A family dinner out will probably be a much needed mental break for my husband and me. I'm sure we'll save the nights out for days that our family has been so slammed with activities that our kids will have not eaten properly and skipped naps. We'll decide to suck up the hour wait with our kids. I'm sure it won't be that bad. Hubby and I will grab a drink from the bar and let our sweet little ones (who should've been in a bed an hour a go) have free reign on the lobby. Certainly, the reason they make waiting areas in restaurants so open, is to allow ample room for children to test their skills in speed and agility. Besides, they'll be so cute that strangers won't be able to resist interacting them, thus 'entertaining them.'
When it comes time to eat, i will put everything that my kid can throw with in his reach and laugh and laugh and laugh as he launches items to the next table and make a gigantic mess out of the sugar caddies. They're dual purpose: sweeten your drinks and a toy for your kid. I will also run my server to death for crackers so that after my kid doesn't eat the first two, he can crush the rest and ground the remains in the carpet beneath his highchair.
When my child is a little older, I won't force him to sit in a seat. I think forcing your child to do anything against his will is a little draconian; so if he objects, I'll let him go. I'll make a game out of it, just to make sure he comes back to the table periodically. For example, if we're at Taco Mac, I'll only give him $1 of quarters at a time. This will make sure that as soon as he's spent that dollar on the arcade, he will race back to me with no regard for servers carrying heavy trays full of hot food and interrupt my adult conversation with all the urgency and annoyance he can muster. But don't worry folks, I'll ignore his "Mom! Mom! Mom!"s until it's at the decibel of a jet breaking the sound barrier or until I feel the burning glare of people's contempt on the back of my neck. Then, I will pretend to not notice when my kid knocks into those people's chair on his reckless way back to the arcade with his new quarters in hand.
I don't know why parents complain about how having kids is such a hard job. All they have to do is take them out to eat every night. It's practically free entertainment and babysitting. Restaurants are like a big playground for kids and parents get the benefit of eating while not having to worry about their kids for a couple of hours. Of course, feeding a family always results in a big mess. At a restaurant, you don't have to worry about cleaning up! You only have to pay people like $3 or 10% of your bill (whichever is less) to do it for you! That's what I call a win-win for the family.
When I have kids, I will take them out to eat all the time.