Why families deserve your attention and investment.
We live in an increasingly throwaway and ephemeral world. Phones at the ready, attention spans at top speed, we scroll, like, click, refresh … and move on to the next. In the name of efficiency, we digitize and automate, streamline and replicate. But what lasts and sticks with us? What do we instantly remember and what really creates meaning and connection?
Hospitality businesses are uniquely positioned to strike a balance here. Restaurants, cafes and bars have always created uniquely appealing brands that fuel human interaction. While they can respond to economic and technological shifts and changing consumer demands, like mobile ordering, QR codes and delivery services, their physical locations give people spaces in which to socialize in person and share a meal or drink.
Starbucks, for example, famously calls its convenient locations “third spaces” – destinations outside of work or home where people could have a date, an interview or even just time to one’s self in a familiar branded environment. The importance of the actual coffee and food on sale has always arguably been secondary.
There is something undeniably compelling and memorable about gathering spots designed with thought, intent and purpose. But that experience journey is often knocked down the priority list or overlooked entirely in favor of whatever is being cooked, baked or brewed.
This is especially true when it comes to families. Kids see eating out as a treat. Parents want to share family time and make their kids happy. Restaurants of all types make all that possible. But most don’t make it powerful.
In our work we not only highlight the importance of crafting complete restaurant brand experiences for families, but also the financial and emotional value of making that kind of initial investment. This not only involves brand design systems that coordinate logos, menus, signage and environmental elements, but also executions meant more specifically for kids, like special menus and menu items, games, books and toys.
That doesn’t necessarily mean a restaurant environment specifically dedicated to kids. But rather, one that doesn’t forget them. A smart branded kids program is a proven way to bolster the bottom line by ensuring repeat visits. Because when a kid remembers the fun food experience they had, they’re going to want to bring their parents back for more.
Brent Anderson, Food and beverage brander / Entrepreneur