How to Make Your Restaurant Family-Friendly

Jessica Elliott

Jessica couples her 24 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience with meticulous research to deliver insight into technology, operations, and marketing topics. Her optimized copy helps companies engage their audience while strengthening their communication with clients, employees, and management.

The National Restaurant Association finds, “nearly six out of 10 consumers say they take into account a restaurant’s family or child-friendliness when choosing where to dine.” As more millennials take on parenthood, they show no signs of wanting to stay home. Instead, recent research shows that customers are dining out as much or more than before so considered making your restaurant family-friendly. 

The Restaurant Success Report reveals, “45% of diners go out to eat multiple times a week, with another 20% going out to eat once a week.” This data suggests that restaurateurs who take advantage of this opportunity can increase their business and retain loyal guests as they move through different life stages. 

Creating a restaurant environment that attracts families boosts your revenue and provides a pleasant experience for all guests, whereas failure to train staff or double-check the cleanliness of child-friendly amenities can lead to disastrous customer experience.

Grandmother feeding her grandson in a family-friendly restaurant

Provide training for staff

From spilled drinks to crying children, eating out with kids isn’t easy. That’s why parents want attentive and friendly service. In a Restaurant Business Consumer Trends report, the top kid-friendly restaurants share a familiar trait: friendly customer service. However, young staff members may not understand the unique needs of parents. Develop a training program that includes real-time feedback for the best results. 

  • Work through scenarios, like what to do if a drink is spilled.
  • Explain how your restaurant handles a kid’s meal that ends up on the floor.
  • Remind your crew to pay attention to little ones underfoot and acknowledge them at the table.

Offer kid-friendly activities

Happy and occupied children equal satisfied parents. At a bare minimum, you can take it old school and offer activity sheets and crayons. However, digital entertainment is becoming more prominent in restaurants.

 AJ Mesalic, GM of The Family Hospitality Group, told the National Restaurant Association that entertaining children increases revenue. He says that “Bob Evans is just one good example. By revamping their kids’ program, they increased their revenue by 30 percent in that segment.” Consider how different types of child-friendly and low-cost activities can help your customer experience. Then, choose a few options that fit your brand and guest needs.

Supply clean family-friendly amenities

Diaper changing tables are a must in restrooms for moms and dads. However, it’s equally important to pay attention to the cleanliness of your kid-friendly facilities. Parents aren’t expecting a crumbless appearance, but they do consider clean-smelling and well-sanitized facilities essential.

  • Set up restroom checks to uncover smelly situations, sanitize, and put the changing table back in an upright position. 
  • Prioritize cleaning floors, as toddlers inevitably end up trying to eat something off of it. 
  • Designate staff for cleaning high chairs and booster seats. 

Create a family night at your restaurant

Turn a slow night into a family-fun night by offering lower-priced kids meals or deals where you get a kid’s meal free with an adult meal. Not only does this attract families due to the cost savings, but it also notifies your adult-only customers of family times. This helps improve the customer experience for all of your restaurant guests. 

Delivering a wholesome and satisfying customer experience for everyone, including your youngest guests, isn’t easy. However, you can increase your revenue by making your restaurant family-friendly. Pay attention to areas where families encounter problems, then provide kid-orientated solutions.

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