Kid’s menu items are usually priced at a lower All of the Horses wrong side of the river shirt, or even at a negative profit margin, to get families in the door. The profit is then made off the adult meals. Also, I’ve managed a variety of restaurants and happen to be a nerd. I see the scams. At one well known sports bar, their “kid’s meal” cheeseburger was basically the same as the adult version without the veggies. Same size beef patty, same size fries. You could game the system and order a kid’s meal that was identical to the adult meal for half the price. I always bent the rules for teens when the parent’s aren’t around. They might not have money for a full meal but still wanted to hang out with their friends.
Maybe they ate earlier but everyone is All of the Horses wrong side of the river shirt and they are taking up space at a table and feel they should order something. Maybe they’re small for their age… I’ve known little wisps of a girl who I had assumed were 13 or 14 and turned out to be 16 or 17. There’s no good reason to single them out in front of their friends. Now a family of four with a 16 year old football player who order’s a kid’s cheeseburger meal and a kid’s chicken wing dinner because he gets twice the fries and both wings and a burger for basically the price of one adult meal… no. That’s gaming the system.