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Richiedi la tessera

10 motivi per cui un ristoratore dovrebbe accogliere al meglio le famiglie con bambini

Children Article

Ospitare famiglie con bambini nel proprio locale richiede qualche accorgimento in più, ma è sicuramente un'ottima occasione per ogni ristoratore. Le famiglie infatti, possono garantire maggiori guadagni, senza contare che i bambini di oggi saranno gli adulti di domani. Trattarli bene può quindi essere un piccolo ma importante investimento per il futuro. Se volete adattare il vostro locale a misura anche di bambino, lo spazio esterno è sicuramente un ambiente da curare con particolare attenzione.

1. Children need space

The inside of your establishment is often crowded and this bustling atmosphere can be overwhelming for children. Bulky highchairs also can get in your staff’s way. Outside, the picture is different: your patio or garden gives children the space they need to run around and be comfortable. Parents too enjoy a quieter space where they can soothe their crying babies.

2. Young families bring revenue now – and in the future

Work it out for yourself: a couple typically consumes two items from the menu: around four drinks and orders a couple of extras. On average, this amounts to 40-60 euros. In contrast, you can add two smaller items from the menu and two drinks to this for a family of four. This increases your revenue to 60-80 euros. If families feel welcome, they will certainly come again. It’s easy to serve families with children as guests in your outdoor areas with very little extra effort and increase your revenue at the same time. Another important aspect: service costs per unit revenue earned are significantly lower for a group than for individual guests.

3. Babies, prams, and buggies: a logistical challenge

Families with very young children rarely travel light. They come with a pram or buggy and a diaper bag filled with bottles, snacks, and a change of clothes. Teddy can’t ever be left at home either. For babies and toddlers, an XXL bag with spare nappies, creams, wipes, and lotions is a must. Your outside area doesn’t have walls, so it’s ideal for letting families make room for themselves in comfort. They will thank you for the opportunity with lasting customer loyalty.

4. Loud kids are less of a problem outdoors

Your guests love the snug and comfortable dining area of your restaurant. But the sounds that happy – or very unhappy – children make often reverberate through the room and can distract guests from having deep conversations. The situation in an outdoor area is quite different: the sound dissipates in the open air and doesn't sound as loud to our ears. This is also why young parents like to sit outside during the sunny seasons of the year.

5. An outdoor area offers room to play

Children at play tend to be quiet and occupied with their games. Setting up a play area inside a restaurant is often not feasible due to lack of space. In contrast, creating an outdoor play area is much easier. A children’s table and chairs, a few toys, and colouring books are generally all you need. As a rule, this takes up only one or two square metres of space. If you have a garden, a small playground might be worth considering. In view of how much easier things are made for your business, the costs are actually relatively low. 

6. Children love to be outside; parents like it, too

Fresh air and sunshine are important for children’s health. Little ones also find the world outdoors much more interesting: there’s so much to explore and discover. If you have a garden, children can spend hours watching flora and fauna – even if the wildlife is only a garden worm. This inquisitive nature is also appreciated by other older guests. 

7. Family visits to restaurants and cafés tend to come at off-peak times

Children go to bed early and are wide-awake earlier in the day. This means that young families have different leisure time behaviour patterns. While your ‘normal’ guests generally visit you for lunch or an evening meal, your off-peak times with low revenue – before lunchtime, in the afternoon, and on weekdays – are attractive for families with children. Young mothers in particular enjoy a morning get-together with their girlfriends in a café. They prefer to meet outdoors so they can park their buggies nearby. There’s little reason to take baby out and no need to manoeuvre the buggy through a narrow café. 

8. An outdoor area that welcomes children makes you popular so let people know!

Many people respond positively to children at play: when they see that you like children, they will like you too. Let guests know you have a ‘children’s corner’ by posting a sign outside, a sticker on the door, or sharing this information on Facebook or your website. The word will spread soon. Numerous popular online portals rate the child-friendliness of cafés and restaurants. Actively advertise what you offer to your youngest guests!

9. Today’s children are tomorrow’s adults 

We all look back fondly on the memories of our childhood and preserve family traditions. We love to return to places where we were happy. If children enjoyed happy times with their families in your garden or on your patio, they will visit you again as adults – possibly with children of their own. Always treat children as guests in their own right and fulfil their wishes. For instance, provide places just for them in your outdoor areas.

Build a sandpit 

You can buy a sandpit or you can build one yourself. Everything you need can be found in a DIY store. Costs, including drainage material and sand, will be about 50 euros. 

  • Dig out a pit around 15 cm deep in the dimensions you want (recommendation: 100 x 150 cm). 
  • Fill it with gravel to allow water to drain away.
  • Ask the DIY store to cut four wooden planks (20 x 6 cm, construction timber, or similar) to the lengths you need. Depending on your DIY skills, screw them together to form a frame with butted or mitred joints.
  • Set the frame on a bed of gravel and staple a lining of water-permeable sheeting inside the lower part to allow water to drain away.
  • Screw boards of the desired size (20 x 10 cm) to the top of the frame as seating elements.
  • Fill the frame with sand (play sand is available in sacks).
  • A suitable cover should be made to prevent dogs or cats using the sand pit as a toilet (plywood or similar material).

What do you need for an outdoor play area?

  • Low tables and chairs/stools for children
  • Picture books, colouring books, crayons, coloured pencils/pens
  • Boxes of toys/playthings for bigger and smaller children
  • If you have a garden: swings, a play house, or a sand pit
  • Cleaning cloths and buckets nearby

Estimated costs for a play area

  • Swing frame with two seats, approx. 200 euros
  • Sandpit, approx. 50 euros
  • Slide, approx. 120 euros
  • Playhouse, approx. 200 euros
  • Overall cost: less than 600 euros

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