Children boost bottom line at cafes
Cafes around the country say a welcoming attitude towards children not only keeps parents happy, but is also good for their bottom lines.
The issue of children in eateries has been in the news this week since Nelson restaurateur Fabian Prioux introduced a stringent no-children policy in his business, Abbey Road Burgers, Bar and Cafe. No-one aged under 12 is welcome at his cafe, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.
Prioux says it has paid off, but other businesses around the country say they benefit from taking the opposite approach.
John Pennington, co-owner of The Chocolate Fish Cafe in Wellington, offers a large outside space for children to play.
‘‘It’s a huge part of our business because we do have that outside area. Sometimes I wonder . . . if it’s the dads that want to come down and play on the side.’’
But he said even on a rainy day when they couldn’t be outside, children were an important part of the clientele.
‘‘From our point of view we are a child-friendly cafe and it’s a huge part of our bottom line.’’
Meanwhile, Simone Richardson, co-owner of Zepplin Cafe in Clive, Hawke’s Bay, said it was important to her to be familyfriendly. The cafe includes a ceramic painting studio and has a covered deck with toys where kids can play.
‘‘We love seeing families coming back with their kids. They keep coming.’’
Tania Keesing took over Porto-Call in Napier in July. The cafe was already known for offering high teas and Devonshire teas.
‘‘Part of that is dress-ups for adults and for children,’’ she said.
‘‘We have had an 80th birthday party at the same time as a kids’ party and they’ve all loved it.’’
She said high teas were becoming popular for children’s birthday parties. ‘‘I’m trying to promote that side of it a little bit. More dress-ups.’’
In Auckland, Woah! Studios has developed a following for its restaurant, playground and movie studio experience.
Other international childfriendly businesses are also setting up in New Zealand. South African chain Spur Steak Ranches is known overseas for offering big playgrounds and has opened a branch on Auckland’s North Shore.
Author Emily Writes said it should be obvious to businesses that they could benefit from catering to humans of all ages.
‘‘Some places want us to come in with our money and then exclude our children. It makes the whole dining experience really terrible for parents.’’
‘‘We love seeing families coming back with their kids. They keep coming.’’ Simone Richardson
John Pennington, inset, says children are a big part of his Wellington business, The Chocolate Fish Cafe.