Pubs 'must do more' for young families

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Restaurant High street

Only 12% of parents surveyed say pubs are convenient for eating out with pre-school children
Only 12% of parents surveyed say pubs are convenient for eating out with pre-school children
Pubs and cafes need to do more to cater for the needs of young families, according to a new report.

While 44% of parents take their children to eat in pubs, only 12% say they are convenient for pre-school children. Half of parents take their children to coffee shops, but just 7% believe that they suit their needs.

The survey of 1,005 parents by research firm Global Market Insite identified their top five family-friendly requests: a special children’s menu (84%); children’s entertainment - ie crayons and colouring book at the table (79%); high chairs or booster seats (74%); baby changing facilities (71%); child-friendly staff (70%).

The survey found that 59% of parents have taken their pre-school age children to a restaurant specifically because of the family-friendly facilities provided.

The research also found that on a weekly basis, British parents eat out more frequently with their young children (23%) than French (9%) or German (12%) parents.


Almost two thirds (64%) of British parents eat out in fast food restaurants with their young children, and two thirds of those said they suit their needs (42%). Next for meeting their needs are chain restaurants (21%) and supermarket cafes (13%).

Ralph Risk, marketing director Europe at Global Market Insite, said: “On the whole, parents of pre-school children feel that the British high street could do better at catering for their needs.

“There is a real opportunity to make simple changes, from training staff to be more child-friendly to adding new offers and facilities to encourage families to shop and eat out more together. These don’t have to be expensive for business owners - in restaurants a special menu and some form of entertainment were the top two options parents look for.

“With so many initiatives focused on making the high street more attractive and profitable, it’s a reminder that some simple changes can make a big difference to this particular group.”

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