When a family comes into your restaurant, how do you and your staff react? Are you already annoyed, anticipating the extra mess and possible screaming tantrums? Instead of viewing families full of children as a bummer, try looking at them as a business opportunity. It can be hard for parents to find restaurants that accommodate their kids, so if your restaurant is ready and willing to handle them, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Read these tips and tricks for some ideas to make your restaurant more family friendly!
1. Train your servers.
If your servers are annoyed by kids, it will definitely show, and your customers probably won’t bother to come back. Train them to treat all customers with respect, regardless of age. Also make sure that they give families larger tables when possible. Since families often have lots of gear, they’ll appreciate having some extra space to spread out.
2. Give kids stuff to do.
This can include crayons and coloring books, digital arcade games, or toys. But always be sure to ask the parents first if they want you to bring these things out! If a family has to wait for a table, try to make sure any children have games or toys to keep them occupied then, as well.
3. Have plenty of high chairs and booster seats.
The last thing you want to do is run out! If you truly anticipate lots of families coming in, you’ll want to have enough seats for every small child.
4. Have a kids-eat-free day.
This is one simple way to attract families to your restaurant. For every adult meal purchased, offer a free kids meal. Since kids meals are relatively small and cheap to prepare anyway, you won’t lose much money on this deal.
5. Be flexible.
As you probably know, kids are picky, and these days more and more children have food allergies. Always be willing to offer substitutions. You should also be prepared to give ingredient information to curious parents.
6. Offer healthier kids meals.
With the current child obesity epidemic, many parents want to provide their kids with healthier choices. Although you don’t have to remove the typical French fries from your kids menus, you should also offer some lighter options, like veggies or sliced fruit.
7. Serve food quickly.
No one likes waiting a long time for their food, and this goes double for children. By bringing out food as quickly as possible, you can minimize temper tantrums and boredom.
8. Don’t forget about the parents.
Remember that the parents brought their children to your restaurant so that their entire family could have a great meal. Be sure to check in with them often and make sure they have everything they need.
Going out for dinner can be an ordeal for families. If you can make it easier on them by following these tips, you’ll be their go-to spot!