During one of our London medevacs a few years back, Andy and I dragged an over-tired 1.5 year old Flynn all over town searching for some kid-friendly restaurant, any kid-friendly restaurant, which we never were able to find. (If memory serves we wound up in a Pizza Hut or somewhere similarly disappointing.) At the time we wondered: Why aren’t there restaurants with built-in childcare? Not fast food joints, but real restaurants with a room you can send children off to while you enjoy your meal in peace. We’d pay a hefty premium for that sort of thing. We certainly can’t be the only ones.
Since then, every time we watched Shark Tank, we envisioned pitching them our genius idea. But we also have jobs and kids and stuff, and hence no time or energy to educate ourselves about business start-ups.
As it turns out, our brilliant idea already exists. It’s alive and well here in Mexico! It seems like every new restaurant we try has a play area for children, some as impressive as what you’d find in a preschool, and many monitored by professional nannies (rooms without childcare are visible from the dining room). One night we went to get take-out from a hole in the wall sort of place, and even they had a patch of grass and full-sized sunken trampoline to keep kids busy.
Real restaurants with play areas and childcare — I’m telling you, folks, it’s the wave of the future. Expect these to be everywhere in the United States in the coming years. You heard it from me here first. And expect me to bemoan the millions I could have made if only I’d jumped the diplomatic ship and been the one to develop them. We have no plan for that in the immediate future, but hmm, if we get a really crummy next post, you just never know what may happen…