An op-ed by Charlie Hopper (excerpted from this month’s Food & Drink magazine)
When did kid’s menu designers decide it was enough to draw food with eyes and arms, toss in a few dull games, and move onto bigger issues?
Does it even matter? Your restaurant wasn’t designed to cater primarily to children: why even bother composing an engaging kid’s menu?
Maybe you’d like to upsell from a cola to a Razz-Ma-Tazz Lemonade Blast, or to induce the tots to add a side of mini-corndogs or baby carrots?
Maybe you’ve developed a signature kid dish you’re pushing?
Maybe you simply want to keep the little rug rats quiet till the food arrives, so their parents can have a peaceful experience. Is that it?
Ambition is what’s needed here. Aim higher.
If you really get a kid’s brain working, they’ll remember they had fun at your restaurant. They’ll want to go back. They’ll force enough visits that it will become a nostalgic favorite for them when they’re older—and not that much older, either. Nostalgia will set in when they’re a tween or early teen.
Let’s make your kid’s menu your long-term recruitment strategy.
TOMORROW, IN PART 2: Four specific recommendations for turning kids into recruits…