6 Ways a Kids Menu Can Improve the Family-Dining Experience

If you don’t have a kids menu option at your pizzeria, you’re potentially missing out on a huge number of repeat customers.

  • Young kids can be a handful for parents wanting to dine out at your restaurant. A menu designed just for children can make their experience more fun and relaxing.
  • A kids menu also ensures that families can afford to eat together while helping reduce food waste at your pizzeria.

Related: How to boost your pizzeria’s sales by 15% or more through menu engineering

When building a customer base for your pizzeria, you want to cast the widest net possible. Looking for a demographic oftentimes missed by restaurants? Think kids. And what comes with kids? Typically their families. And what do those families want to see? Kids menus.

So if you don’t have a kids menu option at your pizzeria, you’re potentially missing out on a huge number of repeat customers. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to design and print kids menus. If you don’t have the time or design wherewithal to create your own kids menu, menu template services make it easy with dozens of customizable, family-friendly kids menu templates.

Let’s face it: Kids can be a handful, especially when confined to a boring table in a restaurant for an indeterminate amount of time. Most kids menu templates come with all kinds of fun activities like word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes and coloring sections to keep kids entertained and occupied throughout the meal. That gives the parents the ability to relax a bit and enjoy their meal.

Pro Tip: Consider printing your kids menu one-sided. This gives the child plenty of activities on one side of the menu to keep them busy. But if they want, they can also flip it over and use the blank side to draw and color.

Let’s take a look at the major advantages of offering a kids menu for your pizzeria’s customers.

1. It provides an easy way for parents to engage with their kids. Sometimes it’s tough to keep a toddler or a small child entertained while waiting for or during a meal. The child’s mind is all over the place. Not only can a fun kids menu keep them occupied, it can also help keep the parents engaged with the kiddos. Rather than answering a million questions—like “What’s your eighth favorite dinosaur?”—the customer can teach their child a few new words with a kids menu word-search game. Or they can show the child how to color between the lines. They can even flip the menu over and play some hangman.

2. Kids menus improve ease of ordering. Setting out a kids menu makes the whole ordering process easier for both you, as the owner, and your customers. Instead of having to scour the whole menu for something their little one might want, your customers have a preset list of kid-friendly items to choose from.

Pro Tip: Keep your kids menu simple and streamlined. No need to offer more than five or six options. As long as you cover some of the basics—such as a cheese or pepperoni slice, hot dog or hamburger, chicken nuggets or chicken tenders, Mac and cheese or some spaghetti—you’ll be fine.

Related: Greg Rapp lists 9 steps to a more profitable pizza menu


3. Everyone gets what they want. Dad might want the meat lovers pizza. Mom might be craving some pasta or fresh seafood. Odds are their kid just wants some chicken tenders or buttered noodles. Kids menus give you the ability to have it all so everyone can enjoy their food and have a special night out.

4. A kids menu makes it more affordable for families to dine out. Eating out is expensive for a family on a budget. That goes double if they have to pay full price for little tykes (yikes!). Kid food tends to be a lot less expensive to make, so you can charge less and families don’t need to break the bank to feed kiddos. They can still enjoy a larger, more expensive meal, while their kids get to order exactly what they want at a fraction of the price. And if your kids menu items make a big impression on young minds, hopefully you can win some customers for life.

5. Proper serving sizes also make dining out more budget-friendly. Kids may still be growing, but they usually don’t need—and won’t finish—an adult-sized dish, especially younger ones. By offering some dishes in kid-size quantities, you’ll keep the meal affordable for your customers and cut down on food waste in your restaurant.

6. Kids menus are cheaper to print. If you’re worried about adding to your printing costs, there’s no need to stress. Kids menus tend to be single-use, so they’re far cheaper to print than a traditional dine-in menu that needs to hold up to the daily wear and tear of restaurant life. One bulk order of kids menu prints should be enough to tide you over for years.

Pro Tip: If you want to save on printing altogether, place your kids menu online, connect it to a QR code, and then put that QR code on your normal menu. Add some text indicating where the QR code leads, and you’re set!

Mark Plumlee is a freelance writer whose articles have been published in Full Service Restaurant, Modern Restaurant Management, Quick Service Restaurant, Hospitality Tech, That Oregon Life, The San Francisco Examiner, Blazersedge and other blogs. As a copywriter, he has helped restaurants and small businesses grow and define their brand for more than five years.