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  • VOL 08, ISSUE 01 • WINTER 2020
Cheery Breakfast Nooks

Cheery Breakfast Nooks

Cater to Stroller Set with Menus, Décor & More

Parents have the unenviable task of finding brunch/breakfast spots that cater to both kids and adults. The restaurant must have delicious (bonus points for healthy!) food for children, high chairs, changing tables and entertainment, plus satisfying, inventive and interesting menu options for the parents.

Crosby’s Kitchen in Chicago straddles this dichotomy very well. Located on a family-friendly street loaded with kids, this neighborhood-focused restaurant targets the stroller set as a business strategy, especially during breakfast and brunch. Lobster deviled eggs and crab toast (accompanied by its beloved brunch cocktails) live alongside a kids’ menu of traditional favorites: pancakes, French toast, cheesy eggs, fruit and yogurt, grilled cheese and PB&J, to name several.

Manager Rachel Evaristo estimates that approximately 80 percent of Crosby’s guests are families. As inexpensive as it is to make French toast, pancakes and PB&J, it pays dividends when parents specifically dine at a restaurant that caters to their needs. In fact, Crosby’s boasts a kids’ hand washing sink in the dining room, step stools in the bathrooms, crayons, and if ingredients are in-house, the kitchen will make breakfast for dinner, or dinner for breakfast if requested. As an added benefit, kids eat free every day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

In Maple Grove, Minn., 3 Squares Restaurant figured out how to attract family diners in an attempt to boost revenue as well. “We have absolutely become a destination for families,” says Heather Johnson, regional general manager for Blue Plate Restaurant Company, which owns 3 Squares Restaurant.

07 01 cheery nook

“Being a kid-friendly (establishment) has definitely increased our business.”
– Heather Johnson, regional general manager for Blue Plate Restaurant Company

“We keep it fun by having a toy box and surprising kids with a rubber ducky or punch balloon. Parents love that we cater to their children. Happy kids equal happy parents. I always say, the kids choose where to eat, right?”

Favorites like signature spaghetti tacos and kids’ mac and cheese are always a hit, but there is an entire menu section dedicated to pancakes, French toast and waffles. Kids can order the Mickey pancake (a fluffy buttermilk pancake with ears) or Bella’s chocolate waffle (Belgian waffle topped with fresh whipped cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup) for breakfast, lunch or dinner while parents can enjoy adult-friendly meatloaf hash with eggs, roasted potato and veggies, béarnaise sauce and toast or the spinach frittata with brie, oven-dried tomato, herb vinaigrette, grated parmesan and hash browns.

It’s a perfect win-win-win for the parents, kids and restaurant. Adds Johnson, “Being a kid-friendly (establishment) has definitely increased our business.”

Fortunately—or unfortunately—Erica’s husband stole her mom’s pancake recipe and now she can have them whenever she wants, which is pretty much every Sunday. She easily eats at least six at a time with a ton of butter and syrup.