This genius idea will make eating out with kids SO much easier 7 years ago

This genius idea will make eating out with kids SO much easier

When it comes to children, let's all agree that rose-tinted fantasy and cold, hard reality often are light-years apart...

Before I had kids, I used to harbor these romantic notions about leisurely Sunday brunches out, me sipping mimosas, the other half flicking through the Sunday Times, while our brood of adorable children sat, perfectly behaved, and filled in the pages of their colouring books, that I, organized mama that I was going to be, had brought with.

Now, six years and two children into motherhood, let me assure you that this is not what eating out looks like. At all.

Instead,when we do brave meals out, I find myself more under the table than above it, trying to locate the pink crayon that fell down and rolled four tables to the left ("sorry, man at the next table, I wasn't trying to feel you up, I swear, I was just looking for...ah, there it is!"). Or, never mind under the table, sometimes I am outside the restaurant, letting my two-year-old run up and down the street to burn off some energy while my other half inhales his food – and then we swap so I can do the same.

Not. Very. Relaxing.

And that's not even including the palaver it is to even get into the restaurant in the first place, where between stashing the buggy and dragging the highchair to the table while wrangling coats of children who suddenly are dying from over-heating usually has me wishing we were home again before I have even glanced at a menu.

Which is why I am currently in LOVE with this latest idea from a restaurant in the US (Ah, those guys get everything first!).

Behold the Mum's Valet. (I KNOW! It's pure GENIUS!)

Across the pond, mum valets are being introduced by a US fast-food chain called Chick-fil-A. This is how it works:

After placing your order at the drive through, you tell the server how many children you have with you, after which you're given your very own Mum's Valet to help make your meal go smoothly.

Mind. Blown.

The Mum's Valet will gather highchairs and set up your table, BEFORE YOU HAVE EVEN PARKED THE CAR! She (or he) will then start setting the table with your drinks, food and condiments and arrange them all for you (while you unbuckle seat belts, gather nappy bags and get rid of the bloody coats).  Once at your table, the valet is available to help out with any other requests - so you are left to sit back and enjoy your meal.

Can I bring her home, I wonder?!

Please, please, bring this idea to Ireland someone, anyone!


Seriously; the parent crowd, who have largely disappeared from the brunch scene since the kids came along, will be back with a bang. And I'm first in line. (As long as they serve mimosas, that is!)

How much would YOU love it if restaurants offered this service over here? Are YOU finding eating out with littles more rigmarole than relaxation? Join in the conversation with us on Twitter at @Herfamilydotie