Voice of the Restaurant Industry
What Restaurants Can Do to be More Kid-Friendly
It’s summer. That means parents and their children have more time to spend together. And families can be quite beneficial to the restaurant industry, if kid-friendly strategies are implemented correctly. In order to achieve an atmosphere that welcomes kids, there are certain concepts that can’t be overlooked. Many of the most popular restaurants chains are now embracing diverse angles to attract younger guests.
Develop a Kids Menu
While kids menus may not seem like a new concept, some restaurants are taking a fresher approach to this feature. Restaurants like McDonald’s, for example, recognize that children have different tastes than they did even just a decade ago. So the options for McDonald’s signature Happy Meal are updated to more healthy choices such as apple slices and low-fat milk.
It’s important to consider portion size and prices, too, in any kids menu offering. Naturally, the amount of food should be smaller than regular menu items. And prices can be designed separately from the adult fare as well. Some restaurants offer a tiered approach where children under a certain age eat free, older kids may get half-off for their meals and teenagers are charged full price, but get a perk like free dessert. The options for structuring kids menus, though, are endless. You can set the portions and pricing however you wish.
Provide Fun Activities
Nutritional awareness and price differentiation aren’t the only ways to draw families to the door. Activities are a great tactic for appealing to children. Menus or tablecloths that have crossword puzzles or pictures to color are wonderful tools. Simply putting crayons in a cup can be just the right touch. These types of offerings can engage children so they look forward to eating at your establishment. Parents may also appreciate this detail because they can have a relaxing meal without the pressure of providing constant entertainment.
Create a Kid-Friendly Atmosphere
Making your restaurant more inviting to families also involves a kid-friendly atmosphere. It could be as easy as tuning a television to Nickelodeon or cartoons. You could also get creative with decorations such as balloons or by painting a wall a bright, happy color that appeals to children. Another idea is to give kids something special after their meal. A little piece of chocolate or an activity book can show that your restaurant welcomes children with open arms.
There are many fun options for making your restaurant environment a place where parents can bring their children out to eat. The sky’s the limit. But whatever you do, make sure you have child-friendly seating, which includes high chairs and booster seats so that you can accommodate hungry kids of all ages.
Market Yourself as Kid-Friendly
When your community becomes aware of the fact that your restaurant likes kids, it won’t take long for word to spread. But if you want to help your message gain traction, there are things you can do to promote this aspect of your business. Think of advertising campaigns that embrace families. Chuck E. Cheese, for example, a restaurant that’s always been geared to kids, has expanded on their promotions so that they also reach the parents.
Effective advertising doesn’t only have to live on television either. Consider radio or digital alternatives to broadcast your kid-friendly offerings.
Enjoy the Benefits
There are a lot of benefits to making your restaurant a place where parents may bring their children. In addition to the potential of increased revenue, a kid-friendly restaurant provides a wholesome option that entire families can enjoy. Also, being kid-friendly doesn’t mean childless patrons are excluded. A restaurant that is capable of serving children can still offer meals to every other type of diner as well. So take this new step with the knowledge that you’re expanding your restaurant in very positive and exciting ways.