Be Prepared for all Family Members
If a family walks through a restaurant’s doors only to find that there are no seating options for their children, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll ever return. It’s essential to always have both high chairs and booster seats on hand. They might not get used as much as the other restaurant furniture throughout the place, but it’ll be the one time these seats aren’t on hand that will be remembered by disappointed guests.
Offer Kid-Centric Promotions
One thing that always brings parents in is a promotion centered around their children. Many people, for instance, enjoyed the Pizza Hut "Book It" program. Children were rewarded with free pizza to incentivize reading. Not only did parents get a great deal thanks to free food, but the program simultaneously got children excited about reading.
Of course, these promotions don’t have to be as in-depth as the Book It program. A simple "Kids Eat Free" day or a free dessert or toy for children who bring in good report cards will do just fine. As long as parents feel they’re receiving special treatment because of their little ones, they’ll come in.
Offer Free Wi-Fi to Guests
Although free Wi-Fi will likely attract the aforementioned "hip" kids sitting in the bistro chairs, it’ll also incentivize parents to come in. Sure, they’ll be able to check their Facebook while waiting on their food, but they’ll also save their data usage while keeping their children occupied.
The truth of the matter is that young children often don’t want the blank coloring pages and crayons anymore. They want to watch Spongebob on a smartphone. Wi-Fi might not top the equipment for restaurants list, but the parents of children who remain calm at dinner will be eternally grateful.
Make Life Easier When Seating Families
If four adults come in to eat, a restaurant booth for four should be just fine. A family of four, though, especially if there are two young children, might not be as comfortable. Regardless of how well-behaved a child is, they’ll get antsy if they’re confined to one spot for the entirety of a meal.
With this in mind, simply seat families at larger tables if they’re available. A family of four, for instance, would likely do better at a restaurant booth that’s made for six. Parents will appreciate this thoughtfulness, and it’s likely they’ll return the favor by coming back.
Even for restaurateurs with the bistro chair environment, it doesn’t hurt to appeal a bit more to those with families. In the end, it’s all about keeping the children happy, and when the kids are happy, the parents will undoubtedly follow.