The Benefits and Drawbacks of Eating Out for the Holidays

During the holiday season, many different opportunities to spend time with family and friends occur. While festive interactions bring the majority of people great happiness, making the required preparations and the process of cleaning up afterward can seriously detract from that joy.

Eating out at a restaurant or buffet can make things much easier. Not having to cook the meal or clean up after everyone means that enjoying a meal together becomes much easier for everyone. There are other benefits to this, of course, but there are also a few drawbacks that you might want to keep in mind.

It’s true that everyone can choose their own meal, drink, and dessert, but splitting the bill can pose some complications. Does everyone contribute to a temporary fund and everyone pay out of that? What if the fund doesn’t cover everything ordered? Is everyone expected to contribute equally or only as much as he or she can afford? Should the wait staff get the rest as a tip? What if the rest is not sufficient for the tip? These are things that you need to think about and decide on before venturing out.

Keeping in mind that nobody needs to commit hours to cook anything, realizing that favorite traditional foods might not be on the menu can quell disappointment. If a particular element is missing, how much will its absence detract from a person’s overall enjoyment and satisfaction? Those with food allergies already know how difficult eating out can become at times, so this aspect also needs some consideration.

Children and their needs also need to come into play when making reservations. Nap times can clash with a restaurant’s atmosphere, and others might want to interact with younger children. Colds and flu can also create a situation many parents want to avoid. Older children can often feed themselves or even grab their own items at a buffet out of theĀ hot food display, but younger children should have more supervision. Recruiting teens to help can eliminate accidents by helping parents of younger children by entertaining toddlers or loading plates with food.

Each establishment is going to have its own particular set of additional benefits and drawbacks. Wherever you and your family decide to enjoy the holidays together, remember that it is the festivities that are important. Who paid the most or had the best-behaved child are unimportant and trivial. Coming together to spend time with each other is always more important.