7 Unique Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Family-Friendly

According to market research studies commissioned by US Foods across various North American regions in 2023, the average person ate out around 3 times a month, and this includes families with children who need to be entertained while waiting and eating. When your tables are occupied by families, they generate more revenue; to this effect, here are seven ideas to make your restaurant more family-friendly.

1- Create Restrooms for Families

More restaurant operators are adding a third bathroom in addition to the traditional male/female scheme. We are talking about restrooms with special features such as diaper changing tables, toilet seat reducers, and sinks that are accessible for children. These restrooms can also be configured to accommodate patrons with disabilities to enhance compliance.

2- Install Outdoor Swing Sets and Playground Equipment

Ever since American fast-food chains began installing outdoor playgrounds, this practice has been highly recommended to restaurant operators who can take advantage of outside areas. Swing sets or play areas that can be seen by drivers and passersby increase the potential of attracting new patrons. This is great for restaurants that live in climates with warmer weather yearround

3- Have Interactive Play Tables

These are perfect for restaurants that are mindful of young diners from the Generation Alpha demographic. Modern tables with built-in touchscreens automate the ordering and payment processes, thus making things easier for servers, they can also be configured with apps that deliver fun activities such as educational games, age-appropriate videos, digital coloring pages, and other strategies to keep children engaged.

4- Partner With Community Groups

Reaching out to local family-oriented businesses or organizations will put your restaurant in a good light. Community groups will appreciate it if you offer your restaurant space for special activities such as hosting story time with a children’s librarian or storyteller, offering a discount to local sports teams, or sponsoring charity events that benefit families in your community.

5- Make a Sensory Playground

A small space for sensory play can go a long way to instill customer loyalty among families who bring their babies and toddlers to your restaurant. This could include soft mats, bean bag chairs, and textured toys that stimulate their senses. This spot can do more than just provide a fun outlet for your youngest patrons; if you install privacy and comfort features, it can also be a corner for mothers nursing their children.

6- Develop Kids-Friendly Menus

Forget about those frozen chicken fingers and French fries that restaurants used to pass as kids-friendly menu fare in the 20th century. Mini pizzas with a variety of toppings, colorful veggie sticks with dips, or animal-shaped quesadillas are examples of playful menu items to help parents deal with picky eaters in the family.

7- Offer Perks for Parents

Don’t forget about the diners who ultimately pay at the end of the family meal. Providing small perks specifically for parents is a strategy that many restaurant operators don’t think about; nonetheless, it can be quite powerful in terms of fostering customer loyalty. You can offer a complimentary cup of coffee with breakfast for parents, or a small discount on appetizers during family dining hours; these are gestures that show you appreciate their business.