Kids Meals Are For Kids. Period.

Everybody light a candle for Lindsey, because she had the “WORST customer experience” of her life this week at Applebee’s. Yes, that’s right. Out of every interaction she has had in her entire existence on earth, this is the event that will forever be remembered as the worst one. Like when, she is 85 years old and talking to her great-great grandkids, she’ll still be boring them to death with the tale about that time she went to Applebee’s in 2018 and the server wouldn’t let her order a goddamn kids meal.

Long story short: she went in with her two kids, one of which got full on the appetizer and didn’t want anymore food and since Lindsey herself wasn’t that hungry, she wanted to order two kids meals: one for her still hungry child and one for herself. Server gave Lindsey a big ol’ “no can do” and then Lindsey was forced to order a regular entree and leave with a ton of leftover food she didn’t want, couldn’t eat and had to pay for.

Buckle up, Linds, because I’m about to explain how kid meals work. A restaurant that offers a smaller portion of food at a lower price is doing parents a courtesy. It’s called a “kids meal” because it is literally FOR KIDS. It’s not for people who have small appetites or who had gastric bypass surgery or lap band surgery. The reason restaurants offer a smaller and cheaper portion for kids that is so that parents who come in with a gaggle of children won’t go bankrupt just taking their brood out for dinner. It’s actually very generous of restaurants to even offer it in the first place. Too many people see a kids meal and want to order it because it’s cheap. Whatever the case may be for wanting to order it, if you are over the age of 12, you better just resign yourself to having a full portion of Fiesta Lime Chicken and get ready to carry home a to-go box with your leftovers.

Your argument that you have two kids and you should be allowed to order two kids meals regardless of who will eat them, doesn’t fly. Why? First off, you ain’t 12 years old. Second off, the lower price for a kids meal is off-set by a parent who is paying a regular price for an entrée. If the only thing that is being sold to a table is a bunch of kids meals, it’s not a good use of restaurant real estate. Why would a restaurant want to give up a prime booth and then only sell two plates of food that cost a few dollars? News flash: all restaurants are there to make a profit, even Applebee’s. Your server was doing his job and you want to complain about someone who is enforcing the rules that were set by his boss? The real reason he didn’t want you talk to the manager is to save you the embarrassment of having that manager say the exact same thing your server just told you: kids meal are for kids. So even though you may have the emotional intelligence of an 8-year old, your actual age will require that you step away from the kids menu.

So, you had to leave with a bunch of leftovers? Is that the worst thing in the world? Doesn’t that just mean that you can eat it later? And if you didn’t want it, why did you order it? If you weren’t hungry enough for a full meal, why not order another appetizer? And also, your complaint that you to “still had to pay for it,” is just plain stupid.

Lindsey: I’m not that hungry, so can I order a kids meal?
Server: No, I’m sorry, you’ll have to order off the regular menu.
Lindsey: Oh, bummer. So, if I order off the regular menu, will I have to pay for it?
Server: Yes, bitch. That is how restaurants work. Jesus, why are my customers so dumb?

In closing, we all know that Lindsey has never been so dissatisfied with a restaurant which is why she went to the Applebee’s page to complain. What’s even more telling is that Applebee’s failed to respond to her post which means that even they know it’s an invalid complaint. Normally, we see Applebee’s jumping at the opportunity to offer a gift card. Their silence on this issue is deafening and that silence is saying: get over it, girl.


I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

28 thoughts on “Kids Meals Are For Kids. Period.

  1. Honestly, when I was a server for a corporate establishment, I could give two fucks about adults eating kids meals. I would have given it to her, no questions asked. At the end of the day, if it’s the multi-million dollar corporation that you’re defending over a 6.99 kids meal, you might want to re-evaluate your life. Seriously who gives a fuck.

    1. I’m with Kyle…but I work fine dining at a French restaurant..we have no kid’s meals..but I don’t care what they order.

    2. The problem Kyle is an adult table ordering kids food which brings a tab down. Cheep adults = cheep tip.
      If Lindsey actually did leave her alleged “30%” tip the server has probably been burned in the past with jerks ordering kids shit taking up a table and typically leaving 10%.

      Here’s is you “verbal tip dear” you did a great job filling my beverage 7 times while I caught up with my friend I see ever other year and I actually did not have the money to go out tonight.

