Widowed mum asks why restaurants allow kids to only eat free per paying adult

A single mum who has been widowed twice has said that restaurants shouldn’t just allow children to eat for free per each paying adult as she’s the only grown up in the family.

That means Jessica Haslem-Bantoft, from Lancashire, can only get one of her children’s meals for free or at a discounted price but has to pay full price for her other two sons.

The mum-of-three posted on her Facebook blog To Widowhood and Beyond saying she wasn’t outraged by it but it irked her that the meal is only discounted for families with more than one adult.

‘I am a widow. I didn’t choose to be on my own with three children. I just want cheap food dammit,’ she wrote.

‘I can guarantee that money, or lack of it, is a massive reason that more single parents don’t eat out, so why aren’t we helping them to have new experiences?

‘Why are we rewarding families for having both parents but not the ones who have just the one?’ she asked earnestly.

Jessica told Metro.co.uk that restaurants don’t have to make it completely free for all subsequent children but allowing a discounted price would help her out greatly.

‘I think that it’s important for public establishments to be mindful of different types of families as running certain promotions can penalise people based on their circumstances,’ she said.

‘Assuming the “norm” is two parents and two children is ignorant – times have changed and there are 1.7million single-parent families in the UK.

‘Why should we be excluded from enjoying the same perks as two-parent families?

‘Few people choose to raise children alone, but it is still nice to enjoy the same things as other families, for example eating out or having days out.’

Jessica has been widowed twice when her first husband was electrocuted at work while she was pregnant with their third child.

She then met another partner, husband Tom who died of cancer in 2016.

For the past few years, she has been raising sons Toby, George, and Barnaby on her own. That means being their sole financial provider.

So she wanted to share a message to restaurant owners to help make her life a little easier.

She said: ‘This is aimed at all the chains that run promotions which require adults to eat to get free food for the kids…my husbands would have joined me…but their appetites aren’t what they used to be!’

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