The kids menu at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is inspired by the adult menu, where the grilled salmon has never been more popular, says Steven Sturm, corporate executive chef for the growing chain. “Our kids menu is tailored to appeal to children up to age 12—we find that when kids hit the 9- to 10-year age, they become more adventurous and want to eat like a young adult,” he says. But it’s good for them, too. “Salmon is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which kids need to help advance their growth.”
The kids menu at Firebirds is constantly evolving, Sturm says, and is driven by a strategy to provide varied options that span indulgent to “better for you.” Meanwhile, the menu addition has been better for the restaurant kitchen, too. “We already cut this item for several adult lunch dishes and for a salmon entrée salad, so it is very easy for us to add this to our kids menu with no impact on operations,” he says. The kitchen keeps prep minimal so that parents can season tableside, “in line with what they want for their kids.”
Prep is easy for this popular menu item. Salmon is cut and lightly oiled. It’s then grilled over the wood burning grill. Veggies are steamed with no oil or seasonings so parents can choose the seasoning level at the table. “The more kids who try salmon, the more momentum the dish is gaining. Parents love the healthy options on our kids menu, and because salmon is so popular among adults, they enjoy ordering the same entrée for their kids,” Sturm says.
Sourcing for this dish is easy since it’s already a part of the Firebirds menu. “We source our salmon from a sustainable farm-raised company in Chile. We already use this product so there is great synergy,” Sturm says.