Which Chain Restaurants Have The Best and Worst Children’s Menu in the UK?

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family friendly menu at chain restaurants

The Soil Association Out to Lunch league table has revealed the best and worst children’s menus at UK restaurant chains. Find out which chain restaurants have the best and worst children’s menu in the UK:

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The Out to Lunch campaign run by the Soil Association in collaboration with TV chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall organises surveys of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains. They release a league table that ranks children’s food in 25 of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains.

With the help of an army of ‘secret diner’ parents, some of the UK’s biggest and most popular chains are rated on the food and service they are offer kids. Here is the 2017 League Table:

out to lunch league table chain restaurants

Restaurant name – Score (out of 90) – Stars (out of 5)

  1. Jamie’s Italian – 75/90 – 4 Stars
  2. Wetherspoons – 65/90 – 3.5 Stars
  3. Strada – 63/90 – 3.5 Stars
  4. Wahaca – 58/90 – 3 Stars
  5. Beefeater – 53/90 – 3 Stars
  6. Wagamama – 50/90 – 3 Stars
  7. Harvester – 48/90 – 2.5 Stars
  8. Brewers Fayre – 48/90 – 2.5 Stars
  9. Sizzling Pub & Grill – 46/90 – 2.5 Stars
  10. Café Rouge – 45/90 – 2.5 Stars
  11. Carluccio’s – 45/90 – 2.5 Stars
  12. ASK Italian – 44/90 – 2.5 Stars
  13. Zizzi – 42/90 – 2.5 Stars
  14. McDonald’s – 41/90 – 2.5 Stars
  15. Pizza Express – 41/90 – 2.5 Stars
  16. Las Iguanas – 40/90 – 2 Stars
  17. Pizza Hut – 39/90 – 2 Stars
  18. Hungry Horse – 38/90 – 2 Stars
  19. Frankie & Benny’s – 37/90 – 2 Stars
  20. Giraffe – 35/90 – 2 Stars
  21. Nando’s – 35/90 – 2 Stars
  22. KFC – 32/90 – 2 stars
  23. TGI Fridays – 30/90 – 1.5 stars
  24. Prezzo – 28/90 – 1.5 stars
  25. Burger King – 22/90 – 1 star

Since the last league table in 2015, several chains have significantly improved their children’s menu. 13 chains are now serving a portion of veg or salad with every meal (up from 6 chains in 2013) and 12 chains that include organic ingredients on the menu (up from 4 chains in 2013).

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who is filming a new BBC One series on obesity has been urging chains to take action to offer puddings and drinks in a healthier portion size and to include calorie information on the menu.

In response, Pizza Hut and TGI Fridays have committed to discontinuing free refills of sugary drinks throughout their restaurants by March 2018; both chains have also committed to including calorie information on the children’s menu. Harvester, Café Rouge and TGI Fridays have committed to offering puddings in a healthier portion size by March 2018.

The Out to Lunch Campaign

kid friendly restaurants

The Out to Lunch campaign calls on all high street restaurants, pubs and cafés to take seven simple steps to improve the service and food they offer children:

  • Serve two portions of veg with every child’s meal
  • Ensure children’s puddings are an appropriate portion size
  • Make water freely available and stop promoting sugary drinks to children
  • Offer children’s portions of adult dishes
  • Offer quality ingredients such as free range and organic on the children’s menu
  • Provide children’s cutlery as standard
  • Make breastfeeding mums feel welcome

Over to you now. Were the results of the Out to Lunch league table surprising to you? What’s your experience of these chain restaurants for kids’ food? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 

Chain Restaurants