Cut the cost of feeding your kids (Tuesdays)

March 28, 2008

Tuesdays are bad for business in the restaurant industry. In the course of my five years covering the food world, I learned that if owners could simply erase one day of the week from their calendars, Tuesday would be gone.

This is good news for families, because in their effort to lure customers, restaurants tend to offer their best deals of the week on Tuesdays. For example, last week a brave friend took the kids and me out for supper at City Diner, where we indulged in half a fried chicken for $3.99 — with sides of mac and cheese, whipped sweet potatoes, creamed collard greens and a roll. We could have had half a pound of meatloaf instead for the same price, but fried chicken makes a better doggie bag (’cause even with S. sharing my plate, there’s no way I can eat half a chicken and all the fixin’s in one sitting!).

The chains dread Tuesdays too, which is probably why that tends to be kids’ night (individual franchisees may not participate, so be sure to call ahead and confirm). Krieger’s Sports Grill, for example, offers a free meal for a kid under 10 with an adult meal purchase. Participating Fazoli’s restaurants set aside an entire section of the restaurant for families and feeds the young’uns for 99 cents between 5 and 8 p.m. Participating Lone Star Steakhouse locations let up to two kids eat free from the kids’ menu with one adult entree all day Tuesdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. (Two other exceptions to the Tuesday rule are Culpepper’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, which have their kids’ night on Mondays.) Other chains with Tuesday kids’ deals include Denny’s, Ponderosa and Perkins; for a detailed list, visit the St. Louis Kids’ Web site.

Upscale and independent restaurants usually don’t offer free meals for kids, but they very often have early bird discounts — and they’re very often available all week long. Because they open at 5 p.m. and very few customers wander in for the next hour, it’s possible to get great deals like a $19.95 dinner at Kemoll’s or a $13.95 dinner at Baldo’s or a $12.95 dinner with wine at Bevo Mill. Even the lovely An American Place downtown has a three-course market menu for $29 before 6:30 p.m.

With the rising cost of food pinching restaurants on one side and belt-tightening consumers goosing them from the other, it’s good to have these meet-in-the-middle options where they fill tables and you save money.

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3 Responses to “Cut the cost of feeding your kids (Tuesdays)”

  1. Mutha Mae Says:

    I never miss your site! I need to promote your site in my mom’s group. It’s so well done. Let me go do that now.

  2. Mutha Mae Says:

    Ok, promoted you on my blog for my local mom readers and put a blurb on my mom’s group.

  3. mom22kids Says:

    Thanks, Mae! For the kind words and for the promotion. 🙂

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