Sponsored by Koala Kare Products
Spontaneity or close proximity are often not factors for parents selecting a restaurant when dining with their young children. Restaurants are well researched by parents to determine if the necessary accommodations are provided to make their dining experience enjoyable and easy. Information shared by family and friends, social media and review sites provide a variety of vehicles to make an informed decision on where to dine. Informed parents deliberately seek out establishments that they know offer these amenities and are likely to return to these family friendly establishments.
By incorporating the right mix of products and services for parents and their young children you can create satisfied customers who are more loyal, visit more often and spend more time and money.
In 2016, an independent third-party market research firm conducted more than 375 19-minute interviews online. The primary study objective was to measure parent attitudes, awareness and usage of childcare amenities in public establishments, including restaurants. Here are some of the findings.
Have Kids? Will Travel
Parents are on the go with their children alongside. According to the survey, nearly 75% of parents visit public places with their kids multiple times per week. Most frequent destinations include restaurants, grocery stores and retail shops.
OK, so, which accommodations do parents want? Kids’ menus, child-sized portions, child-friendly staff and larger restrooms (to accommodate a parent and child) were the resounding responses.
70% of parents said they’re more likely to visit establishments if they provide high chairs. Baby Changing Stations are even more important to families on the go—73% of respondents are more likely to make a decision based on the availability of a changing station.
The bottom line: Parents make an effort to find family friendly businesses and reward those establishments with their time and money.
Dads Want Changing Stations
36% of the survey participants were men—and 14% of them expressed a greater need for baby changing stations in men’s rooms. In fact, action to correct the imbalance of changing stations in men’s rooms has taken place both legislatively and on social media. Restaurants have been shamed online by unhappy fathers who had to change diapers on a bathroom floor on in their car because a unit absent in the men’s room.
Parents Like to Talk
Parents have many platforms to express both their pleasure and disdain for a restaurant experience. Expectation shortfalls can be quickly communicated and disseminated through social media. According to the survey, 75% of parents find out about child accommodations via word of mouth— and they probably won’t be telling you (just their friends and family, with Facebook being their go-to platform). Just over a quarter (27%) of parents surveyed have contacted a store owner or manager about child accommodations offered in their establishment.
Connect with current and future customers on social media. Let parents know you have the front of the house and the restroom outfitted with accommodations geared toward their young children.
The Path to Parent Loyalty
When it comes to building revenue through child accommodations, restaurants should take a holistic, long-term approach to generating loyalty from families. By meeting—and sometimes exceeding—parents’ expectations, restaurants can enjoy a positive ripple effect on business.
Listen to parents. Respond to their needs. They will come back and spread the word. The data suggests that with the right food, great service and thoughtful accommodations, you can start to build a loyal base of families that are not only repeat customers, but outspoken advocates of your brand.
For additional findings from the independent study, download the infographic, “A Path to Parent Loyalty” from Koala Kare Products.