In the year ending October 2014, families in the UK made 3.18bn visits to foodservice venues. This equated to 763m ‘let-the-kids-choose’ visits, worth £4bn to the industry.
The NPD Group’s data showed that branded pub chains appealed the most to children, accounting for 30 per cent of family visits. Well-established fast-food outlets were the next most popular, with family-friendly casual dining outlets coming in third.
Jack MacIntyre, account manager at NPD Group Foodservice UK, said children played a ‘huge role’ in where families chose to eat out.
“This may be surprising to some, as pester power is often associated with more obviously child-focused sectors such as toys or confectionary, but kids clearly have a very important voice in the dining out market too,” he explained.
He also said that both parents and children enjoyed seeing ‘properly thought through’ children’s menus and parents appreciated family meal deals.
“Branded pubs are certainly getting this formula right and in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year this could pay dividends,” said MacIntyre.
“Kids enjoy the stimulating and lively atmosphere of the play areas, different types of seating, board games, music and televisions provided by many branded pubs. It’s paying off in terms of kids telling their parents that’s where they want to eat out.”
The group’s data also showed that ‘treating myself and/or the kids was a motivator in 16.8 per cent of restaurant visits, which leapt to 27.9 per cent when the visits involved the family.
Going out for ‘healthy’ food and drink wasn’t a large factor and the need for ‘something light and balanced’ was cited as a motivator in just 4.3 per cent of family visits.