Parents, children want seafood on kids’ menus
Figuring out what kids like to eat that also pleases their parents has long been a challenge for restaurant operators. Parents want healthy fare for their growing offspring, but kids want something fun and tasty. Seafood is one item that can easily fit the bill, but has yet to widely infiltrate kids menus.
“There’s a tremendous missed opportunity with most of the industry,” said Julie Casey, aka The Restaurant Mom, founder of online kids’ dining resource mykidsplate.com. “Kids and parents are agreeing they want to see seafood on kids’ menus.”
According to the 2012 Kids and Parents Discovery Survey, conducted for Kidzsmart Concepts with The Restaurant Mom and Cincinnati-based Directions Research, both kids and parents want to see seafood on kids’ menus. For example, when asked what food items from the adult menu they would like to see on the kids’ menu, more than a quarter of kids surveyed said seafood. When asked what items from the adult menu their kids ordered or would order if they were on the kids’ menu, nearly a quarter of parents surveyed said seafood.
But while seafood presents a big opportunity for restaurants, only 20 percent of kids’ menus currently include seafood, down from 21 percent in 2011, according to foodservice research firm Technomic. Of kids’ menus that do include seafood, shrimp appears the most. Other seafood dishes frequently showing up on kids’ menus are fish and chips, salmon, fish sticks and fried fish.