Hey Kids! It’s The Googly-Eyed Food Mutant Here To Bore You To Death! (Part 1)

An op-ed by Charlie Hopper (excerpted from this month’s Food & Drink magazine)

I took that picture, which is why it's blurry. Food & Drink magazine, in which this article originally appeared, did not include this photo. Probably since it's blurry..

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…