5 Ways to Make a Great Kids Restaurant Menu

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Servers might hate it when they have to clean the restaurant furnishings after being occupied by a few children, but catering to kids is a great way to bring in more business. There are nearly 74 million Americans under the age of 18, and their parents often enjoy having a nice meal out without having to find a babysitter. This is why it’s so important for restaurateurs to have an appealing kids’ menu, and here are a few tips to accomplish just that.

1. Come Up with a Great Design
Children can’t enjoy the fun that adults typically do at bar tables, so it’s important to create a menu design that entertains them. This can be as easy as adding games, riddles and puzzles on paper placemats. Most restaurant suppliers aren’t in the business of making kids’ menus, but fortunately, there are plenty of templates available free online. In fact, a Google search for “kids’ menu templates” returns nearly 43 million results!

2. Utilize Vivid Images
Vivid images and bright colors are ideal for kids’ menus. These aspects will stand out to children and keep their attention, and the parents will likely appreciate the small break. Having images of each kids’ dish is also a good idea. This will make the child feel independent because they’ll be able to order what they want—without their parents’ help—even if they can’t read the menu. Happy children equate to happy parents.

3. Offer Gourmet Dishes
Most people are used to the typical choices of hotdogs, chicken fingers and mini burgers when looking at kids’ menus. With a generation growing up watching shows like Chopped and The Great British Baking Show, though, children are becoming much more curious in their tastes.

Just because someone has difficulty seeing over the restaurant furnishings doesn’t mean they don’t want a great meal. Restaurateurs should challenge their chefs to try out new things like vegetable lasagna, mini roasted chicken portions and other gourmet dishes for the kids.

4. Price the Meals Appropriately
There’s no world where a child’s menu item should cost just as much as their parent’s. It’s important for culinary entrepreneurs to do cost analyses to ensure they’ll have a working profit margin on anything they offer. Parents typically expect their children’s meals to be about half of what they’re paying for a similar-but-larger item from the adult menu.

5. Offer Nutritious Meals
People are realizing more every day that healthy diets are essential for happy lives. Restaurateurs should rest assured that, if someone wants to eat healthy in their own diet, they want it for their children as well. Items like fries and chips should obviously be an option with chicken fingers and burgers, but offering mini salads or sides of apples and celery should also be a goal.

There’s unlikely to be a point where every occupant of the restaurant furnishings is under the age of 8, but this doesn’t mean youngsters can be ignored. By focusing on creating a kids’ menu that’s appealing to both children and parents, restaurateurs will ensure that adults with children keep coming in for a great meal.