Did you know that kids have become the family’s top decision-maker when it comes to eating out? Where parents were once the sole decision-makers of the family, times are changing. Now, more than ever, children are leading the charge when it comes to dining out; in fact, a recent study shows that up to 43% of families are allowing their children to decide where they want to eat nowadays.
As such, it’s no surprise that restaurants want to target diners with kids in mind. After all, the appeal of a family-friendly restaurant could draw hundreds of potential new customers to your eatery. Some sources even claim that appealing to children and families could boost your restaurant’s foot traffic by up to 25%. Whether you’re opening a new small business or trying to rebrand your current restaurant, there are countless ways to draw families to your restaurant in the new year.
If you’re one of the many small businesses hoping to invest in a new marketing campaign for 2020, here are some ideas to consider as you craft the perfect family-friendly restaurant.
Include kid-friendly activities
While your restaurant doesn’t have to have a slide and a ball pit, including some kid-friendly activities is a great way to show that you care about your younger patrons. Investing in coloring books, crayons, and small toys are just some of the many items you can buy to get started. Depending on your restaurant’s space or atmosphere, you can always opt for larger features as well. Just keep in mind that a play area might bring up some liability issues. Even though 20% of insurance claims relate to water damage, personal injury cases are another major concern. Be sure to talk to your lawyer or insurer about whether or not this is a good idea for your restaurant.
When children have something to look forward to at your restaurant, you can rest assured that they’ll drag their family back for seconds.
As you introduce more activities with children in mind, you can always advertise these benefits online. After all, a new restaurant feature is a cause for celebration! A recurring family night or special event is a great way to appeal to new customers and retain your old regulars. These don’t need to be outrageous or large events featuring a petting zoo with alpacas; even something small can give your guests something to look forward to. Just be sure to keep your followers in the loop by showcasing your new features and any kid-friendly changes you make. The more positive experiences you can offer a family, the better.
Come up with a catchy new jingle
There’s no doubt that some jingles tend to stick with you, especially those that are aimed at children. These catchy tunes often turn into earworms that you can’t hope to be rid of. If you’re trying to appeal to a younger demographic, creating a catchy new jingle for the new year is a great way to entertain children.
Restaurant jingles are a powerful marketing tool for a number of reasons: one, jingles help your brand. Whenever that song plays, your restaurant will pop up in the mind of the listeners. Choosing lyrics that reinforce your restaurant’s message is a great way to remind consumers that you’re there for them — and their children. Two, jingles are catchy. Children love the repetition of a jingle or song and won’t hesitate to repeat them on a daily basis.
For restaurateurs who don’t want to create a new jingle, rehashing an old song can bring back feelings of positivity in potential customers. If you rely on a popular song with widespread appeal, anyone listening to your ad or watching your video will be reminded of the good times they had while listening to that song. Just be sure you’re not infringing on any copyright laws when you get started. Just like you should test your disaster recovery systems, you need to ensure your creative endeavors are also protected. While getting creative and establishing a new jingle is recommended if you’re trying to reinvent your brand, relying on old favorites is an easy way to gain widespread appeal in a short amount of time.
Market your menu
At the end of the day, your menu is what’s going to separate your restaurant from the other guys. Did you know fewer than 30% of restaurants have a children’s menu? If your restaurant doesn’t have a kids’ menu, now is the time to draft your first copy.
Kids’ menus are vital since they display plenty of images and offer smaller portion sizes. After all, you can’t expect a child to eat an 8oz steak without a little trouble. By showcasing smaller options with pictures to help out kids who can’t read, you’re ensuring a simpler dining experience for everyone involved.
You should also feature this menu online with sources, including your social media channels. An estimated 38 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses each year, but you can cover your bases if you offer ample nutritional information.
Even though children are making more decisions, being able to look at a menu can save stressed-out parents from a tantrum later on. Be sure to include the staples, too: mac and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, and ice cream are all kids’ menu staples. Did you know 9% of all dairy. produced in the U.S. goes into making ice cream? It’s no wonder almost every menu has this option.
If you really want to get people through the door, coupons are the name of the game. After all, many families are hesitant to dine out on a regular basis because of the exorbitant costs. Luckily, a great coupon that appeals to young eaters is a great way to showcase your new menu to your patrons.
Coupons are one of the best ways to improve your retention rate. And because items on the children’s menu are so small, featuring them on a coupon won’t break the bank for your business. Try bundling smaller items together, like ice cream meals or appetizers, to save your patrons a couple of dollars. If they know an online coupon deal is coming, they will be more likely to come back later.
Marketing with families in mind can be a fun, challenging way to spice up your business next year. If you aren’t including children in your social media campaigns, start with these tips to gain a new audience in 2020.