When you have a newborn or a young child, getting out for a quiet meal with your partner can seem impossible. I don’t remember the last time I went out with just my husband and it certainly wasn’t at all since my youngest was born — and I know it won’t be coming any time soon.
What stops many parents from enjoying a night out? Perhaps it’s the cost of the night out plus the added expense of babysitting — which can add up to quite the tab by the end of the night.
The restaurant chain Olive Garden is offering a new promotion teaming up with My Gym, a chain of children’s activity centers which will have the restaurant pay for the babysitting tab with a dinner receipt. During their exclusive Parents’ Night Out event on Friday, February 7, parents can drop their kids off at any one of 145 My Gym locations where their kids will be entertained and cared for while they enjoy a romantic dinner for two at Olive Garden — including unlimited bread sticks (which I am told are awesome. I have never eaten at Olive Garden and having celiac disease, I’ll have to take everyone’s word on those bread sticks).
I don’t know if the chain loves parents and is looking to remove an obstacle that keeps them from enjoying some adult time alone and a romantic dinner for just two or if they dislike babies in their restaurant, but it’s a nice gesture — and a win-win for both parents and the companies involved.
Monique Vranesh, executive vice president of My Gym Enterprises says:
My Gym and Olive Garden have similar goals in mind, to provide families with a fun, affordable and positive experience that both parents and children can enjoy. During Parents’ Night Out, we’ll do just that by making a night out carefree and easy for adults while they’re at Olive Garden and by providing kids with a fun, safe space to stay active.
With the recent drama at Alinea, in Chicago — where the chef tweeted that maybe 8-month-old babies didn’t belong in his restaurant –I wonder if this is Olive Garden’s response. I understand not wanting to enjoy a romantic meal while there’s a screaming infant at the table next to you, but I can also understand wanting to live your life and getting out even with an infant in tow.
Checking out My Gym’s website, I see that they offer their programs to babies as young as 6 weeks — which means this promotion is great for parents of newborns who are prone to crying, but will also keep the “terrible 2-year-old” from being a disruption to both the parents and other customers. It keeps everyone happy.
Parents these days are crazy busy and with the bills of dining out and babysitting being so expensive — and with the time to do it next to nil — I think the collaboration is kind of genius. I mean, you’ll keep other customers happy who want to enjoy a romantic dinner without noisy kids and the parents are going to love you as well.
:: Do you think you would take advantage of the promotion? Would this remove a big obstacle for your romantic Valentine’s Day? ::