all that she also has food allergies.

    So they would rather frustrate a child who will cry in public than to give her a children’s menu.

    I read somewhere that it is a case by case basis. They can give someone over 9 the Children’s menu and provide adult size portions and charge adult dining charges to the Disney dining plan. The other restaurants at Disney gave her the childrens menu by request.

    • danderma says:

      How horrible! What kind of manager is that, denying your child the children’s menu based on an age technicality? I don’t see how that makes his life any easier!

      • Andrea says:

        We contacted Disney with a formal complaint.
        They informed us that the restaurant is not owned by Disney, but they will discuss this with the restaurant manager. They did give us a small compensation (more fast pass selection than typical for 1 day) while at Disney for this inconvenience. They also said for us in the future to consultant with a Disney rep about the dietary considerations. The rep would contact the restaurants in advance to discuss accommodations before we even arrive to restaurant.

        • danderma says:

          Still their behaviour was despicable! There are certain things that are a no brainer and do not need to be accommodated in advance but I’m glad you got some sort of consideration after all.