Did you know families with kids make up an important demography who visit restaurants? And setting up kid’s friendly restaurant can increase the footfall in a restaurant by around 25%. In today’s world, restaurant units can divide into family-friendly outlets and the ones that cater to adults, like a pub or bars and fine dining. If you decide to open a restaurant that caters to families, making your restaurant kids friendly is no more an option but a necessity.
What are the benefits of setting up kid’s friendly restaurant ?
Young kids influence the spending decision of their parents. When young parents visit the restaurant, they want to have a good time in the company of their kids. Alas, the kid’s friendly restaurant will be at the top of their minds when choosing a dining option. A family with small kids also prefers to arrange birthday parties and other functions in a kid-friendly restaurant.
How do restaurants make them self kids friendly? Putting some toys and colour books will not make a restaurant kid-friendly. In the article below, let’s go through the steps of creating a kid-friendly restaurant.
Kids friendly menu:-
The first step in setting up a kid’s friendly restaurant is to design a kid’s menu. Depending on the age of the kids, their food preference changes. Most kids are fussy eaters, with parents having problems enticing them to eat. QSR’s have been the first to recognise this challenge and have devised strategies to make the menu attractive to the kids. The happy menu is one success story of making the menu kids friendly.
Kids get attracted to visually appealing food, and thats one of the strategies for making kids friendly menu. Make food rich in colour and cut it into attractive shapes; this looks more appealing to kids; attractive packaging is another factor. Most kids’ taste buds are sensitive compared to adults; hence, their food has to be less spicy. Minimising artificial sugar and chemical ingredients will also be an excellent way to make the menu kids friendly. Without any doubt, modern parents will like to take their children where the kid’s menu has natural and residual free food options.
Having covered the type of food on the kid’s menu, let’s speak about the menu design part. The kid’s menu can also be printed on a standalone mat or a single laminated leaflet. Restauranters can get a little innovative while designing the kid’s menu. Adding in the colourful photos or pictures of the food is another way of grabbing kids’ attention. Pictures help kids make decisions and choose the food for themself.
Kids play zone:-
Kids are curious by nature and get bored very quickly. It becomes a nightmare for parents to make kids sit in one place and keep them entertained. Some kids made may get cranky and cause discomfort to their parents and other guests. The restaurant can arrange a play zone or entertainment areas to keep kids entertained. Depending on the budget and available space, the restaurant can decide on the activity and playthings they can keep for kids.
It’s ideal for making a play zone in a place where parents can watch out for the little one. Parents become anxious to leave their kids unattended and out of sight. For this reason, a play area centrally located visible from all the tables is advisable. Keeping toys and colour books to keep kids engaged is an excellent idea. Placing a TV with a kid’s show and educational programme is another important way to grab the attention of the little ones. Once in a while, organising kids’ activities like face painting, storytelling, dancing etc., is also an excellent way to attract the family crowd.
While setting up a play area, restaurant staff must be careful to make it kids friendly. So keep a play zone free of sharp edges, slippery surfaces, small toys that can be swallowed etc.
Training staff members to be kids friendly:-
Staff at the restaurants are young and often lack life experience in dealing with kids. Kids take time to settle down; this happens especially with toddlers. They may take time to explore their surroundings and through a tantrum. Restaurant dining staff needs to know how to deal with such a situation.
While seating the family with kids, please give them a table with extra space as they may have to keep the nappy bags and other kid stuff. See that no movable objects like flower vases or paintings that may tip over are kept near the seating area. Kids have a habit of pulling things which may lead to injury. One also needs to see where families with kids are seated; there are no electronic fixtures that kids can access to avoid mishaps.
Kids friendly amenities:-
Along with restaurant staff, restaurant premises also needs to be kids friendly. Kids, especially toddlers, have special needs, and the restaurant needs to be mindful of the same. Infants need special seating, especially booster chairs from where they sit next to their parents. Likewise, keeping kid’s specific restaurant cutleries is also a good idea so that they can help themself with the food.
Toddlers and young kids may dirty their diapers, and the restaurant needs to have kids changing stations/ tables. A changing station in restrooms is a must-have for restaurants to be baby-friendly. Keeping a small stool handy in the washroom is also a good idea as it helps the young ones access the amenities.
Kids friendly promotions:-
Restaurants can revamp their promotional strategies to attract families. These promotions can be designed keeping in mind kids of various age groups. Creating a birthday party package that includes food, beverages and birthday decorations is one such strategy. Adding activities like a magic show or karaoke to keep kids entertained will also be good.
During the lean period of operations, restaurants can provide free meals and desserts to kids below 12 to entice families to visit the restaurant. Food businesses can also extend special discounts to kids passing their higher school to encourage the kids and promote their business.
Being a young parent is challenging, limiting social engagements and outings. Parents want some fun time along with their kids, restaurants which deliver can turn them into loyal customers.
The above mentioned are some of the few easy tips and hacks to set up a kid’s friendly restaurants.