Working parents and busy family schedules are contributing factors to the statistic that many families eat out three or four times a week. Parents want to make their children happy because that makes meal time a more pleasant experience for all. Parents also want to spend quality time with their children so often it's the younger generation who selects where the family will dine.

You can help these families by not only providing a varied menu, delicious food, and great value but also by finding ways to entertain the children while they eat. Activity books, menus with puzzles and coloring, and placemats with crayons are still popular with the younger set, however it's a bit more challenging to keep the attention of the older children. These are some other ideas that can be affordable and attract this large potential customer base.

Mind Teasing Puzzles

Purchase wooden or metal puzzles to keep at (or nearby) your tables and even offer take home versions for sale at the register.


Get creative—you could do a seasonal drawing contest for each season or create a word search to fit the season or theme of your restaurant. Or let the kids scramble up the letter in the name of your restaurant and see how many words they can make.

Menu Cover Design Contest

The business bonus of these activities is that it gives you an opportunity to gather valuable marketing information on your customers for future campaigns
  • All contestants will complete a card including their home and e-mail address.
  • Define the time frame for the contest.
  • Communicate by mail and/or email with the contestants - a postcard with a coupon or just an announcement of when the winner(s) will be announced.
  • When you do pick your winner(s), invite them back to the restaurant (hopefully to eat) to pick up their prize. Suggestions for prizes could be a t-shirt with the restaurant logo, a ball, pen set, or other logo items and/or a coupon for a free kid’s meal.


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