Making dough with Diane: Seven easy ideas to cater to kids

Seven easy ideas to cater to kids
Diane Chiasson
December 01, 2008
Kids are potentially your biggest customers. Today’s average parent will go to no ends to please and satisfy their children, and when it comes to food, parents will buy just about anything that their child expresses an interest in eating; pizza tops the list of favourite foods for kids.
Kids are some of your most loyal customers and are often the ones who make the decision of where and what the family will eat.

Kids are some of your most loyal customers and are often the ones who make the decision of where and what the family will eat that night. So it’s time to start marketing to your pint-sized customers as well.

Here are a few easy-to-follow suggestions to get kids begging their parents to eat at your pizzeria!

1. Create an online kid’s club
Allow kids to register to join your kid’s club online. Ask them their name, age, birthday and address, and keep this information in your database. It will come in handy for my next few suggestions.

On your online kid’s club, set up games, printable colouring books, contests, and coupons for special drinks or candy.

2. Direct mail to kids
I don’t know any child who doesn’t get super-excited when they receive a piece of mail. Using the information acquired from the kids who registered online, you can devote an entire direct mail program to kids with a flyer (with their name on it) offering special pizza sizes, shapes and toppings made especially for them. You can also mail them coupons and other upcoming specials you may feature.
Send each child a birthday card. Inside the card, offer a free slice of pizza or a free meal the next time they visit.

3. Hold a monthly kid’s night
Once a month, have a special “Kid’s Night” at your pizza shop where kids can get a short tour of the kitchen, and have an opportunity to play with the dough, make their own pizza, and get their photo taken with their creation. Hire a clown or a balloon maker to entertain them.

4. Make parents happy by getting kids to eat their vegetables
In general, kids don’t like to eat their vegetables. It’s every parent’s struggle to get their child to eat their daily five portions of fruits and vegetables. In order to attract more health-conscious parents to buy your pizza, create a pizza sauce that blends in carrots, broccoli, red peppers and other healthy vegetables into a smooth sauce that is indistinguishable in look and taste from regular pizza sauce.

Offer free samples of a vegetarian pizza to kids. They might not want to eat those vegetables at home, but in their favourite pizza shop, they would probably be more willing to try something new.

You can also offer whole-grain crusts and low-fat cheeses to promote healthy eating.

5. Set up a toy pizza making station
Children hate waiting, especially waiting 10 minutes while their pizza bakes in the oven. Set up a toy pizza making station in a corner of your pizzeria. Several toy makers manufacture wooden pizza toys for kids to play with. You can also set up a computer station for kids to register for your online kid’s club and play games while they wait for their pizza.

6. Offer a kid’s-sized pizza
Most kids I know only like cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza, while most parents I know would prefer to eat a pizza with more sophisticated toppings. By offering a kid’s-sized pizza at an inexpensive price, a whole family can get what they want without having to mathematically try to calculate what would be the best way to order, or parents ordering a large all-dressed pizza and having to pick off all the bits and pieces of vegetables from their child’s piece.

If you sell pizza by the slices, cut the slice of pizza into several smaller pieces that is small enough for a child to handle.

7. Give out free balloons
I have met several parents who shop at one particular grocery store solely based on the fact that their child gets a free balloon each time they visit. A free balloon is also an easy and inexpensive way to advertise your name around town.

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