Are you having problems with rowdy kids in your restaurant? “Keep them engaged and interested,” said a company which sells customized marketing products. It found one creative solution for children to behave—a system that allows kids to engage in kid-friendly activities while waiting for their orders; one that properly motivates them in showing good behavior while dining in the restaurant.
Las Vegas, NV-based The Family Hospitality Group is launching an innovative way to keep kids engaged and interested while they are dining out—a kids’ rewards program called The Classy Kids Club. The loyalty program was created just like the common adult loyalty systems that we have always known, but what makes it different is that it was purposely tailored to enable children, for the first time, to accumulate rewards for themselves.
Kids are used to having the usual elementary children’s punch card, birthday clubs and email clubs, but this would be the first time that they can track their own bonus points. Such bonus rewards points can be earned for things like selecting a healthy restaurant food item on the menu in inexpensive menu cover; having behaved themselves while dining out; participating in a significant school, church or community activity or event; having had good grades at school; or simply trying out a new menu item. They can redeem their points for any promotional food items at the restaurant, or any other special prizes. There are endless possibilities for both the criteria in gaining points as well as the prizes, keeping it at minimum or no-cost, as children just need to be entertained and diverted.
“The idea is to build a system where children can feel a sense of pride at being treated as an important patron in the restaurant, for which they can be rewarded for making the right choices,” said A.J. Mesalic, representative of the The Family Hospitality Group. “This system would also help the restaurant improve its standing as a family oriented and kid-friendly establishment, aside from its main aim of driving repeat business. It’s not just for kids—it’s for the enjoyment of parents, too.”
Dealing with noisy children at a restaurant’s dining area is one of the biggest headaches that a restaurant manager can have, regardless of how family-oriented his dining establishment is. It’s also one of the most divisive issues that have flagged the industry. Up until recently, speaking against children in our society is almost taboo, given the notion that kids are innately good, and being critical of them is like going against the nuns and the priests at church. Restaurants before had no choice but to put up with children screaming and jumping in the dining room, or when they are fighting with their siblings over food items on the restaurant’s menu in elegant menu cover and the parent screaming repeatedly at them to settle down, or even those whose video games are much too loud for the comfort of the other diners. Restaurateurs are baffled—parents are aghast when they are reprimanded, while customers who aren’t with children are indignant why such uproar in a restaurant is being tolerated.
Some have taken an unyielding stand against it, banning children altogether from their restaurant. But there are those who try to hang on to keep peace with their patrons and not lose them…and think of creative solutions to resolve the problem.