When you’re in the soft serve business, soft serve is always on the brain. Of course this isn’t a bad thing, however, it does lend itself to constantly thinking about the benefits of soft serve. One benefit that always comes to mind is how soft serve can instantly enhance a casual restaurant’s image as a family-friendly dining establishment. Adults and children alike seem to “save room for dessert” when they see that familiar, shiny, metal soft serve machine. That one machine has the power to turn a first-timer into a loyal customer. It has the ability to label a restaurant as “kid-friendly” faster than filling up a waffle cone. Some restaurants offer complimentary soft serve because they believe it is the key to building repeat business. Others know that offering soft serve, along with toppings or possibly chocolate sauce to make dipped cones, creates rapport among patrons.
Sometimes eating out gets a bad rap by critics who feel home-cooked meals are better for family conversation. Although we agree gathering around the dining room table is definitely special; eating together at a restaurant is also a wonderful way to bond and share conversation. The key is “together”. In fact, a restaurant meal forces children to sit rather than quickly finishing their vegetables and retreating to their rooms. And if the customer is lucky enough to eat at a restaurant that offers complimentary soft serve like Sweet Tomatoes, their dining time (aka family bonding) lengthens because there is simply no way anyone can pass up FREE, all-you-can-eat soft serve!
Statistics suggest that eating together as a family has many mental and physical benefits. Recently the CASA (The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University) published a study that supported family dining. The study showed a decreased risk of children smoking, drinking or using other drugs when families came together for meals. It also showed that children classified their relationship with their mom or dad more highly than those who did not eat together. Source: http://www.casacolumbia.org/addiction-research/reports/importance-of-family-dinners-2012
Eating together gives parents a chance to take some time to connect with their kids, model good table manners, practice gratitude, incorporate everyday consumer math into the conversation (resolving the question “why do I have to learn math”), dig a little deeper (school, work, peers, weekend plans, hopes, dreams, aspirations), and most importantly – HAVE FUN!
Speaking of FUN, did we mention how much FUN eating soft serve can be for families? If you don’t already offer soft serve to your customers, you might consider adding it to next year’s menu:)