Restaurant Promotion Idea #48:- Attract your Little Customers

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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Fast food chains consider kids as a major target group as they can easily push their parents to take them to their favorite fast food joint. However, kids are biased in their selection for a fast food restaurant. The marketing experts working for fast food chains are well aware of the fact that kids would love some free toys. In exchange for free toys, fast food chains are getting regular flow of loyal visitors to their restaurants.

McDonald’s, the biggest fast food chain in the world, has been criticized in the past as well for luring kids with free toys. The company was also under fire for offering high calorie items in Kids Menu. McDonald’s made a few changes to Kids Menu and shifted to healthier choices after the company was pressed by health experts. McDonald’s has been giving away free toys with Happy Meals for the last twenty years.

Offering free toys to children works as a good marketing strategy and a new research has just proved it once again. The number of visits a family makes to a fast food restaurant is directly proportional to the number of the times a kid watches and advertisement with ‘free toy’ lure.

The study has tried to establish the impact of advertising on children’s TV channels and the tendency among children to push parents to visit a fast-food restaurant.

The research team found a direct correlation between children watching TV advertisements and number of family visits to a fast-food restaurant. Among families with kids watching cartoons and other kids channels, the tendency to visit a fast food restaurant was higher. Two major fast-food chains operating in the United States target kids with free toys and special menu for kids.

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Nowadays Children decide if they want to Eat in your Restaurant -Restaurant Promotion Idea #13

Kids Rule when Choosing Restaurants

Nowadays children decide if they want to eat in your restaurant. Below are some restaurant promotions ideas to draw them in.

Did you know that kids choose 50% of restaurant visits and according to a recent study 75% of parents consider their kids preference when choosing a restaurant. This is the main reason why most fast food restaurants target their advertising at children and students. One excelent example is the McDonald’s “Happy Meals”. Their gifts are much sought after by the young and the young at heart. Promotions targeted at kids don’t have to be expensive, there are a lot of cheaper ways to promote through the kids and you don’t need to give them a toy too. Below are some of my suggestions and a few that I have tried.

Kids Eat Free

Healthy Eating for KidsThis is the most common promotion used in most family oriented restaurants. Well these days the word “Free” is what attracts people. Especially with the current economic situation, parents are looking for an affordable and fun place to dine with the family. You can do a promotion for every 2 paying adult a kid eats free. For a buffet it’s simple to do. If you are only offering the menu, then create a smaller menu for the kids. With items that kids love like burgers, hot dogs, spaghetti but make it nutritious for the parents to choose. Even fast food these days are moving away from junk food and serving more nutritious food.
There numerous books and e book in the market on healthy food and recipes for kids. One such E Book is Healthy Eating for Kids. In it there are 60 child tested, healthy recipes that is quick and easy to prepare. To go to their website, just click

A Gift for the Kids

This takes after the Happy Meal. But instead of giving a toy, perhaps you can give something educational. A book or an educational game. But make sure its fun for the kid.

Kids Activities
For our restaurant, I searched the web for some free coloring pages. I collected a few and send to our printers to make into our very own coloring book. So when there a kid dining with their parents, My staff give out this coloring book together with a small box of crayons. Another version is to buy those large white flipchart papers and spread it on the table with a small box of coloring pencils or crayons. The kid will sure be happy and occupied; he has a large drawing paper. Another activity that will sure to make the kid remember your place is to send a few of your staff for balloon crafting. After the customer orders, he can go to the table and craft a balloon animal for the kid. This will sure to make the kid happy. You can also on a weekly basis organize face painting activities. Parents can take out photos of their kids painted face and they will surely show everyone. This is free advertisement for your establishment.

Create a Kid Friendly Atmosphere
A bright and cheerful restaurant will give parents the right impression for a place to bring their kids. Also include a special kids menu with things that kids love to eat but also make it healthy for the parents to choose from. Don’t forget the seating like high chairs and booster chair for the toddlers. In my previous post Promoting your Restaurant through Great Customer Service, I have mentioned that in one of my restaurant, I purchased a baby basket for parents to put their toddlers in while they eat. It really was a plus point with many parents. If you have a hand in designing your restaurant, why don’t add a diaper changing room. After bringing up a kid for the past three years I dine mainly in shopping complex cause they have diaper changing room nearby.

Some people may say promoting to kids is unethical but if the items you offer are has value to the parents then why not. These days kids have more say in what they want. I hope this Restaurant Promo Idea has been informative and useful for you. Remember kids have a very short attention span, so your promotion need to simple and attractive to them.