Parenting & Family

Etiquette for Children's Birthday at McDonalds

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  • Jan 21st, 2013 10:25 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jan 31, 2004
594 posts
70 upvotes
Woodbridge

Etiquette for Children's Birthday at McDonalds

Just wondering if you were holding a party at McD's for your 7 year old and 10 friends (an evening or sunday afternoon), would you pay for the parents' food? Are you obligated to pay? Would you think the host should pay for you & or sibilings?

Also, if you were the host, how would you say "not paying for parents"? Basically I don't want a free for all on me just because it is where it is.

thanks for any help.
12 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 14, 2004
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Markham
Well if you were inviting someone to your house for a party, do you charge them for food? I suppose it's the same idea. But how much can you eat at McD's anyways?
:lol:
Deal Expert
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Oct 19, 2003
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Just put on the invitation that happy meals for the children will be provided.
Deal Addict
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Jun 8, 2008
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If you want the parents to stay, then I'd cover their food, otherwise, I'd say "drop off at X time, pick up at Y time" and the parents should catch on they're not invited.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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At 7, the expectation is that parents drop off their kids. It is rare for a parent to stay...many (like us) appreciate the time.
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Jun 9, 2003
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been to a bday party for 2 year old at mcdicks...it definitely isnt as cool now as in the past....



try to stay away from having it during lunch time...
def'n get an area zoned for private party...
[OP]
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Jan 31, 2004
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Woodbridge
I think I have to explain a bit more Hairball. A year ago, my son who was also 7 at the time went to a McD's bday party - invite read drop off. I asked the mom for me to stay when RSVPing, BUT only to help, and stay out of the way (I have never met the mom - needless to say I was not comfortable leaving him with people I didn't know at an open venue - not a closed play place). I did not eat, I didn't ask for anything, I felt if I asked to stay, I pay my own way. The mother had a coffee container for the parents. Great. BUT Out of the 20 children invited, all the parents (and some spouses and various siblings as well) 90% had dinner - full meals for the whole family. The mother of the birthday boy looked like she was going to have a heart attack when she was handed her bill. The parents just gave their orders to the McD's host, who put everything through. So, this is the scenario I'm worried about - a bill that should have been $100-150 turned into over $400.

Other in house birthday parties the kids have been invited to, yes, the parents have had a pizza - maybe - for the parents and any leftover cake, but that's the extent of it, which I agree, the party is for the kids, not the parents. If I do stay, I always ask to help the family, help the kids through meals, crafts, clean up, I don't expect anything in return, just that the kids are happy.

So yes, I am worried that the expectation that because its McD's, meals will be provided for any and all and I appreciate the help trying to wade through birthday etiquette. I don't want to piss off parents, I don't want to upset the kids, but I also don't want to go broke and have bad feelings towards others because my expectations and theirs are different.

thankyou everyone.
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Dec 4, 2009
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Yes, you should be worried. Parents will stay they will bring spouse/other kids and you'll inevitably be footing the bill for everyone. I like the idea of indicating "happy meals will be provided" but also make sure you let management know that you're not covering parent meals. You invite 10 kids, you pay for 10 happy meals. Let the McD's staff explain to the parents that the "party package" has been paid for and anything else ordered has to be paid up front.
That's the end of my rant.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2006
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Midtown Toronto
The parent should have explained to McDonald's that she was only paying for the kids ahead of time. I don't think it's fair or implied that the host should be footing the bill for everyone to eat when the invitation was clear that it was a drop-off party.
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2003
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I just hosted my kid's birthday party at Fantsy Fair. I provided a day pass for each child invited and one parent (stated on the invitation). I had one child's parents both wanted to go on rides with the kid, so the manager told them he has to speak to me first. A day pass is $10. I would assume Macdonald adult meal is close to $10 as well. MacDonald manager should run by you first before taking orders.

Btw, anyone who wants to do birthday party at Fantsy Fair, they are great!!! Very good expereince. Happy kids, happy parents and make host very happy too ~
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Nov 9, 2007
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Toukolou wrote:
Jan 15th, 2013 11:18 pm
Yes, you should be worried. Parents will stay they will bring spouse/other kids and you'll inevitably be footing the bill for everyone. I like the idea of indicating "happy meals will be provided" but also make sure you let management know that you're not covering parent meals. You invite 10 kids, you pay for 10 happy meals. Let the McD's staff explain to the parents that the "party package" has been paid for and anything else ordered has to be paid up front.
+1
Great advice!
ginabobolee wrote:
Jan 20th, 2013 9:06 pm
I just hosted my kid's birthday party at Fantsy Fair. I provided a day pass for each child invited and one parent (stated on the invitation). I had one child's parents both wanted to go on rides with the kid, so the manager told them he has to speak to me first. A day pass is $10. I would assume Macdonald adult meal is close to $10 as well. MacDonald manager should run by you first before taking orders.

Btw, anyone who wants to do birthday party at Fantsy Fair, they are great!!! Very good expereince. Happy kids, happy parents and make host very happy too ~
Um so both parents wanted to ride and actually asked you for the $10 pass? Wow
Deal Addict
Mar 4, 2011
1030 posts
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Vancouver
You could also indicate on the invite to say what happy meal each invitee wants as part of the rsvp. That way the kids themselves won't order "extras".
I had a birthday party for my son at The Old Spaghetti Factory when he was 10 and got a bit of a shock when a couple of the kids didn't order off the set group menu but decided they wanted lasagna and caeser salads instead - which were more than twice the cost.
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Sep 24, 2005
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chryslerintrepid wrote:
Jan 15th, 2013 1:10 pm
I think I have to explain a bit more Hairball. A year ago, my son who was also 7 at the time went to a McD's bday party - invite read drop off. I asked the mom for me to stay when RSVPing, BUT only to help, and stay out of the way (I have never met the mom - needless to say I was not comfortable leaving him with people I didn't know at an open venue - not a closed play place). I did not eat, I didn't ask for anything, I felt if I asked to stay, I pay my own way. The mother had a coffee container for the parents. Great. BUT Out of the 20 children invited, all the parents (and some spouses and various siblings as well) 90% had dinner - full meals for the whole family. The mother of the birthday boy looked like she was going to have a heart attack when she was handed her bill. The parents just gave their orders to the McD's host, who put everything through. So, this is the scenario I'm worried about - a bill that should have been $100-150 turned into over $400.

Other in house birthday parties the kids have been invited to, yes, the parents have had a pizza - maybe - for the parents and any leftover cake, but that's the extent of it, which I agree, the party is for the kids, not the parents. If I do stay, I always ask to help the family, help the kids through meals, crafts, clean up, I don't expect anything in return, just that the kids are happy.

So yes, I am worried that the expectation that because its McD's, meals will be provided for any and all and I appreciate the help trying to wade through birthday etiquette. I don't want to piss off parents, I don't want to upset the kids, but I also don't want to go broke and have bad feelings towards others because my expectations and theirs are different.

thankyou everyone.
wow, those people are pure d-bags.
i would never expect for my food to be provided at any kids' birthday parties.
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
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