Forget Their Effect on Other Diners: How Do Kids Affect Restaurant Earnings?

Arguing over whether or not children belong in restaurants is hardly a novel or even particularly satisfying exercise. But what few people, save for restaurateurs, take into account is the actual cost of having children dine at a restaurant.

Not the cost to the experience of other diners, as some might suggest, but the cost to the restaurant's business. Over on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, the owner of the Bay Area restaurant Tavern at Lark Creek has explained to columnist Michael Bauer how the presence of more children has raised his prices:

"When you do 40 children a night on a busy night, that can impact you average check quite significantly. The average check for a child is $7.50; our average check for an adult is about $31.00."

In other words, kids are cheapskates. Though possibly not as much so as the bad tippers who seem to be having their moment.

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