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It’s Child’s Play

  • Posted by: Sara-Jane Williams

Keep the kids happy and you can build family customer loyalty that will last years – we all know the effect of pester power!

Try our top tips for child friendly dining that young – and grown up – diners will thank you for.

As big chains such as Jamie’s Italian, Pizza Express and fast food restaurants have successfully sussed, the family market represents a great opportunity for repeat custom. A recent study has shown that 29% of families eat out together on a regular basis and 20% of parents treat their children to a meal on their way home from school.

So, what can you do to make parents feel good about bringing their kids to eat at your establishment while also seducing the little one’s taste buds? Try the following:

Make it healthy

The Change 4 Life campaign, launched in January 2017, has put the amount of sugar, salt and fat consumed by children into sharp focus and as a result parents are increasingly concerned about what their children eat. Approach your children’s menu the same way you would any other; offer balanced meals and include information about food provenance to highlight the quality of ingredients and give parents confidence in your food.

Make it easy

Many kids are fussy about food, so don’t be afraid to include the usual children’s favourites such as burgers or Chef’s Selections simple cheese and tomato pizza slab (COCU8043) and parents will be grateful for a fuss-free option. To ease parental conscience, make sure you offer healthy sides such as sweet potato chips or classic peas and carrots to balance the meal.

 

Dennis Family Butchers Beef Sliders (SABU7091)

Let kids pick and mix

Children often have strong preferences for certain foods so why not use a pick and mix-style menu with a small selection of mains, carbohydrates and vegetables so they can choose their favourites? They’ll also love the sense of control they get over their meal. Need inspiration? Take a look at our small options such as Dennis Family Butchers beef sliders (SABU7091) or serve up just one of the grown-up trio of Tom’s Pies mini steak & ale (TOPI0056), chicken, ham & mushroom (TOPI0058) and spinach & truffle pies (TOPI0062).

 

Tom’s Mini Pies – (TOPI0056, TOPI0058, TOPI0062)

Be allergy aware

More than 17 million Europeans have a food allergy, and hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade, according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. So, catering for a range of dietary needs will make you a popular destination for any parent of a child with an allergy.

Offer dessert options

Many parents are trying to keep their kids’ sugar intake to a minimum, so you’ll win with the grown ups if you offer some suitable dessert options, which are also appealing to the kids. Turn a simple fruit salad into a ‘sundae’ with fresh unsweetened cream, fruit coulis and a selection of our frozen fruits (such as raspberries GREE1028). Pure fruit juice ice lollies are a winner too and always on standby in the freezer. Make your own with Frobishers fresh juices and Greek yoghurt for a more bespoke, artisan option.

For more tips and advice, please speak with your Account Manager!

 

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Author: Sara-Jane Williams
Sara-Jane supports the brand development and marketing at Philip Dennis. She is passionate about supporting customers in their efforts to increase profitability, raise footfall and stand out in the crowd.

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