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Is Your Restaurant Truly Family Friendly?

According to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 75% of restaurants offer a children’s menu and another 6.25% are considering offering one.  Most restaurants understand the need to cater to young families and accommodate them in every way possible. Koala KB105 High ChairBut is your restaurant really making your youngest customers and their parents feel at home?  Having a children’s menu should only be the start of your strategy to cater to families.  Restaurant high chairs, baby changing stations, and booster seats are all necessary tools in your arsenal when it comes to making all of your guests feel at home:

When I was a kid, restaurant high chairs were pretty basic, and usually an afterthought in the restaurant.  These days you have options when it comes to high chairs, and this important piece of furniture can actually complement your décor instead of taking away from it.  Wooden and plastic high chairs are available in a variety of styles and colors, allowing you to choose something that blends in and looks good.

Koala KB-115 Seat Cradle

Infant seat cradle holders are also another way to make any young family feel right at home in your restaurant.  They provide a convenient and safe stand for any car seat, and they’re available in a variety of colors.

Booster seats for slightly older kids don’t have to be an ugly chunk of plastic anymore either.  Wood finish booster seats, complete with safety strap, are a big improvement over the classic molded plastic model.  And if you want to stick with that classic molded version, at least you can choose from a variety of colors so they don’t have to stick out like a sore thumb.

kb200_05_opAnd for your restrooms, baby changing stations have pretty much become standard equipment, even in the men’s room.  Luckily companies like Koala are making a variety of configurations so that the baby changing station in your restrooms fits with the layout.  Choose from horizontal, vertical, and recessed versions that will fit almost any size wall, giving you flexibility when you add or replace the baby changing stations in your restaurant.

Being family friendly might start with the menu, but for your customers, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to anticipating and effectively accommodating their needs with the equipment that makes your establishment feel a little more like home.

About Greg McGuire

Greg has blogged about the food service industry for years and has been published in industry magazines, like Independent Restaurateur and industry blogs like Restaurant SmartBrief. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons and enjoys reading, live music, and the great outdoors.

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  1. All of the items are a necessity! It is hard enough getting out of the house with a little one, not to mention the challenges while you are out! One of my biggest problems is that the strap on every changing station is broke and I’ve NEVER seen a station with liners. Also, Koala makes a child protection seat that could really come in handy when mom has to go to the bathroom too!

    • Hopefully more restaurants will start to see how beneficial it can be to make it easy for young families to go out to eat. The equipment is available. All it takes is the will to cater to your customers!

  2. Another thing is the coloring pages and crayons, those make the minutes go by faster when waiting for the food. Some restaurants even expedite the kids meals which is very nice. Chick Fil A does an exceptional job catering to kids, they have placemats and even complimentary cherios for the little ones.

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