Are you utilizing the tag-along factor?

by Halisi

Who makes the decisions on where to eat out?  When we’re talking about family dining, the kids have a lot of influence on decision-making.  So how are you trying to appeal to these pint-sized decision makers?   Are you trying to gain their loyalty or do you assume that if you throw a few items on the menu that that will be enough?

There’s a reason why the highly successful Chipotle Restaurants added a unique kids menu.  Because they realize what studies show -  that nearly 50% of dining decisions are made by the kids.   Since kids don’t drive themselves, restaurants get the benefit of the tag-a-long factor.   You will always get one or two adults to tag-along to where the kids want to go.  Make sure they’re choosing your restaurant.

Look at your menu.  Do you have meals specifically for kids?  Are they tailored to your style of restaurant or are you just offering the usual chicken strips and fries?  Kids aren’t stupid, they know when they are an afterthought.  Be creative and tailor your kids meals to mimic what your restaurant offers.  Studies show that kids are increasingly accepting of trying different, and spicier foods.

Do you have items to keep them busy so that mom and dad can order that second glass of (large profit margin) wine?  Don’t go the mom and pop route.  Branded items that they can take home can cost as little as $0.35 each.  If you can’t afford, or don’t have the volume to dictate hiring a family marketing firm, get your graphics designer to design a coloring book for you.  Printing at online printers like GOTPRINT.COM isn’t exorbitant and their quality is top notch.  You can purchase small packets of crayons by the case.  Call a Crayola (guaranteed non-toxic) distributor, they’re not as expensive as you might think.

Now you’ve just increased your customer base.  If you can have kids preferring your special 3-cheese ravioli to a happy meal, you have not only gained the kid but their parents too!

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