Which are the best restaurants and eating places to take children to? Have you ever taken the family out for a meal and vowed, "Never again!" Or did the food choices and facilities that a restaurant provided for your children impress you so much that you recommended it to all your friends?
In the summer of 2015 the Soil Association investigated 21 of the UK's most popular restaurant chains to find out how good or bad they were.
The results were based on information provided by:
(a) the restaurant's web site, supplemented where necessary by a telephone call to them
(b) the restaurant's response to an emailed questionnaire
(c) reports from 80 parents who conducted field surveys as mystery diners. Each restaurant was visited at least three times by different parents.
The investigations covered three main areas:
(a) the quality of the food - freshness of ingredients and whether their production was environmentally and ethically sound (eggs, meat, fish etc).
(b) the choice of food - whether healthy and interesting choices were available, children's portions, cooking methods, sugar-free drinks, etc.
(c) how family-friendly the restaurant was - high chairs, nappy-changing, children's cutlery, breast-feeding welcomed, etc.
The restaurants were then rated with marks out of 80 corresponding to a five-star rating system. For full information, click here
. Here were the results, with the best first.