Kids Like Going Out with Their Families

Last year KRC Research conducted a national dining out survey of 500 6- to 17-year olds. The survey found that kids not only enjoy going out to eat, but they rate being with their families as their favorite part of the experience.

Which one of the following is your favorite part about eating out?

  Ages 6-11 Ages 12-17
Being with my family 42% 41%
Trying new foods or meats 13% 22%
Knowing the food will be great 13% 22%
Getting a toy or prize with the meal 15% 2%
Ordering your own meal 9% 8%

Even with younger children, "being with my family" was a more important reason than getting a toy with the meal.

The study found that 87% of kids and teens eat out with their families at least once a month and 44% do so at least weekly.

Kids are also major influencers of where their family dines, with 44% of kids indicating they choose the restaurant together with their parents. Family restaurants were the top choice for kids, the preference for 26%, followed by 22% preferring fast food restaurants.

The KRC survey also looked at the reasons children and their families go out to restaurants. Most respondents said the primary reason was "going out just for fun" (84%), followed by "birthday party celebrations" (77%) and "holiday occasions" (62%).

What is the reason that you and your family go out to eat?

  Ages 6-11 Ages 12-17
Just for fun 80% 87%
Birthday celebrations 70% 84%
Holidays or special events 61% 63%
Good grades or school achievement 56% 54%
Parents don't want to cook or are too busy to cook 53% 47%

And in which month do families dine out more often? It's August.

Parenting expert Dr. Mike Riera said the following about the survey results: "Spending time together out as a family is an important way to build relationships and get to know your kids. Children and teens will be more willing to open up and talk without the distractions of the telephone, computer or television. Dining out is a simple way for family to relax and be together."

The survey validates why it is important to combine dining and entertainment in leisure venues. Including destination dining (not a snack bar or concession stand) with entertainment is the winning formula in today's society.

For more on the importance of food in entertainment venues, read: