UK restaurants aren’t catering for the youngest members in our families, new research suggests.
Have you recently visited a family restaurant but been unable to enjoy the experience because there were no highchairs available for your baby?
Research by Totseat suggests many families are missing out on invaluable memories over dinner out at restaurants becuase of a lack of suitable highchairs.
Out of 93 restaurants researched in popular summer holiday hotspots in the UK including the Lake District, Cornwall and Edinburgh through TripAdvisor’s UK review site, 17 offered no highchairs for public use at all and 26 offered only one.
34 offered two highchairs but only 6 out of the 93, in a category classified as ‘kid friendly’, offered more than three highchairs.
One answer is to carry with you a portable chair harness such as the Totseat.
“A major barrier has got to be storage space,” said Rachel Jones, a mum and the inventor of the Totseat.
“Highchairs are big and bulky and restaurants often paying exorbitant rates in prime holiday location areas simply can’t afford to give over the space required for storing them.
“There are also concerns over hygiene. Media headlines have reported that some highchairs in public restaurants can harbour more bacteria than a toilet seat and they are undoubtedly difficult to clean in between covers in the busy holiday period.
“One of our Facebook followers cited a time when she had to leave a central London restaurant because the highchair straps were broken. The staff told her they weren’t really necessary but right on cue, her two year old tried to climb out of it.
“Another mum was told, when visiting a café, that she’d just have to use her pushchair. She left on that basis.”
M&B readers agree - give us more highchairs!
When asked on the M&B Facebook page, our readers agreed that many restaurants are lacking when it comes to supplying enough highchairs - and that many existing ones aren’t good quality enough either.
Laura Davy-Thomas said: “My in-laws recently went out for lunch with their twins and a restaurant had to turn them away because they only had one highchair!”
Ioana Eewanna Nistor said: “A lot have no trays for their highchairs. Makes it so difficult as the tables are never the right height especially when the baby is under one.”
Jo Hughes said: “Had a highchair without a tray and when you put it against the table my son was eye/head but level. God knows how they expected a child to eat. The waiter was surprised when I said we had to leave.”
Nancy Kerr-Jones said: “We went to the Harvester where we live; I could only see one highchair and there was no tray on it, so when I pushed him close to the table the feet of the highchair were stopping it from getting close. Every time he went to grab the food from our table he nearly banged his head on it. I am breastfeeding him also; we were given a booth table which clearly wasn't big enough to fit my baby on my lap to feed him, so I asked to swap tables and they wouldn't accommodate us. So I found a spare chair and fed him in the middle of the aisle next to the table, and was in the way of everyone wanting to go past!”
Totseat is available from www.hippychick.com/totseat priced from £24.50.
Have you had to leave a restaurant because there wasn’t a highchair for your little one? Join the discussion on Facebook.