When it comes to going out with your baby, the work begins before you have even left the house: making sure you have enough nappies, a change of clothing, wet wipes, cream and more. You’re prepared. Oh yes. Girl Scouts have got nothing on you! It’s a cinch – even when grabbing that chance to go out to eat with your partner, sharing a relieved smile as your little one drifts off to sleep, lulled by the motion of the car. You enter the restaurant. Aside from the fact that your partner’s hand which once held yours is now holding the babyseat instead, it’s almost like date night again…until your little one wakes up, crying- at full volume. You need a private area. NOW! To feed, change a nappy, warm a bottle…basically do whatever it takes to make your little bundle happy, comfortable and as an added bonus stop crying, hopefully allowing you to actually sit down and order off the menu like a civilised person.
We hear you; loud and clear. In fact, that is why BabyYumYum, SA’s leading online resource platform and parenting community for all baby-related information has teamed up with Zomato, South Africa’s premiere restaurant discovery platform and food review hub, to bring families a collection of baby friendly restaurants in South Africa.
“Being able to go out, relax and actually enjoy your meal experience is important for a family,” says Amanda Rogaly, founder of BabyYumYum. “We’ve all been there when we’re at a restaurant and need facilities to enhance our dining experience with our baby, rather than stressing about logistical and practical issues such as if a pram will fit through the entrance or if the waitering staff know how to properly heat up a baby’s bottle,” says this mom of two little girls aged 1 and 3. “This is the basis for this BabyYumYum initiative, to provide a list of baby friendly restaurants, making it easier to go out for a meal.”
“BabyYumYum is a top resource for new and expecting mums, therefore it was a no-brainer for Zomato to partner with them to curate the best ‘Baby Friendly’ restaurant collection for our users. Restaurants included in the collection are fact checked to ensure that dining out with baby is as easy and enjoyable as possible,” says Steven Murray, Country manager, Zomato South Africa.
Baby friendly restaurant criteria
Baby friendly criteria for the collection includes specific facilities such as easy pram access to the restaurant; ease of manoeuvring between tables; clean high chairs; a private breastfeeding area; clean baby changing facilities; a suitable, safe place for babies/toddlers to play with minders; staff ability to assist with extras such as warming up baby food or a bottle; sterilized plastic bowls, cups and spoons for baby’s meal and even offering baby food on the menu!
BabyYumYum and Zomato partnership: mommies and foodies
The BabyYumYum-Zomato partnership makes for perfect synergy: both platforms are community based, providing their audiences with cutting edge information relating to their respective areas of expertise. BabyYumYum is kicking off this initiative by inviting their 45 000 strong community as well as members of the public to give input on different restaurants and baby friendly criteria. Zomato, the go-to restaurant search guide for locals, which provides in-depth information for over 12 000 restaurants across 7 major cities and surrounding areas in South Africa, encourages its foodies to review the relevant restaurants, taste the food, assess the atmosphere, as well as comment on the baby friendly criteria of each establishment.
“Our vast community of food enthusiasts contribute towards helping other users enjoy amazing experiences around dining, enabling families to make an informed choice when it comes to enjoying the right restaurant. We invite all parents who have or have had babies to participate. Suggestions for baby friendly restaurants and criteria are open to everyone,” says Steve who will be featuring the collection on Zomato’s website and app, making it accessible to parents countrywide.
This specialised collection featuring baby friendly establishments throughout South Africa is a work in progress. “We aim to provide families with a continuously updated app which serves as a reliable source, giving parents the best of both worlds: delicious food together with comfortable surroundings for them and their baby. Zomato is excited about this partnership, and we look forward to other exciting initiatives together going forward,” concludes Steve.
Both platforms are excited to provide parents with a baby friendly restaurant collection. “Our platforms focus on enhancing peoples’ lives,” says Amanda. “Through this initiative we want to assist in simplifying parenting via up-to-date relevant information. Any parent will tell you that there is a huge difference between a baby friendly and a child friendly restaurant in terms of your requirements. Apart from giving parents a dedicated space where they are able to see to their little one’s needs, they should be able to enjoy a well-deserved time-out at the same time,” concludes Amanda.
Make your baby friendly restaurant nominations on the BabyYumYum and Zomato Social Media Platforms using the hashtag #BYYFriendly and stand a chance to win a meal experience for you and 10 of your BabyMamma and
BabyDadda friends at one of the nominated establishments.