that appeals to kids. “Create an interactive menu with
images or illustrations of the food to make meal selection
easier for younger children who can’t read on their own,
and age-segment your kids program to ensure you are
capturing the imagination of both the young kids and
the older kids,” Kafka says.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate this younger
demographic. “Try o;ering something more sophisti-
cated when it comes to content and graphics,” Olson said.
“Younger kids tend to follow what older kids are doing,
so more sophisticated graphics and simple kid-friendly
stories or factoids about where the food comes from or
how it’s made could elevate a kids menu and make it more
appealing. Many of these kids watch food television and
like to know what’s going on.”
Or, if you really want to grab and keep a child’s atten-
tion, create a digital menu. “A menu or activity book
can be branded toward a specific theme, character or
storyline and then integrated with an online app,” Kafka
says. “;ere’s even new technology where you can 3-D-
augment some of the print pieces, so the child would open
the brand app on their phone, hold it over the top of the
printed piece, and 3-D animations pop out.
“Restaurant entertainment preferences vary among
ages—younger children seek activity books and coloring,
and older children want digital engagement,” Kafka con-
cludes. “Change the kids program frequently (every few
months) and o;er more than one version, giving guests
something new and exciting each time they come to dine.”
FORGOING A KID’S MENU
Even though 82% of 50 top chains report having a kids
menu with an average of seven food choices, according
to Y-Pulse, many pizzerias get by just fine without one.
“You may not need a kids menu if creating one is an operational challenge, doesn’t create a high level of customer
satisfaction, or most of the kids coming into your pizzeria
are older than 10 years old,” Olson notes.
Jon Schroeter, director of operations at Il Primo Pizza
“Kids want choices—yes, a
cheese pizza option, but
also a choice that an adult
might normally choose, like
a barbecue chicken pizza.
Brands don’t have to reinvent
the wheel. Instead, think
pint-size versions of the
OUT TO EAT WITH KIDS
Traditional activity books can stimulate children’s
imaginations, while specialized apps even offer
3D augmentation of printed pieces.