A new section of our website will be dedicated to a regular column titled, “Interview:” and focus on an interview with a demographic your restaurant may serve. Today’s article focuses on dining with children, the joys, the pitfalls and the challenges. In today’s article, Resha Christian, who lives in the greater Orlando area of Seminole County, talks about the challenges of feeding her family nutritious food when eating out.
When you read this article, bear in mind that Resha’s family may be part of your target demographic. Hear in her own words what she says is important to her family’s diet. Listen to Resha’s description of restaurants she frequents and why and try to apply her wish list to your restaurant, how do you meet it or surpass it? Take a few moments to digest her article and apply it to your business model if it fits.
“As a full time mom of three, often working 50 plus hours a week, our eating habits are interesting,” says Resha Christian. “Due to my busy schedule, I rarely cook at home, therefore we eat out a lot- 4 to 5 times a week!” For a restaurant owner, Resha’s family is a great demographic audience to target, spendable income that is budgeted to eating out frequently. Ideally a restauranteur could count on seeing her family once a week if possible. Now calculate what your per plate average is and see how catering to the demographic of Resha Christian’s family can change the bottom line in your restaurant.
“Although eating out frequently is unhealthy, I do make a conscious effort to avoid fast food restaurants and opt for places that offer healthier choices: rotisserie grilled instead of fried, vegetarian options, and fresh vegetables,” states Resha Christian. “Luckily, there are more “healthier” places to choose from as compared to 5 years ago.”
Does Resha’s observation show a trend in casual and fast casual dining? Is it specific to her geographic area? More questions to consider in your restaurant, bakery or convenience store: will catering to her niche bring your restaurant additional revenue? As a mother of 3, her family of five could potentially eat at our location once a week. With an average tab of $80-100 this could mean additional revenue of $320 to $400 a month! Imagine adding four more families to your restaurant and that’s an additional revenue of $1600 a month. Ten families is $4000- a month. You can do the math from there.
Resha continues, “We prefer and frequent restaurants that offer steamed vegetables, salad bars, hormone free grilled chicken, and organic options. Fresh is also extremely important as well as being able to view how the food is prepared- although that is not a deal breaker.” This comment was interesting as many facilities offer a variant of an open kitchen facility for this very reason. She also says, ” A clean and friendly atmosphere is also something that keeps us coming back.” We knew this already, didn’t we?
In regard to her family, Resha Christian says, “My kids range in age from 15 to 3, and it is challenging to appeal to their picky palates, so menu variety is a must. I also like that more restaurants are offering healthy items on kids menus, in lieu of the typical pizza/burger/fried chicken choices. Jason’s Deli recently introduced a healthy kids menu that is impressive: nitrite free, reduced sodium. They also have gluten free/hormone free baked chicken nuggets for kids- they taste good too.” Resha’s attention to detail of menu items and ingredients suggests a savvy consumer. It’s also reflective of Seminole County suburban dynamics.
When One Fat Frog asked Resha about her family’s interest in type of restaurant, she replied, “As a busy family, we prefer a bistro style restaurant during the week pay first and wait for your food vs. the more traditional sit-down restaurant, due to time constraint. And although I vow to get organized and prepare meals at home in advance, it never happens- ha. Good news for the restaurant business though!” This response surprised us a little, we thought it would be due to her youngest child’s age more over time constraint. For the restaurant owner, this is great news because of the ability to turn tables and put out more covers.
In conclusion we asked Ms. Resha Christian to list out the restaurants and dining facilities her family frequents and she listed Jason’s Deli, Pollo Tropical, Sweet Tomatoes, Toasted – Winter Park, FL (yummers), Chipotle, and Whole Foods Market. Many of these names you might recognize on the national level and they have a very visual experience while the food is experienced and maybe even a self- serve component to their fast casual dining experience.
Stay tuned to this website for more articles on Family Eating habits. This Interview with Resha Christian is just the beginning. Our next interview is with a single mom of one.