  2. Though the menu at Olive Garden clearly states that kids’ meals are for 12 and under, we always let adults get them. Our manager makes us honor that, so whatever. The bigger problem is in the fact that kids’ meals don’t come with unlimited salad. And of course practically everyone who crosses our threshold thinks they’re entitled to “free” salad whether they purchase an entree or not. I always tell them there will be an additional charge if they want the salad to be unlimited so they don’t have a coronary when they get the check. The looks of disgust I get say it all: “We’re cheap as fuck and had intended to fill up on “free” salad to compensate on the smaller portion.”

    This has nothing to do with whether I think Lindsey is right or wrong, btw. The post just reminded me of a pet peeve and I wanted to rant.

  3. Lindsey, I think the problem was that you gave them a bad review after you resolved the situation at the restaurant. It’s one thing to have a bad server, then get your situation resolved after making your complaint where it needed to be made, but a completely different thing to trash the restaurant online afterwards.

  4. Maybe a fee could be added to adults eating kids meals. In the same way some restaurants have sharing fees. That would solve a lot of problems. No menu item should be forbidden for adults. Adults just might have to pay an extra $5 or something. Problem solved.

  5. Sounds like bullshit, Lindsey. If you spoke to the manager, and the manager told you it was no issue, then why did you order an adult entree anyway? If you waited until after you had already ordered, eaten, and wrapped leftovers from your meal before consulting with the manager, that’s your issue. So what if your server “preferred you didn’t” when you initially requested? He’s not your boss; you could’ve demanded the manager anyway.

    As for judgement, everyone judges. You’re just mad that our judgement is negative. You put your comment on a public forum. We’re not obligated to read anything more than you offered. You have no problem complaining, and we have no problem making a determination that your story doesn’t add up.

  6. Why do grown ass adults want to eat kids’ menu fare anyway? When I go out to a non-fast-food restaurant, I want to enjoy good food that I don’t have every day. I can make myself a grilled cheese or microwave some chicken nuggets any old night right at home. I can never finish my meal when I go out, which means I get to take some home and enjoy it AGAIN later. Why must people make that so difficult? It takes the enjoyment out of the experience. I WISH my worst customer experience was something that minor. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a jaded, snarky bitch.

  7. ^ thank you. Once again if I had tried to order more kids meals than there were # of kids seated at the table; OR if I had ONLY ordered those 3 things(appetizer and kids meals) I would sorta understand. Even then, theres no set dollar amount you’re required to spend at a restaurant. Look at it from the other end – they don’t know my circumstances. What if I WERE broke, had NOT ordered all the other stuff and was just trying to have a nice night out at a sit down place for a change with my children with what little money I had? How embarrassing would it be to tell my children that we had to leave because kids meals were all I could afford and they wouldn’t allow me to have more than one because I wasn’t allowed to share a 2nd with them? My daughter very well might have decided she wanted part of the meal once it got to the table – anybody with small kids knows how it goes. One minute they say they’re not hungry, but the second they see the food they want some. I know for a fact she wouldn’t have wanted any part of an adult entree, so why not order a kid’s meal myself since I wasn’t very hungry anyway in case she might change her mind? It would have been a lot easier doing that than ordering more food after everything had already come if she got hungry again. I wasn’t asking anybody to inconvenience themselves in any way, in fact I was trying to make it easier on the staff as it was a busy Saturday night.

    Sidenote: when I spoke to the manager she said the waiter never even so much as approached her to ask whether or not we could possibly meet in the middle(and I DID ask him if he would mind doing so before I asked to speak to her myself). She said it would have been absolutely no problem to allow me to order a meal for each of my children, regardless of who actually ate the food. I didn’t ask for a discount, none of the food was comped – I paid full price for everything, tipped the kid 30% AND actually ordered an adult entree for myself in the end. I could have just gotten up and left….so what’s the problem? You are more than welcome to put me in your next book and or make this go viral as an example of a snotty customer, but a better idea in the future would might be contacting the strangers you decide to pass judgement on without having the full story first.

    1. Ok….so you resolved the issue internally. The manager was helpful. Everything was taken care of. And yet you still go online to complain about the “WORST” customer service of your life? even after the manager was made aware of the issue, solved it, and most likely had a plan to handle it internally? I didn’t think you were a snotty customer for wanting to order the kids meal. NOW I think you’re a snotty customer for having everything taken care of, but still having a tantrum (an exaggerated tantrum at that, if that is the WORST customer service you have ever recieved) online. You could have publically thanked the manager for helping you. You could have thanked the manager in person and dropped it. But you write a review, totally leaving out how the manager helped you, to what? Just complain? try to get something for free? What? I really don’t understand it.

