Traditionally, children weren’t exactly welcome in upscale restaurants. In fact, dinners like these would be considered “adult time.” However, restaurateurs are seeing an upward trend of children in their establishments and many are even welcoming them with open arms. To these business owners, a family should be able to dine together, regardless of the style of cuisine served.
Who says children should be restricted to chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for dinner, anyway? Today we’re taking a look at upscale restaurants that target entire families by including kids’ menus.
“Healthful meals will not work if they are not flavorful and the kids don’t like them.”
Upscale restaurants with kids’ menus
Not sure how to make your upscale restaurant more kid-friendly? Here are some tips.
Make the experience enjoyable. Kids love to play, so if your restaurant isn’t fun, it can be hard to keep children engaged and enjoying themselves – which ultimately affects the entire family’s dining experience. Being “fun” doesn’t mean you need to de-class with with games on your placements for example. Firefly in Washington, D.C., brings a plate with (egg-free) cookie dough and candies to tables with children. This way the kids can have their fun and eat it too (once it’s dessert time, of course).
Think healthy, think local. Children’s nutrition is a hot topic with childhood obesity rates on the rise. The days of requiring items like fried chicken fingers on a children’s menu are over. Consider making the ingredients on your kids’ menu locally sourced and sustainably harvested. Parents are usually keen on knowing more about where their kids food comes from.
Make flavor a priority. Kids can be picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean your kids options should be bland. Joan Rector McGlockton from the National Restaurant Association stated during the Partnership for a Healthier America conference, “Healthful meals will not work if they are not flavorful and the kids don’t like them.” Think about re-imagining classic meals that are tasty, familiar and healthy.
Give them room. Spacious seating can increase your odds of attracting moms and dads while not detering other diners. Make sure your staff is aware of the special seating needs of families with infants and where the best places in the restaurant are to seat large family parties.
If attracting families to your upscale restaurant is a goal, have you started promoting a child-friendly atmosphere? Please share your experience with us.