When the PR offered us a voucher to go and try out the new menu at Frankie and Benny’s, I just couldn’t turn that down. It did take us a while to get to using our voucher, so ours is probably one of the last reviews in.
We visited on a week night when middler was on respite, so there were only four of us to sample the menu and no jumpy, moody and excited special needs tornado to work around. Lots of bribery and behaviour points were cashed in and off we went down to Frankie & Bennys at the beach.
When we arrived, the place was quite empty. Strangely, they tried to seat us right next to the serving / cooking area where it’s noisy and hot with servers walking past all the time. It was in the middle of the tables so had servers walking behind and up both sides constantly.
We said nothing, but got up and moved to the back of the restaurant where it was quieter and with more comfortable seats. It seemed as if they were keeping the quieter booth type seats for later diners, and putting the kids where the noise was.
Excitedly, the kids ran up to the entry desk to get their crayons and paper, only to be told they had run out. The restaurant is right next to a poundshop, so I’d have guessed it would be easy enough to go out and get some crayons and put them in some cups to share around the kids who are used to getting them. Disappointing start, but not the end of the world.
Menu wise, there were loads of options to choose from. I suspect everyone could find something to eat.
Ordering was simple and easy enough, and I’d say that the menu for kids is reasonable and well priced on the whole. I’d expected to see items marked as “new” on the menu, but it looked the same as it was the last time we were in, and that was a few years ago now. The waitress was pleasant and helpful, but wasn’t sure of what was new either.
It took a while. We got our food about 20 – 30 minutes after ordering, and people who arrived after us were served their meals first. We weren’t in a hurry so it wasn’t a problem although the hungry kids were a bit peeved.
The kids had their favourites and the man had a burger. I wanted a pizza and the rest of them wanted a bit too, so I ordered a 15″ for us all to share. The chicken and sweetcorn on top was a little sparse on the pizza, but other than that, it was lovely. The junior burger was as big as his dad’s. He was very happy with that.
Kids Junior Burger
Kids Junior Wraps
Dessert for the kids was a letdown. The menu says brownie pieces with ice cream so when a teensy sundae glass arrived with one tiny bit of brownie and one scoop of ice-cream, their faces fell. With the spectacular dishes for mains, they expected a spectacular sundae.
Brownie Pieces? There was one.
The grown ups had ordered a sharing sundae so the kids ended up having most of that.
Room for Improvement
Most definitely in the seating and kids arenas. Kids want to be impressed. If the parents don’t feel kids have had what they have been promised, they are unlikely to go back and spend more money on it. For us it was fine as the bill was almost all covered by our voucher, but if I was paying over £60 to have kids disappointed with dessert, I’d have been a tad unhappy about it.
I didn’t complain as we had a large part of the bill paid for us. For the kids sundae glass, I’d have expected two scoops of ice cream with a couple of brownie pieces to fill the teensy glass and look impressive.
The waitress got a little stressed out when I handed over the voucher and she immediately whisked away the bill without letting me see the original, and I had to ask for it. She came back for the remaining £10 or so to be paid and when I asked her a few questions about the menu, she scuttled off and left the card machine and salver on our table. I had to go after her before we left and give it back to her.
We enjoyed our meal and it was a nice break from the usual school night routine, so yes, it was an enjoyable meal for us, but could have been better if the kids had been catered for more.
Would I pay that price for us as a family, given that we were one person short, and it would end up with a bill over £70 without any starters? I don’t really know to be honest. I thought the soft drinks prices were quite high, and the lack of kiddie friendliness spoiled it.
We were provided with a £50 voucher in exchange for an honest review as a family.