Can Restaurants Keep Adults From Ordering From The Kid’s Menu?

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Here we will discuss what restaurants do when a person (a teen or an adult) tries to order food from the kid’s menu. We will also cover what an individual can do to be able to order from the kid’s menu if they for some reason can’t.

From our usual days from working at many different restaurants, we have never seen any of these restaurants refuse service to a teen or an adult, simply because they are ordering from the kid’s menu. There is usual a good reason why they are doing this. However, we have seen restaurants deny kid meal orders to teens or adults, because of reasons related around this.

For example, a restaurant has denied orders for guests at times, because from the restaurant’s point of view, the guests were trying to cheat the system in some form or fashion. When a restaurant does this, this doesn’t mean that the restaurant is immediately assuming that the guest is trying to cheat the system on purpose. So don’t take it personal if it happens to you.

From the example that we gave where the restaurant rejects the request of a person ordering from the kid’s menu, the kids meal order is usually changed in such a way that the restaurant no longer profits, or minimally profits, from the changes that are made. Restaurants that offer kid menus, are usually offering fixed food items that are not allowed to be swapped for other food items on the main menu. Though a kids meal may include varieties and food items that also are a part of other dishes on the main menu, usually it is only limited to specific items and is kept exclusive.

Usually the people that are adults that are trying to order from the kid’s menu that are told that they can’t, are trying to get high cost food items at a discount. An easy and simplified example is of an event where we saw a customer trying to swap the fries in a kid’s meal for more chicken. The chicken is more valuable than the fries, therefore the restaurant is taking a loss in profits to some degree by allowing a customer to do this.

When an adult approaches the counter to order food alone with no children, the restaurant is already pretty aware that the individual is probably ordering the food for themselves when they order from the kid’s menu. It isn’t a rare occurrence for an adult to do this. We had regulars that did this all the time, and understood exactly why the food items in the kid’s meal couldn’t be changed for other specific food items. For other people it isn’t so obvious.

The restaurants understand that some adults eat less sometimes for what ever reason, and they just prefer to order a small meal by utilizing the kid’s menu. However, the kid’s menu has to come with some general rules to keep their ownselves (the restaurant) from being ripped off. If it didn’t, then everybody would be doing it, which could lead to the restaurant removing the kid’s menu entirely or risk taking huge losses.

The truth be told, the guests that eat at a restaurant do not care if a restaurant profits or not. Most people actually don’t give these things a thought at all. Many people just assume that every restaurant is rich and thriving, and can afford to give out free/discounted food on occasion. Later they are shocked when their favorite restaurant is no longer around and out of business.

Anyways, restaurants do want people to order what ever food they want from them, they just don’t want to be ripped off in the process as already stated. Sometimes restaurants do make exceptions in these situations, but sometimes it isn’t the actual restaurant that is making these exceptions, but a careless cashier.

Guests from various restaurants order what ever they want (kid’s menu or not), without any of these restaurants having a problem with this. A restaurant would usually prefer a customer to order something, rather than nothing at all. This is why some restaurants allow guests to order single pieces/dishes of food too that don’t make a full meal. A restaurant cannot dictate how much any given person will eat, and most restaurants are sensible enough to know this.

Cashiers causing confusion in the restaurant.

There are numerous circumstances where an incompetent cashier is literally giving away free food to their guests. This is of course, wrong, and can really hurt a restaurant when it is done repeatedly. This falls under the case of where we stated a second ago, “it isn’t the actual restaurant that is making the exceptions, but a careless cashier.” Some cashiers that think that they own the restaraunt and know the finances of the restaurant better than the corporate or the owner, will sometimes give better deals to their guests, even if they don’t have any problem with paying for the food.

In some cases, these cashiers are doing it, because they are playing as the wannabe “Robin Hood” of the establishment. They allow the guests to do things that the restaraunt has already made clear to them that the restaurant doesn’t have the capacity to do. These same cashiers are also amazed that they haven’t gotten a raise yet after asking for one. They fail to comprehend that these “small things” is how the restaurant gets paid to be able to later pay them.

The cashier controls the cash register and the initial ticket when making the order. They can lie to their crew members by saying that a customer didn’t get all of their order for example, and make the kitchen cook free extra food for their guests. In some cases, cashiers even have easy access to certain food items (like cookies, pies, other desserts, and drinks) where they can literally steal (or swap food items in a kid’s meal) from the restaurant and hand these items out directly to the customer for free.

This causes huge problems, because many times, the guests are unaware that the cashier is doing this (even though sometimes they are very aware of what is happening). For adults and teens that order from the kid’s menu, cashiers that do this can sometimes even purposely swap out food items that they aren’t supposed to by changing the order.

This means that the next time that the guest comes in and gets their special request denied by the restaurant for their kid’s meal, they are confused or angry to why it happens. This is because the incompetent cashier made it seem as if it is allowed by the restaurant, and now making the restaurant or some other cashier take the heat for it when they later take that same guest’s order.

In situations like this (which frequently happens, probably more than you know, across various restaurants) the restaurant as a whole is not in the wrong, and neither is the guest, as both sides feel that they are being as fair as possible. If anyone does catch on to what is happening, it is usually the general manager or the owner of the restaurant. They will compensate the guest or allow them to do it (swap the food items) just that one time after explaining why they can’t do this. In some cases, they will just compensate the guest and say nothing about it. This of course makes the guest feel like they were in the right and appease them, leaving the guest in the dark about what really was going on. They then deal with the cashier that caused the problem off screen (if they are smart, because corporate ain’t having that).

The restaurant won’t let the teens and adults order from the kid’s menu, because it is a special day.

Sometimes the restaurant will hold special days with certain discounts that are exclusive to kids. This means that the restaurant won’t allow an individual to order from the kid’s menu, because they don’t meet the age requirements. It isn’t uncommon for restaurants to offer deals where they will include purchased kid’s meals in the order for discounts on other food items, that ultimately benefit the entire family.

Without restricting the options to be only available to kid’s on these days, swindlers can take advantage of loop holes that allow them to cheat the restaurant when they make these deals. Sometimes adults that are unaware of these special deals that the restaurant is offering, innocently try to order kid meals for themselves, only to be rejected right after making their request. To a guest, this rejection can seem very ridiculous, but the restaurant is doing it to prevent severe losses from these special deals that is supposed to earn them more profit, not put them in the hole.

A good example of this is on “kid’s eat free” days.

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