What is it with highchairs in restaurants and their lack of trays?

So many eating places provide high chairs for babies/toddlers, but so few of them seem to have trays.  Ok, so it often means the high chairs are much smaller, more easily stored, and often can have the chairs pulled right up underneath the table.  But, more often than not, the tables aren’t the right height and it just means that the restaurant ends up with a lot more food on the floor than they might have done, plus you get an irritable child once they’ve finished because they’ve got nothing to put their toys on.

So far, N’s eaten in:

  • Caffe Nero – nice wooden chairs, no harness that I could see, no tray.  Tables too low to put the chairs under
  • Sainsbury’s – funny plastic colourful ‘pod’ chairs, harnesses but no tray.
  • Little Chef – as in Sainsbury’s but did have a small tray
  • Kiddicare – as you’d expect, a choice of several different types of highchair with and without trays.
  • Daylesford farm restaurant – gorgeous Stokke highchairs (well, it is a posh & expensive eatery), but no trays.  They also have very clever chairs that strap onto their normal chairs which have a slight recline so the child can sit back if they want to chill out.  Again no trays though
  • Wacky Warehouse – wooden highchairs without trays, but can pull right up to the table so that’s like the tray.
  • Pizza Hut – Lovely wooden highchair with a harness and tray.  Whoop!!!!  It was also the correct height to sit fairly in to the table as well.  He had a great time as he could sit in between us at the table, there was somewhere for his food to go, and then when he was finished, lots of space for his toys & books.  They definitely get it right for children.

So, please to all those restaurants that supposedly cater for children, it makes sense to provide highchairs with trays if you want to avoid as much mess on the floor (and parents scrabbling under the table trying to pick up the worst of the mess).

Parents, my advice if you’re eating out…always take a roll up bib with a scoop bottom to help catch the food.  Essential if you end up without a tray.  We use either a Tommee Tippee Explorer one or the equivalent Boots version which is just as good.  Plus the bonus is that they go in the top of the dishwasher for cleaning.

sitting in the highchair at Daylesford

playing with Sophie giraffe

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