Consumer Trends

Families are big business—don’t ignore the youngest customer

Photograph: Shutterstock

Many of the trends that restaurant operators have come to associate with millennials are evolving to include their newly formed families as well.

These consumers are often seeking social interaction with their families and friends when they dine out, and they expect operators to offer experiences they and their children can enjoy together.

Millennial consumers are also the most likely of any generation to see dining out as a form of entertainment, at 72%, according to Technomic’s 2018 Generational Consumer Trend Report. “Millennials will expect more of an elevated dining experience for kids,” the report said, citing opportunities for children to be creative and offering tableside activities, for example.

About half of millennials now have children, and they remain big patrons of restaurants. Research from The NPD Group found that millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5% in 2018 from the prior year, compared to flat traffic growth for the industry overall. Millennials also make the most restaurant visits per capita compared to other generations, according to The NPD Group.

Families with young children help drive revenues. Additional NPD research from 2019 showed that there’s an 84% lift in the average casual-dining ticket when kids under 13 are present.

Accommodating these young patrons plays an important role in capturing this lucrative opportunity, and you don’t have to be a large nationwide operator to offer solutions that attract families with children.

C3 has created solutions for dozens of national brands to help make their restaurants more appealing to families with young children. Now, the company is applying its know-how to smaller and growing brands with C3 Signature, offering growing restaurant operations a variety of ready-made and personalized entertainment products for children and their whole families.

Products in the line include customizable menus, activity books and place mats, cups, sticker sheets, meal bags and crayons. They offer restaurants the opportunity to keep kids entertained and parents satisfied with their experience.

These games and activities allow restaurants to add an element of entertainment that will appeal to kids of all ages. With these materials, it’s easier for families to decide where to spend their dining dollars—especially when they know there’s a welcoming and engaging environment their children will appreciate.

Visit to learn how C3 Signature can enhance a restaurant’s kids program.

This post is sponsored by C3 – Creative Consumer Concepts


Exclusive Content


It's time to send 'ghost kitchen' to the graveyard

Tech Check: The catch-all term for delivery restaurants is no longer accurate. Let’s lay it to rest and come up with a new label.


Higher-end consumers may be slowing their spending

The Bottom Line: There is some evidence that higher-income consumers may be cutting back. Or maybe there was just some pent-up demand.


Wonder bets meal kits aren't dead yet

Tech Check: By acquiring the struggling Blue Apron, the restaurant delivery concept believes it can touch more dining occasions. But will it work?