It used to be that dining out as a family was the exception, not the norm. But today, more and more families are taking their kids out to restaurants for dinner. A survey from Restaurant.com finds nearly 60 percent of parents dine out with their families once a week or more, and 70 percent say that going out with their kids is a great way to spend time with the family.

With the holiday season fast approaching – kids out of school and family coming in from out of town – life can get a little hectic. But it’s also the perfect time to celebrate the pre-holiday with your favorite people. Eating dinner at a restaurant helps slow things down, limits distractions, and opens the door to quality family time. Kids get a fun adventure. Parents catch a break from cooking and cleaning up. And the family draws closer, with more time to talk, relax, and enjoy each other. Everybody wins!

Here are seven tips for making a family night out a rewarding experience:
  1. Think it through. Do your homework! Read reviews on Trip Advisor and Yelp. Search for restaurants that are good for “families with children.” Then, visit the restaurant’s website to review the menu with your family. Look for good value for the price. Make sure the selections appeal to kids and adults alike, beyond the standard fast-food fare.
  2. Target the right time. Try to eat out around the same time you have dinner at home. The earlier, the better for young children. A tired or overly hungry child is no fun for anyone.
  3. Tote along activities. If you have small children, bring along a toy or a coloring book and crayons, in case they get bored or cranky before the food is ready. Check out the many non-tech games available while you’re waiting. Have a few snacks in reserve, too.
  4. Teach good table manners. Go over the rules with your kids. Talk about the importance of table manners and practice how to use them at the restaurant.
  5. Turn off the devices. Dining out creates focused family time. Make it a goal to keep electronics off limits at the table. Set a good example for your children and teenagers. Avoid checking or using your phone during dinner. Make it even more interesting by having everyone put their phones in the middle of the table. The first one to check their phone buys dessert!
  6. Talk. The meals you share at restaurants typically stretch on longer than the ones you have at home. That means more time for conversation. Ask your children about their day. Along with catching up on what’s going on in their lives, you can build their conversation skills and vocabulary.
  7. Treasure the experience. Dining out should be a special time. Treat it as an opportunity to give your children extra attention or reward them for their accomplishments.
Enjoy Family-Friendly Dining at Smokey Mo’s BBQ

If you’re looking for fun, easy-going, family-friendly dining in Central Texas, Smokey Mo’s BBQ is the place to go. Smokey Mo’s has restaurants in 16 locations, serving up a wide range of food choices for even the fussiest eaters.

You’ll find something for everyone at Smokey Mo’s. Mouth-watering meats, from tasty baby-back ribs, tender brisket, and scrumptious sausage to juicy chicken and turkey. Healthy and delicious side dishes, like green beans, buttered potatoes, crisp coleslaw, and house-made pinto beans. Delectable desserts, from chocolate cake to pecan pie.

Delight in generous helpings, speedy service, and just the right atmosphere for enjoying your family. With Smokey Mo’s, dining out can be a favorite family tradition – making memories today that will last a lifetime.

Let the fun begin. “Meat” your family at Smokey Mo’s!

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