Jeremy Julian

5 Tips to Make Your Restaurant Kid Friendly

July 3, 2019

Our good friend, Lisa Brown from Ekuep, is back with some helpful tips on how to make your restaurant kid friendly. As we all know, more and more parents are looking for kid-friendly dining options … take it away, Lisa!

Make Your Restaurant Kid Friendly

By Lisa Brown

A family with four kids approaches your restaurant and you start panicking. Your staff gets annoyed just by the thought of the extra mess, screaming, and tantrums coming their way.

As messy as these little guys are, you can turn them into a business opportunity for your restaurant. With so much competition in the restaurant business, becoming a kid-friendly service will give you an edge over others and improve your profits. While you may not be able to discipline the kids that come your way, you can make it easier for the parents. Making the dining process comfortable will be highly appreciated by parents. They are bound to come back again and again because they know how difficult it is to find places that accommodate their kids and gives them a chance to relax.

Just making some minor changes in your place can draw a whole new audience of loyal customers to your restaurant. Get affordable kitchen projects done in Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, and Al Khobar through Raqtan!

Children can actually turn out to be your best customers if their parents find your place caring and catering to the needs of their kids. Including a play area might be the only visible change needed here. Here are a few things you can do to attract families with kids to your place.

Train Your Staff

Train your staff to treat kids with courtesy and respect the same way they do with adults. Any signs of annoyance to a child from the staff’s side will not be easy to hide and your customers might never come back. Your staff should respect a child’s needs and not be rude or impatient with them, otherwise it makes no sense to have a play area in the restaurant if you’re waiters are not willing to accommodate them.

Your staff should also be trained to offer larger tables when the families step in. A crammed up table filled with all the infant/toddler gear could ruin the whole dining experience. A few tips you can give to your servers are:

  • Ask the children directly what they would like to order and wait for the parents to approve it.
  • Tell them about a play area if present or give them some activities to do such as coloring books and crayons, arcade games or toys while the order is being processed.
  • Ask the parents if they need anything like a high-chair, extra table or plates.
  • Bring the order as fast as you can because hungry kids can get out of control pretty quick.

These little things can go a long way. Your staff’s patience and flexibility are bound to be appreciated with huge tips and long-term loyalty from the customers.

Serve Healthier Kids’ Meals

With child obesity on the rise, a lot of parents these days prefer healthier snacks over French fries for their kids. Offering healthy options on the menu like veggies, baked chicken with cheese dip, grilled chicken with steamed broccoli, pasta or fruit slices can give you an edge over other restaurants. This doesn’t mean you have to let go of the traditional items like French fries or chicken nuggets. Keep them on the menu along with many other healthier options. Here are some more kid’s menu tips:

  • Many parents choose items from appetizers or sides that come with entrees for their kids. So you can either include kid-friendly items in your appetizers or offer smaller portions in the kid’s menu items.
  • Don’t add a lot of spices in kid’s meals. Be wary of adding too much salt, fat, or chilies.
  • Make sure you mention the ingredients on the menu so that parents can be aware of the potential allergens such as dairy, gluten, nuts, etc.
  • Include some vegetarian items also.
  • Add some desserts or sweet also.

Provide Necessary Equipment

Equip your restaurant with family-friendly furniture items. Families with kids, especially those who have babies, need bigger tables, high chairs and booster seats. Your bathrooms should also have changing stations to allow parents to easily change their baby’s clothes and diapers if needed.

Providing kid-friendly furniture, such as highchairs and booster seats, will help make your restaurant kid friendly.

Along with furniture, your restaurant should have coloring products and toys. You can get crayons, pencils, and placemats to let the children stay occupied near their parents. Here are a few things to get you started:

  • Highchairs, and booster seats
  • Child-safe cutlery like sippy cups, plastic spoons, plates, and glasses
  • Changing tables in the bathroom
  • Diapers
  • A small stool in the bathroom to be used by kids to reach the sink for washing hands.

Build a Play Area

The only thing that’ll attract the kids to your restaurant is a separate play area where they’re not controlled by parents but still supervised from a distance. A playroom also ensures that other people in the restaurant are not disturbed.

A play area is a great way to make your restaurant kid friendly and offer parents some relief.

Build a play area according to your restaurant’s budget and space. Make a jungle gym if you can and create an artsy corner where kids can color, draw or read. If you can make it in your budget, setting up a TV showing cartoons or educational programs will keep older kids occupied as well. It’s always good to have activities suitable for different ages.

If you can’t afford to make a whole separate room for kids, take a section of your restaurant and accessorize it with colorful paint. Put some small, bright colored tables and chairs, and place some mats with cute pillows on the floor. Set some coloring books, toys, and games like Lego and puzzles on a shelf or a table on the side.

Wherever you plan to make a play area, always remember to ensure that it’s visible from all angles of the dining area because parents like to keep an eye on their kids no matter where they are.

Take Precautions

Everything in your restaurant should be safe for kids. Look out for sharp corners and open sockets. A little child-proofing won’t hurt.

Take precaution when mopping floors and install non-slippery tiles if possible. Be wary of fragile utensils in the dining area. Check the play area daily for sharp objects and small toys as a precaution to choking. Keep it clean and monitor the toys, pencils, and crayons as well.

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