Because millennials got married and started to have children in their 30’s the next 10 years is going to see a big uptick in “kids” as customers. That is why a kids’ restaurant experience should not be overlooked.
It’s no surprise that the level of their kids’ contentedness will directly reflect the happiness of their parents when dining out. There can be nothing worse for a parent than having child A bursting into an angry tear-filled tantrum and child B spilling her soda all over herself and the table to also start screaming (hence waterproof menu paper).
If your restaurant is not child-friendly you will be hard-pressed to get families through the doors once, let alone as repeat customers. That
By making your restaurant child-friendly you can increase patronage and business by 1/4 or 25% if not more. Yes, even when children are getting the smaller kids meals you have on the menu, it also means their parents are eating and if the kids have fun they’ll want to come back. So if you can win over the kids you’ll win over their parents as well. Lets now talk about ways to make a kids’ restaurant experience awesome.
Create A Creative Kids Menu
You will probably want to offer some staples that kids always love, but you should also be incorporating healthy choices as well.
You can have choices like grilled chicken with some vegetables, fruit, and milk.
Now that may not sound overly exciting but if you name it in a way that kids will find interesting and fun, they’ll be inclined to go for it (even if it’s healthy). Not just “grilled chicken and vegetables”, use creative names like “Buzz Lightyear’s Favorite Chicken” and other things along those lines.
Pop culture characters make for great inspiration. Also, to keep children busy, it’s a good idea to bring coloring books, have kids placemats or paper menus that they can color on. Also, use toxic-free crayons.
Make Children Honored Guests
Another way to enhance a kids’ restaurant experience is to train your staff to take special care of little ones as it will also reflect on their tips as well as the restaurant. You could have staff read quick stories or do a sing-along, or when there is a birthday bring them a free dessert. You can even do a promotion like “kids eat free” all day on your slowest day
You can make them feel even better by offering a gift for good grades at school or other milestones like their first tooth falling out. Playspaces are also a great place for kids to run around and play while their parents are waiting for food to arrive at the table or just to let them unwind when they’re done with their meals.
Boosters and high-chairs are a must as you will undoubtedly have children coming from very little to elementary school age that will need help sitting at the table. Keep this equipment clean so that after each use it is wiped down and cleaned up. Parents will take notice of this and a kids restaurant experience will be that much better.
Also, when it comes time to the restroom be sure there is baby changing stations in each restroom when possible. Step stools to help children wash their hands can also go a long way in the eyes of the kids and their parents.
When you have the right equipment it shows everyone that families are welcome and looked after.
Get Young At Heart
The better you treat your little patrons the better it will reflect in every aspect of your business. It’s smart for the business’ bottom line and smart for creating a fun atmosphere that invites coming back.