Kids’ menus play an important role for many chain restaurants, accounting for over 1,100 distinct menu items at the top 250 chains. They also factor largely in the dining out decisions for many parents with kids. To better understand how chain operators can target kids and their families, Technomic Information Services, a division of Technomic, Inc. recently released The Kids’ Menu Report 2006.

The new report canvases kids’ menus in both limited- and full-service restaurants, providing detailed reporting and key takeaways on menu variety, proteins and desserts. Of particular interest are the insights from interviews conducted with 500 parents, across the U.S., of children under 11 years of age. Among the findings reported:

— Nearly 80 percent of parents cite the existence of a kids’ menu as an important factor in choosing a limited-service restaurant. This number approached 90 percent for parents of three-to-eight-year-olds.
— From the time kids can talk, “what kids want” dominates the decision-making process, accounting for 80 percent of the reason parents order off kids’ menus at both full- and limited-service restaurants. Value, toys, habit, and healthfulness all take a back seat to kids’ food preferences.

“Chain operators hoping to improve sales through menu offerings and marketing messages targeting kids and their families will find the data and insights presented here extremely valuable,” says Darren Tristano, Managing Director of Technomic Information Services.
Additional information on The Kids’ Menu Report 2006 is available at or by contacting Chris Urban of Technomic at 312-876-0004, extension 229.