‘I believe that children are our future’

I can hear you all humming that great Whitney Houston song… “Teach them well and let them lead the way…”

But as a hotel leader… Are you really getting kids right? "Oh yes, we have kid’s menus and we give them crayons and a coloring book.” Is that enough??

We all recognize that when a hotel or a resort gets kids right, the parents are SOOO happy. Hours are invested getting kid’s activities right, and in so many cases they do an amazing job. But more often than not, kids’ menus lack inspiration and creativity. 

I was recently inspired by a story about a young girl, Jasmine Stewart, who won “MasterChef Junior” and was hired to revamp the menus for Great Wolf Lodge Resorts. Obviously, the target market for Great Wolf Lodge Resorts is kids, so it makes sense that the company would do this,  but what a great example of having kids “lead the way.”   

As resort restaurants become more casual and approachable and grab-and-go cafes are popping up everywhere, it’s more important than ever to get kids right when it comes to food. What do they love to eat the most, and how can you explode it, take to it the extreme and blow them away?

If it’s a hot dog, how many different kinds of hot dog do you have on your menu and how is the presentation? Is it “LIKE… AWESOME!!”? Is it Instagram or Snapchat worthy? And to get an idea of how much can be done to a basic hot dog, just look at what the creators of Japadog did: Twenty-seven kinds of hot dog and six kinds of “shaked” fries!

And when it comes to ice cream... imagine arriving at a resort and finding the kinds of soft-serve creations dreamed up by the Toronto-based company Sweet Jesus – Krusty the Cone and Hella Nutella are two of my kids’ favorites. 

For kids, SO much is about aesthetics and creating the WOW with presentation. When in Maui a couple of weeks ago, we had an amazing dinner at Ferraro’s at The Four Seasons. We ordered their number one-selling dessert, Milk Chocolate Budino. The presentation was fabulous and of course both my girls took a video and immediately shared it with their hundreds of friends on Snapchat. Ask them what they remembered most about the dinner (and every dish was fantastic!)… of course they’ll tell you it was the dessert!