I have always worked in Beach Resort geared to families. I am always on the look out for ways to draw in families to dine in my} outlets. Marketing to families are a different ballgame. You have to attract the kids first. So our busiest business comes during the school break when families go for holidays together. Marketing to kids is very profitable nowadays but you have to do it properly. As quoted in the National Restaurant Website “Recent Kidzsmart survey asked children what they like most about going out to eat with their parents. Their top answer was spending time with their family (60 percent), followed by fun (48 percent) and the food (43 percent).”. So your promotions should be geared in creating the spending time experience with parents.
Kids Eat Free
A common practice that most restaurants like to do is to give a free meal for the kids. Should you be offering a buffet, then you may offer every paying adult, the kids buffet is free. To make this work you must have some items on the buffet tailored to the kids. Or else you can even set up a special kids menu for the kids. With a lot of nicely coloured food stuff. In the event that you are only doing ala carte. then have a kids menu. For every main course, you will get a free main course for the children from the kids menu. What I did in my Japanese Restaurant was to set up 4 different bento sets. We also create a special kids menu, which will come free with every bento ordered.
The cost for the kids meal can be either taken away as a marketing cost from your earnings. Or perhaps you can do what I did, add it to the adult bento cost.
Have or Improve Your Kids Menu
To draw families with little kids, you need smaller menu designated for the little customers. If you don’t have one, start working on one. In the event that you have already one, revise it. Nowadays parents are looking for healthy options for their kids. Thus try to minimise pre process food like meat, nuggets and so on. I mentioned to reduce not eliminate. Also present the food in a fun and colourful manner to attract the kids. Actually healthy food choices artistically arranged can get the most fussy kid to eat it. Use your imagination, also you can get ideas from the net, my favourite is Pinterest.
A few points to take note. Kids dishes shouldn’t be too big. Should be colourful. And avoid oily ingredients and too much sugar.
Also your menu must be attractive. Your menu can be a giveaway like as a colouring paper or even made into an airplane. That kids can take back or keep them occupied while their food is prepared. I’ve even created a menu which can be played like a snake and ladder game using two coins. Which kept the children entertained that mom and dad could dine in peace.
Create a Kids Corner
For our upcoming new family resort, I have recommended a little corner in the restaurant designated for the kids. You will notice this in fast food. There put little slides and a little playground. But slides and see saws might not be a good idea for an casual dining place.
What I proposed was a little area with bean bags, some story books, some educational toys and games that will keep the kids occupied. You can also add colouring activities for kids to work with. This will also keep the kids in one area and not disturb the other diners. This place should be obvious so that your customers know it exist and parents can keep a careful eye on their kids while they dine.
Kid Friendly Toilet and a Diaper Changing Station.
This is a great idea by our housekeeper. She added a diaper changing station in our handicap bathroom which was rather large. As a parent, my spouse and I used to dine at shopping malls cause it was so hard to find my kids pampers in restaurant toilets. Therefore adding a diaper changing station to your restaurant toilets can make it easier for customers with small children to enjoy their food. You should also add lower hand washing basins for your little customers.
Engage Young Guests through Interactive Activities.
If you don’t have place for kids corner, you can engage your young customers with some interactive activities. Recently when I stayed in the Legoland Hotel. The coffeehouse table was covered a large paper with pictures that kids can colour. It kept them quiet, we also joined in. After we left the threw away the paper. In previous hotel I even created a colouring book to give away. In Legoland Coffeehouse there is even a corner where the kids can decorate their own cookies. Also on high volume days you could also add a clown or a magician for the kids.
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