Oct 12, 2018
For families with young children, eating at a restaurant that caters to a family-friendly atmosphere can make the difference between a relaxing evening and a stressful situation. When picking a place to dine for the whole family, parents need to consider establishments that can accommodate food allergies, picky eaters and children of all ages.
Kids are very influential in choosing a restaurant for the family dining occasion and are potentially your biggest customers! They are often your most loyal customers and are frequently the ones who will make the decision of where the family will eat.
Here are some suggestions to help you create an inviting atmosphere for families and help distinguish your restaurant as the perfect place for families to dine in the neighbourhood.
Offer Appropriate Menu Options
Crafting menu options for kids can be tricky. Most kids’ menus are designed for children 12 and under, however that menu must accommodate a wide range of tastes, preferences and allergies. For example, an eleven-year old probably has no interest in the foods a four-year-old would like!
Provide menu options for children who may want to eat similar, yet modified foods as the adults around them. Try creating scaled-down portions of food from the main menu.
Our Healthier Mac ‘N Cheese recipe is great option that can be featured on both kid’s menus and main menus. We’ve added butternut squash and replaced some of the full fat cheese with lower fat NORDICA 2% Cottage Cheese making this a delicious, healthier version of a familiar favourite!
In addition, you will also want to make sure you are offering appropriate options for very young children. Children don’t like to wait. Consider bringing out a snack plate at little or no cost to the customer immediately after guests with toddlers and babies are seated. This can be as simple as small pieces of fruit, dry cereal or crackers. Remember to pay attention to how the food looks on the plate. Kids would eat raw vegetables it they are served nicely!
Offer Families Bigger Tables Than They May Need
When you seat adults, it makes sense to seat a party of four at a four top. With families you may want to rethink. Seating families with small children at tables or booths designed for bigger parties provides extra room for wiggly toddlers, booster seats, diaper bags and toys. If you are seating a family of four, give them a six top. This will provide a more comfortable experience for the parents and the children.
Engage kids with interesting and interactive activities.
Have something fun for the children to do at the table. Keep them busy by providing crayons and large sheets of brown paper used instead of, or in addition to regular table cloths. Small puzzles or tablets loaded with games are also a great way to entertain children.
Train you staff to treat children like the special guests they are.
Kids want to be treated like adults. Staff need to look children and their parents in the eyes when they are ordering. First ask the children what they would like to order, always following the signals from the parent whether they agree with the order.
Every parent will appreciate the patience, flexibility and the kindness your staff shows to their children.
Incorporate these tips into your restaurant to have families, especially the kids, wanting to come back!
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