      1. This is exactly right, I was on the fence about her until you pointed this out but yes, if everything was resolved so nicely there was no reason to post and especially to call it the worse experience of her life!

  8. Wow! They were really cold to you at iHop. Unfortunately you got a waiter either on a power trip, or as dumb as rocks.

  9. Maybe that sounds silly, but when I was little, dad would teach which country each flag came from. He would let me sip from one single server dairy creamer. He would get an omelette and I always got the funny face. It was a place for us to talk we never brought mom. It was “Jenny and dad time.”He died too soon and I wanted to remember and commemorate those time with a real comfort food. I didn’t ask to see the manager. I just left before I started crying.

  10. I have to say I kind of disagree with you on this one. I could go to a restaurant and just order desert or an appetizer. Full meals are not required for being seated at most restaurants. My father used to take me to IHOP for the funny face pancake. I loved going there with him. After he died, I wanted that experience again. They wouldn’t serve it to me. I offered to pay the price of a full stack of pancake for the single pancake. They wouldn’t do it. I left crying (it was the week dad died). My boyfriend made me a replica at home. I really don’t understand why I couldn’t have it for a higher price. If I was a server I would have at least made the same design on a full stack. I even told them why I wanted it. It wasn’t the worst experience in my life. I have had experiences most people wouldn’t have survived, but it was an unpleasant experience. I would have paid $50 for one that day. Maybe even a hundred.

  11. I DID get up and speak to the manager myself, AND I politely asked the waiter at first if I could order a meal for my daughter and eat it myself since I was already ordering so much other stuff. If I had ordered nothing but a kid’s meal for every single person at the table it would be different, but that’s not the case – I asked to have one for each child there in addition to the adult food and beverages I was already buying. i didn’t get mad about it until he said he didn’t want to get in trouble if I spoke to the manager. Classic case of not having the full story. Smh.

    1. I should also add that I offered to PAY for a full priced adult entree even if they brought the kids meal AND tip extra. This is not a case of me trying to be cheap, I just don’t like to waste food and knew I was unlikely to have the leftovers later because it wasn’t an item that reheated well.

      1. You offering to pay the full amount doesn’t go with “I had to pay full price for something I didn’t want/could ea”

        Sounds like you are just now trying to justify your cheap ass by adding to your story.

        Kids menu is for KIDS only!
        Not for an adult that isn’t that hungry!

  12. Were your legs fucking broken, dummy? You could have gotten up off your lazy, entitled ass & walked to the hostess station & requested a manager. Or you could have whipped out your phone & called the restaurant from your table, requesting to speak with a manager. (My former-server sense tells me your default mode is demanding, not politely requesting.)

    But it’s good you didn’t, because you were completely in the wrong. I’d like to tip your server extra, not only for putting up with shitheads like you but for not bending to the idea that the (idiotic) customer is always right. Kudos to him!

  13. Meh, you guys can fuck off. My daughter wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t going to order ANY food for myself otherwise, so if I wanted to get something for her and eat it myself if she wouldn’t I don’t see the problem. I paid for cocktails/drinks, a full priced appetizer, a full priced regular entree (on top of the one that I ended up getting for myself) because I was with a friend, AND dessert….yet they wouldn’t let me order a kids meal for each child I had with me, regardless of who ate or OR let me discuss whether or not an exception can be made with the manager? That’s ridiculous.

    1. Why do I have a feeling your kids are going to be the sort who are constantly insisting the rules doesn’t apple to them? Brace yourself. Only the next 20 you’re going to be screaming ALOT at Principals, Judges and Parole Officiers.

  14. If it becomes a problem then give her the frigen kids meal. She did have two kids with her. It’s not worth the drama!

    1. Restaurants lose money on kids meals so that’s a solid no!! It seems to have been explained pretty well in the above article

  15. Some folks would just order another appetizer off the apps menu if they’re not hungry enough for an entree. Or a dessert. Or a salad, or a bowl of soup. All these things be on ye menu at yon Applebees, English.

  16. This is the WORST customer service she has received? She should get down on her knees and thank the Lord! Based on her behavior she should qualify but other than that – I don’t see where she got poor service. They mix policy up with a server just doing his or her job.

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