Serving up a Sense of Belonging via Creative Strategy
Now, more than ever, kids need to be seen AND heard.
It’s no secret today’s kids are more tech-savvy than any generation before them, far more adept and at-home with digital devices and touchscreens than their Gen X parents. The pandemic only increased kids’ connections with technology; over many months we watched our school-aged kids login at the breakfast table, attend classes remotely, and submit homework via google docs, becoming IT wizards in the process.
But, as many of us are now realizing, kids paid a significant price – the flipside to their tech affinity is that it has led to tech DEPENDENCE. Screens have become a crutch for many kids, allowing interpersonal and social skills to atrophy while potentially leaving kids feeling socially adrift. Kids’ communication skills, active listening, and the ability to read and respond to social cues have all suffered. The antidote? Family-focused strategies that create opportunities to connect, interact and communicate – away from the distractions of tablets, phones and apps.
What does this mean for restaurants?
When families dine out, the restaurant experience for guests 12 and under should build connection within the family unit as well as the brand, with games and activities that fuel dialogue and communicate to kids “Hey, this place gets me.” To get kids to talk, they first need to feel they will be heard. That includes talking to them – and not talking down to them – creating content they feel is FOR them, and promoting interaction and conversation at the table and throughout the dining experience.
At SPIRIT, we create engaging content around themes that resonate with kids, featuring mindfulness activities and open-ended stories that give kids the freedom and space to write and draw how they feel. Most importantly, we keep our fingers on the pulse of social and cultural trends, and ensure the visuals and language we use are inclusive of and compassionate toward the ways kids identify, from family structure to gender identity. Let’s show these kids they have a seat at the table.
Source: YouthBeat 2021
Chris Evans, Executive Creative Director + Managing Partner