How to make your café or restaurant more baby and child friendly

Guide for venues

There are some simple things you can do to make your place more welcoming for parents and their children. From providing high chairs to having change tables available in the toilets — read on to find out how to be more baby and child friendly.

 

Why make your venue appealing to people with babies and children?

Encouraging people with children and babies to spend time at your café or restaurant can bring lots of benefits to your business. 

Catering to families creates a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, making your space more inviting to the wider community.

Families often visit cafes and restaurants as social outings, which means larger group sizes and potentially increased spending.

Offering facilities such as high chairs, baby-changing stations, and a child-friendly ambiance can enhance customer satisfaction, leading to positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals within the parenting community.

Attracting families can lead to repeat business, as parents are more likely to return to places where their children feel comfortable and accommodated.

Catering to families can also boost foot traffic during traditionally quieter times, such as early afternoons or weekdays.

Pram friendly

Some families find it easiest to transport their children in a pram. So when they head out for a meal, it’s important for them to know that a place is pram friendly.

Being pram friendly means having an entrance with no stairs or obstacles and a door that is wide enough for a pram or stroller to enter and exit.

Ideally, your tables would be spaced wide enough to make sure a pram can get through. Having a few with space to park the pram next to the table is also really helpful.

An added bonus of this is that your space is also accessible for people in wheelchairs.

Change table

One of the scariest parts of going out as a new parent is the threat of a messy nappy change and having the right place to deal with it.

Having a change table available can ease a lot of stress as it means you won’t get stuck trying to change your child in the back seat of the car or on the toilet floor.

Putting the change table in a gender neutral bathroom is ideal, as it means nappy changes don’t get left to one parent. Plus, if the worst happens, it allows “all hands on deck” with both parents being able to help with a change.

Some places may even go the extra mile by having nappies and baby wipes available for anyone who gets caught short.

Highchairs

You can make it easier for parents to feed their children by having highchairs available for little ones to sit at the table. This means children can be part of the experience and gives parents a free hand (or two) to eat their own meal or enjoy a drink.

Breastfeeding friendly

It’s every parent’s right to breastfeed their child in public, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Knowing that a place is breastfeeding friendly can make going out a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Being breastfeeding friendly means you provide a supportive breastfeeding environment where parents can feel confident and relaxed feeding their child. Parents feel welcome and relaxed when feeding their child and know that the staff will have their back.

Only owners and managers can register their place as being breastfeeding friendly when they claim their listing.

Allergy friendly

Some children have allergies and intolerances that make going out to eat at cafés and restaurants more difficult. Knowing that a place takes their family’s needs seriously is important for many parents. 

Being allergy friendly means staff checking in with the chef when an allergen is queried, allowing parents to bring their own food for children with allergies or intolerances, and clearly marking foods with allergens (such as gluten) on the menu.

Only owners and managers can register their place as being allergy friendly when they claim their listing.

Playgroup friendly

Being a parent can be a surprisingly social experience. But going out for a coffee or lunch with your friends from playgroup or antenatal classes can quickly take up a lot of space.

Being playgroup friendly means your venue has plenty of space for a group of parents with prams to meet. Ideally, you would also allow bookings so enough space is guaranteed.

Only owners and managers can register their place as being playgroup friendly when they claim their listing.