How to Make Your Fast Casual Restaurant Kid-Friendly

How to Make Your Fast Casual Restaurant Kid-Friendly

Kid-Friendly restaurants can see, on average, an increase in traffic of 25 percent, so use these creative kid-friendly restaurant ideas to make your place a favorite family dining destination.

Your Youngest Guests Can Easily Become Your Best Guests!

It’s important to understand that children are a popular target group for your restaurant marketing. Kids are strongly influenced by the habits of their parents and because parents often decide where their family will be dining, those choices will be imprinted on their kids. If your restaurant does not openly welcome children then most families will pick up on that tone and opt to not stay for long or just bypass your restaurant altogether.

Restaurants primed to accomodate celebrations, like with a dedicated event space or pre-existing seating for large groups are often on your neighborhoods shortlist for family birthday party locations. Once the word is out that your restaurant is easy to work with and ready for large gatherings, the bookings will come!

In addition, children and their spending power should not be underestimated. Children (besides women) can be your best consumers because if they love your restaurant, they will let their parents know when the decision of where to grab dinner is on the table.

Kid-Friendly Restaurant Menu Ideas

There is a popular fast casual chain that has goldfish crackers, Cheerios, pretzels and dried cranberries available upon request – services like this are important because kids get snackish and parents can get antsy if they feel their kids are having to wait too long without a bite to eat.

In addition to some quick, freebie snacks, here are some kid-friendly food options to add to your menu:

  • Soup and toast with cheese
  • Mini cheese pizza
  • Rice with chicken and mixed vegetables
  • Raw or grilled veggie sticks and dip
  • Pasta in tomato sauce and grated cheese
  • Smoothies
  • Mixed fruit and yogurt
  • Pretzels and dip
  • Applesauce
  • Cheese sticks, cubed turkey and pickles

Creative Ideas for a Kids Corner in Your Restaurant

You do not have to be a parent to know how kids can be impatient, especially when they are hungry. To avoid this unwanted situations, create some kid-friendly spaces in your restaurant where kids can play, read or draw. Kids love to play and to express their creativity.

Even if you don’t have large budget for kids’ corner you still can create one with inexpensive tactics. First decide which part of the restaurant will become your kids corner. Make it visible from any restaurant point. This is very important for parents because they will want to see their little one while they are dining in your restaurant.

Put some big colorful pillows on the floor, add some sturdy chairs, add toys like Lego, paper, washable colors, social games, and coloring books. Some of these items can even be purchased from your local thrift store or donation center like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores. All these toys will attract children to play and to stay in their corner while they play.

Your fast casual or quick serve restaurant staff should also learn to respect each child as an individual, or the whole “kid-friendly” concept makes absolutely no sense. Train your staff on how to behave with your little guests and employ kid-friendly service to ensure every family member is having the best time at your restaurant.

Every parent will appreciate your staff’s patience, flexibility and kindness showed to their children so it will be of no surprise that they will come and visit your restaurant again.

Important Equipment for Kid-Friendly Restaurants

If you want to have kid-friendly fast casual restaurant you will need proper kid-friendly dining equipment:

  • Highchairs and booster seats
  • Kid-sized dining sets (plates, spoons, cups, etc.)
  • Changing table for toddlers in the bathroom or a separate, private room for changing
  • Small step stool under bathroom sinks so children can stand on it to wash their hands easily

How to Promote Your Kid-Friendly Fast Casual Restaurant

Are you ready to provide to your guests with a kid-friendly experience? Think about some of the following cool promotions for your kid diners.

  • Happy Hour for Kids: Organize one hour a day when children will be able to get their favorite dessert or a delicious fresh juice for free, or even a whole meal.
  • Reward children who have finished the school year with excellent grades with a free treat or star badge that can be displayed in the restaurant.
  • Offer children birthday parties with add-on entertainment such as balloon art, clown or magician.
  • Family Sundays: Offer a promotion like, children under 12 years eat for free! This option will delight every parent.

Just always remember that if the kids are not happy in your restaurant their parents will not be either. The key is to find a balance between your guests of all ages.

About OrderMatic Corporation

At OrderMatic, we develop solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. For over 60 years, we have provided turnkey contract manufacturing services nationwide. From exploring digital menu boards to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!