Making a restaurant child friendly: Insights from parents’ groups
When marketing a restaurants at families you need to appeal to decision makers – the parents. As a parent dining out can often be an exercise in patience and bargaining. And so family friendly restaurants have to put in a little work to make the experience that bit easier. This can easily be done by adding a few tweaks to their décor and process.
Busy children make happy parents. By providing crayons along with some colouring in sheets or a disposable tablecloth you can easily distract children during the most trying time – when children are hungry and bored. Ensure you order vast quantities of crayons (which should be machine washable to further reap parental favour) and have fun and engaging colouring sheets to give mum and dad some breathing room to order.
Not every child is adorable and not every person feels the need to ooh and aah as a child leaves a spaghetti shaped stain on your wall. However, your staff should learn to treat children in much the same way as other difficult customers. Make a point of training all new staff in interacting with children – all your waiters should know to offer help where necessary, seat families at a big table as they often need more space and make sure there are plenty of high chairs, bibs and booster seats.
- Healthy Kid Friendly Options
There is a massive gulf between what a child wants and the food a parent hopes a child to eat. By providing food that bridges that divide you will be sure to find repeat business. At Popcorn and Candyfloss we are extremely proud of our signature waffle maker that allow waffles to be grilled rather than fried. This acts as the perfect treat for any child whilst easing parental nerves over high fat intakes. On an aside we also advise abandoning any heavy sauces or spicy flavourings for a kids menu, stick with simple food that is easy to eat.
Children have different requirements from adults, so ensure your restaurant specifically caters to their needs. Create a buggy parking space and invest in changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms (you will be assured of any wives’ vote) and source some kid friendly cups. There are some new designs on the market that are spill proof and will help create a far easier environment for any parent.
Booths are a great way of allowing families to spread out
Read almost any parenting forum and the most important aspect of service is speed of service. Parents do not want to waste the night away enjoying a sumptuous, decadent soufflé enriched with truffle oil; they want to be in and out with as little fuss as humanely possible. When appealing to parents the most important part is to make food is brought quickly and tables are cleared efficiently between courses. Leaving plates out for too long could leave you with a rather high cleaning bill and find parents running for the door.