There is no doubt that eating out with yaya entails a real financial cost. Do you order for her? Do you allow her to order on her own? Do you just give her money separately to eat somewhere else? Many of these questions can be answered with the realization of budgetary constraints. Although many scenarios can occur, here are a few that will give you insights as to how handle the situation.
1. The Ideal Granting that there are no budgetary constraints and eating out proves to be a stress-free situation with no time factors to think of, taking a leisurely meal with yaya can mean allowing her to eat with you and order for herself. I would approach it this way, as exposing yaya and teaching her new things from this experience is always a good thing.
However, also be aware that yaya will not be comfortable - perhaps even afraid, to order on her own. There are many reasons for this - ignorance regarding what some of the items mean on the menu, unease with regard to the prices of the dishes or perhaps just a simple discomfort as to the whole process of ordering a meal she herself will not be paying for. Knowing this, still go through the motions of asking her if she'd like to choose from the menu on her own. Even if she declines and leaves it up to you to decide, she would know that you value her enough to give her the option.
This is one of those small instances when you can enhance your relationship with yaya - it is a way to teach "malasakit" by exhibiting it yourself. By allowing her this exercise, you are going over and above what is expected of you, so should an instance occur later on where yaya needs to go beyond what is expected of her, she – hopefully – will return the favor and have no hesitation doing what needs to be done.
If she declines the option of ordering for herself, ask her what viand she prefers. Meat? Chicken? Fish? Perhaps a sandwich or does she prefer a rice meal? Give her two options within her selection and then choose for her accordingly. It will put the two of you at ease.
2. The Compromise If you decide to eat out with yaya and prefer that she eats with you while still sticking on a budget, why not do the following.
Do not show yaya the menu; rather, choose from items that are within your budget and then verbally give yaya two or three options within that price range. The presentation of the options should be done in an enthusiastic way, convincing her that regardless of what she may choose, all outcomes will be to her liking. This way, yaya will still feel that you care enough to give her options without feeling bad that you have set her a price limit. Usually, this approach is the most common. It still builds a good rapport with your employee, allows you to stay within budget and saves the hassle of time when it comes to ordering/deciding for each individual.
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3. Yaya Eats Separately This particular option is usually employed due to either budgetary concerns, discomfort on the side of either party as to the "manners" involved when dining out or perhaps privacy for the employer when talking about certain matters that should not include yaya.
Should you decide to give yaya money separately for her meal, make sure that there really are places nearby where she can eat. Be aware of the general costs of food around the area and be certain you give her enough for a satisfying meal. Make sure you have a way to contact her and set a time and place for you to meet after.
Another option would be to have yaya eat her meal at home even before you get to the restaurant, this way she would have already eaten and ordering would not be a problem. However, it may be a bit uncomfortable for her to see all the delicious food in front of her and not be allowed to partake in them, so do exercise discretion if this is what you choose to do. Sometimes, however, yaya herself would prefer things this way. To improve the situation, you may want to order even a drink or a small dessert for her if the budget allows.
Eating out with yaya need not be a big deal. Rather, see it as an opportunity to build rapport with her and to strengthen family ties. Breaking bread with someone is always a means to convey unity, kindness and concern, and there could be no better way to make someone feel like part of a family.