How to capture the lucrative family crowd

Children Eating

According to The NPD Group’s CREST® foodservice market research, the return of families to the foodservice industry accelerated in 2016, growing at twice the pace of 2015 and bringing the volume of family visits to a three-year high.

This growth means that savvy restauranteurs should be re-assessing their menus to become more relevant with the family demographic. Parents of young children are not hard to please. Basically, all they need is to get in and out quickly without hassle, having an enjoyable meal in the process while their children are relaxed and engaged. As long as the food is of reasonable quality, parents will actually pay a premium if everything else works as it should.

Golden pancakes

We take a look at the simplest ways to make your venue kid friendly and to boost your profits...

The Menu
The most obvious place to start is the menu. You need to ensure you have items on the menu that are going to keep children happy. This can be limited to simplify the ordering process and should include a mixture of classics and some more ‘adventurous’ options that will keep the parents happy. Some of our favourites include:

The Extras
If you have the menu and furnishings to make family visits easy – the next step is how to minimise disruption to other childless diners. Here, it is important to note that smartphones (and wifi) are the new crayons. Where restaurants and cafes used to rely on crayons and colouring books to keep kids engaged and quiet during a meal, smartphones and tablets are now taking over. This is great news for venues - all you have to provide is a good wifi connection and there will be quiet and calm.

Pizza bases

The Takeaway
NPD Group’s research also uncovered that delivery and pick-up meals reached their highest point since the research began back in 2009. This shows a trend towards people opting to eat in the comfort of their own home – something that families may be more inclined to do after a long day. Restaurants that make their menu available as take away are opening up their offering to a larger market of ‘at home foodies’ that don’t want to miss out on small luxuries now they have children.

Burger sliders

Although often overlooked in any marketing efforts, families hold huge potential for increased profits for any venue. Instead of leaving the profit boost to the QSR outlets, restaurants and cafes, it would be smart for other foodservice providers to consider the points above and see if they can attract more of the family crowd to their tables.

For more great tips, insights and trends like this (and for the chance to win an iPad mini) sign up to the Tip Top Foodservice newsletter, Flavour of the Month, here:

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / CREST®, Annual 2016

June 29th 2017




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