When we go out to eat, I try to plan in advance, because I know that many places offer crayons in plastic packaging. Well, we have crayons at home too, so I just bring those with me! No need for the extra plastic. I pack them up in a little cloth bag, and then my son can colour his heart out.
I also bring a couple small toys he can play with—nothing noisy or disruptive for other guests, but little wooden spinning tops and trains are perfect! The last place we went to didn’t have a children’s menu or colouring sheet, so these little toys (plus some “I spy” and “finger play” rhymes I learned in my library program) did the trick. The server actually loved the spinning tops and insisted on trying them out herself!