For most restaurants, families are a big part of the guest demographic, so it’s important to address all members of the family for an elevated experience. Making the kids happy – while keeping parents happy – is the name of the game in becoming a family’s favourite place to dine out. Studies show that about 70 per cent of family meals happen outside the home, so getting your kids’ menu right can give you a leg up on your competition.
A successful kids’ menu is also an opportunity for restaurants to boost those margins with smaller portions and less expensive ingredients. There are a few important factors to consider when stepping up your game with your kids’ menu.
Consider their needs
Today’s menu call for a variety of choices, taking into account dietary restrictions and sensitivities. Many families these days are looking for healthier options, too, as alternatives to chicken nuggets, or even as a complement to some of the traditional menu items. Offering a plant-based dish, the option of switching to a gluten-free option, or adding a salad as a side dish might just do the trick.
These needs are a part of life and the more flexible you can make your menu, the more likely it is that families will choose your restaurant next time. Many of these options could also be considered upgrades, too, so people ordering these could help boost your bottom line.
Keep them busy
One of the ways you keep parents happy is to make sure their kids are busy and occupied at the table while they wait for their food to come. The easier you make the experience for parents, the more they will enjoy their visit to your restaurant. You can always go with the traditional colouring or games on the menu to try and hold kids’ attention, or you can think out of the box for something a little different.
Many restaurants have moved to a digital version of the traditional options, opting to use tablets to engage children with family-friendly games and activities. If you have a budget, consider hiring talent like a magician or comedian to visit tables on your busier nights to entertain your guests.
Switching up your menu seasonally or around certain holidays can also make it easier to engage your audience with themed games and crafts. This may also keep parents coming back to see what’s new and different on your menu!
Make it easy
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you might be able to simply offer half portions of the most kid-friendly options from your regular menu, making it easier for the kitchen and limiting the ingredients you need to fulfill your orders.
Also, don’t go overboard with too many words on your menu. Keep the descriptions short and use adjectives to make the items sound appealing to kids.
Families are a large part of most restaurant clientele and when the kids are happy, then parents are usually happy too. Go pro with your kids’ menu to have your guests visiting you again and again.