ROUNDTABLE: What makes a good kid’s menu?

“Understanding what kids like to eat, as well as what their parents like them to eat. For example, we have vegetable sticks and hummus on the Albert’s Post kids’ menu, which sits nicely alongside the tried and true favourites like pizza. We also believe in good quality ingredients for the kids as well; our kids’ menu is made from scratch as much as possible like the rest of our menu – no frozen chicken nuggets here, and no shortcuts. A good ice cream sundae where kids can choose their own additions is always popular. Rigorous testing with the target market is critical! We have four kids aged from 4 to 9 which helps; they are heavily involved in the decision making, as are their friends. We often get inspiration from the kid-friendly places we dine out at. What is left on the plate and what is gobbled up? The kids are pretty good at explaining why they like things too – they’ve learned to be descriptive!”

“Firstly, the dishes need to appeal to kids (not too many visible greens!) and be healthy and nutritious. We aim to provide a balanced meal fast enough not to keep children waiting too long. The menu itself has to be entertaining with games and riddles. We aim to offer a selection that not only appeals to kids (some fussy eaters) but also fits with the concept and motto of the restaurant – simple and nutritious meals made with care.

Kids love it our menu. Some of our regulars are kids, requesting to come into Baduzzi for their birthday dinner. Meatballs and pasta is our best seller, and our dessert selection for little ones is very popular too.”

“Good, simple but really delicious food, easy to read and understand dishes and ingredients. Kids also need entertaining so putting an activity or colouring in on the actual menu has worked really well for Mexico. Also making sure kids have their own menu, similar to the main menu is important so they can feel special when they come out to dinner with the family. When I create my main menu, I create the kid’s menu from this, using the same dish items, components so kids can make their own choices.

We have had a kid’s menu since we opened in 2012. Parents love the fact that food is very similar to the main menu items, teaching kids to eat a variety of food they would not normally eat at home. We pride ourselves on stepping away from your more traditional kids’ food – our kid’s menus offer a refreshing change, but more importantly fresh, healthy food made to order. We also let kids under 12 eat free on Sundays, so parents love that too!”