Family Friendly Dining – Restaurant Design for the Cool Kids

Nothing brings more joy to any family than shared fun filled and exciting experiences. No matter whether it’s primarily for the benefit of the children or the family as a unit, it’s the shared lifestyle experience and joint participation that counts, that brings growth and happiness.

Contemporary families have expectations of restaurants and hospitality providers across the spectrum. Whether it’s an early dining experience, an establishment with facilities for guests across the range of ages or the modern phenomena of inclusive ‘resort’ venues, today’s family is discerning and experienced. Designers from all disciplines recognise this, and so must hospitality providers.  Provide for cool kids and everyone can relax.

Cool kid’s parents grew up with Dr. Zeus, without today’s technology. Electronic games and digital technology arrived keeping children bemused but separated. And that’s the nub of the matter. ‘Multifunctional planning’ had to embrace the modern integrated family, and it happened. The magical Power House Museum did so, installing knee high touch pads for kids to be interactive with exhibits. The Art Gallery of NSW did the same, with a kid’s play area and café added. Others soon followed.

Restaurants got smart. Lunches with white paper tablecloths and crayons to amuse the little tots, high chairs and dinner from 5pm or family friendly lunches with toys became de rigueur. It’s an axiom of restaurateurs, the best customer is the one who says ‘We’ll be back, we’ll tell our friends’.

As in life itself, we must adjust to evolving demand by meeting the market and that includes entrepreneurs, restauranteurs, publicans and developers as well as their architects, designers, logistics providers and other facilitators.  Be it an all-day breakfast and lunch café, a full service restaurant, a five star hotel or a suburban sporting club, all benefit from outstanding strategic planning as well as strength of architectural design and style.

The ‘whole family’ concept has now been evolving for some time. Probably the best known and loved incarnation of catering for the whole family were the Club Med resorts, pioneering in the 60’s and 70’s the concept of a resort facility for everyone, every age and every interest, all at affordable prices. That was for cool kids of yesteryear, the parents and grandparents of our generation of young people.

Today it’s renovated pubs like The Henson, at Marrickville, which describes itself as ‘a laid-back neighbourhood pub with rustic-chic décor’, offering dining, entertainment and recreation for families with children, and for adults. You can even bring Grand-dad.

And as the hospitality landscape changes, perspectives adjust to meet it. The modern family is more integrated than previously. It travels, holidays, dines together and shares amusements, so encouraging hospitality providers across the spectrum to adapt and meet market demand. The contemporary family expects children to be participants in a full life, front and  centre of the family unit, and to have available facilities to enjoy that status.

We strive to be the catalyst that inspires perfect development of a facility aiming to providing a happy space for an integrated contemporary family to enjoy recreation time to the fullest. For us, architecture and design combines to allow the Cool Kids to have an awesome destination experience.

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