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When I’m out with the family and we’re looking for somewhere to eat the quality of the kids menu can be the deciding factor in where we choose to eat.
I argue that getting children’s menus right makes good business sense as often the party consists of all the children, grand parents etc, so good business.
It depends on your menu but often having a clear policy on your menu explaining that you’ll happily do half or third portions or customise dishes for children can be a good solution. This will be fine in most cases but do make sure that the menu has some simpler food that’s not to hot and spicy for little ones.
Don’t put anything on the kids menu that you would be embarrassed to have a restaurant critic review. For example most kids love chicken nuggets, beans and chips. This can be done really badly at the lowest cost by buying in frozen nuggets, beans and chips but you probably wouldn’t want to eat this yourself. On the other hand you can execute this dish really well with freshly breaded chicken, hand cut herby Tuscan diced potatoes, freshly made baked beans or creamy coleslaw and salad. Done well you should be proud scaling the dish up to an adult portion size and giving it to an adult restaurant critic.
The other problem with children’s menus is variety. I would urge every chef to have at least one seasonal item on the children’s menu. This may be best done by switching in a seasonal fruit or vegetable.
Parents won’t return to a restaurant with their kids if they don’t perceive it to be family friendly. If you want parents to bring their children back to a restaurant time and time again you need to find ways to make the whole thing as friendly, stress free and uneventful as possible.
Some places do this well with children’s packs containing colouring pencils, sheets etc. It’s always helpful if the waiter can make it clear how long the wait is likely to be. This gives the parents time to get the children to the toilet, hands washed and settled down before the food arrives.
It’s always nice when the restaurant brings out some nibbles to keep the children (and adults) entertained while waiting for their food. Good quality, freshly prepared mini bread rolls with butter and/or dips is great. You can also bring out some tasters of some of the other food on the menu. It’s a great way to introduce children (and adults) to some of the other tastes and options on the menu for their next visit.
Good restaurants will put a jug of fresh tap water on the table. As most parents will know children will probably drink whatever you give them within seconds of it arriving on the table and well before their food arrives.
I look for a good selection of fruit juices that can be mixed with the jug of water at the table. This lets the parents dilute to taste for the child and also reduces the acidity levels on young teeth.
Whatever you do make sure you have low sugar and naturally sweet drinks. Try and avoid fizzy drinks.
It’s also worth having a good hot chocolate on the menu so that the children don’t feel left out after a meal while the adults have a coffee.
Thompson & Morgan are running this special offer just in time for Christmas. I thought I’d share this with you as it’s certainly something I would be pleased to receive. Thompson & Morgan can also deliver it directly to someone on your behalf making it an easy last minute Christmas gift.
The unforgettable, sweet smell of hyacinths is so powerful it can fill the entire house. Woodstock is as rich is fragrance as it is in hue, with densely packed spikes of deep magenta-purple, star-shaped flowers. The Thompson & Morgan contemporary zinc cachepot offers a fresh, alternative festive presentation for this popular hyacinth. Their specially prepared bulbs undergo a VIP treatment and are held in refrigerated storage so we they send them just as the flower buds emerge, ensuring you or a loved one get to watch the stems stretch and burst into a frenzy of colour and perfume.
Three bulbs pre-planted in a 12cm (5in) zinc cachepot (designs may vary), top-dressed with moss. Flowers approx 2-3 weeks after receipt. Can be planted outdoors afterwards.
SPECIAL OFFER – To get your Hyacinth ‘Woodstock’ at the reduced price, simply add your hyacinth to your order and use order code TAF253YZ in your shopping basket. Your discount will then be applied.
Please note that this offer is limited to one per order at this special price. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or with promotional vouchers. Hurry, offer ends midnight Monday 19th December or whilst stock lasts. A P&P charge of £4.95 will apply.
This Thompson & Morgan special offer is only available between Wednesday 14rd December 2016 02:43PM and Monday 19st December 2016 11:59PM