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According to Restaurant DemandTracker, a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, households with younger kids are much more likely to seek out restaurants with kid-friendly menus, and many of those consumers are looking for healthier food items on the menu for their families.
Households with younger children are especially likely to value a kid-friendly menu and slightly more likely to value healthy menu choices than households with older children.
Among households with kids under age 12, 39 percent of them say that a kid-friendly menu is always important when choosing a restaurant, and another 36 percent say that it is important most of the time.
Among these households with young children, 25 percent of them say a restaurant having a menu that includes some healthy food choices is always important, and another 37 percent say it is important most of the time.
Parents of kids who are ages 12–17 also look for kid-friendly menus much of the time—24 percent say it’s important all of the time, and another 27 percent say most of the time—and healthy food options, with 22 percent saying that is always important and 38 percent saying it’s important most of the time.
When rating quick-service brands among consumers who have children under age 12 and who are aware of each restaurant, McDonald’s ranks No. 1 in terms of the most people thinking it has a kid-friendly menu (65 percent), followed by Burger King (57 percent), Wendy’s (52 percent), Dairy Queen (45 percent), and Chick-fil-A (43 percent).
The quick-service restaurant brands that score best in terms of offering at least some healthy food choices among consumers with children under age 12 are Subway (69 percent), followed by Wendy’s (46 percent), McDonald’s (45 percent), Quiznos (42 percent), and Chick-fil-A (35 percent).
Among families with older children (ages 12–17) in the household, McDonald’s still ranks first in terms of people thinking it has a kid-friendly menu (58 percent), followed by Burger King (54 percent) and Wendy’s (48 percent).
Sonic grabs fourth place (with 41 percent) and Chick-fil-A again comes in fifth (with 36 percent).
The quick-service restaurant brands that score best in terms of offering at least some healthy food choices among consumers with children age 12–17 are Subway (69 percent) followed by Wendy’s (46 percent), Quiznos (41 percent), McDonald’s (38 percent), and Chick-fil-A (35 percent).
“Families with kids have many criteria to satisfy when they choose a restaurant,” says David Decker, president, Consumer Edge Insight. “McDonald’s is seen as the most kid-friendly, followed by the other big burger chains.
“Those that are looking for a quick-service restaurant that offers healthier menu items should consider going to Subway, Wendy’s, and Quiznos,” he adds. “Wendy’s is the only one that performs in the top three brands on both factors. Subway and Quiznos should look at ways to improve their image for offering a kid-friendly menu.”