Cafe and coffee shops rely heavily upon the custom of parents and their children, so it is vital that your cafe is child friendly and inviting for both parents and their kids. When you provide a welcoming dining experience for families, they are more likely to return. Below we share some helpful tips and advice for when setting up a child friendly cafe.
Kids' menu ideas - When setting yourself up as a child friendly cafe, it is important that you offer healthy and child friendly meals that are good value for money. Good ideas include soups, cheese on toast, sandwiches, pasta shapes, and mini pizzas. Drinks can include fresh fruit juice, milk and milkshakes. Hot chocolate with marshmallows is also a firm favourite with kids in the colder months.
Food presentation and menu design - The way in which the food menu is presented to children is very important. Older kids want to read a menu themselves, while younger children will be drawn to an attractive and colourful menu. Use easy to hold cutlery and sturdy plates, bowls and cups. That way, if the plate or bowl is dropped, no harm is done. Use brightly coloured cutlery that children will love.
Create a separate kids menu in an easy to read font that is decorative and engaging. It can also incorporate a colouring in section with free crayons. Older kids could also enjoy doing a word search.
A creative seating area for kids - It's a good idea to create a separate dining corner, or section of your cafe, specifically for families with young children. Cushions, pillows and bean bags are all great ideas, as are low seater sofas, smaller tables and chairs. High chairs are also vital pieces of furniture, as are easily accessible benches. Colouring books, reading books and a toy box are also welcome additions to keep kids entertained while they wait for their food.
Outdoor area - If you have the space, then create an outdoor seating area that is child friendly. Separate this area from the rest of your customers with a simple trellis or low fence. Use colourful outdoor furniture that is safe for children to sit on. All kids love to be outdoors, and dining outside is such an enjoyable family experience.
Promote your café - You need to let parents know that you are child friendly and welcome kids. Advertise your child friendly services, such as organised birthday parties and a Happy Hour for Kids, in the local media and get your cafe out there!
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