Begin says that in addition to the tasting, Friendly’s had in-depth discussions in which the company learned a lot about children’s preferences. They heard different ideas on dining out that restaurant veterans may not have thought of before. One example is fish and chips, which was actually suggested by one of the summer camp kids. Friendly’s added it to the test and based on the reaction, it became a menu offering.
“We weren’t thinking they’d want the adult fish that we serve that’s very popular with adults and sure enough, they loved it,” Begin says.
The cover showcases pictures of double sliders with fries and the brand’s build-your-own sundae option. The food is brought in what Begin describes as a “whimsical, Dr. Seuss-looking wire basket” and placed on a red plate.
The kids’ menu is also two-tiered, with items for younger kids and those approaching the tween age. Begin explains that Friendly’s nixed the tiered menu for a period, but soon realized that one size can’t fit all, so it was brought back as part of the redesign.
“And what that does is allow the older kids to get larger portions,” Begin says. “And most of the development we did with the chef was around this big-kid zone with larger portions and more of like something, ‘I’m a big kid, I want to get something that looks more like what my mom and dad are getting.’”
The menu is in the form of a pocket folder, which serves two purposes, Begin notes. The first is to interact with the children while in the restaurant. The pockets have coloring cards depending on the occasion, such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or Easter. The kids can color it and give it to someone, and he or she can bring the colored card back into the restaurant and receive a coupon.