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Problem Solver - August 2007

Making a Facility More Family-Friendly


PROBLEM:
We'd like to make our facility more family-friendly.

SOLUTION:
You might want to start in your restrooms. Providing safe, sanitary accommodations for children goes a long way to attracting a family audience. A recent independent, nationwide study of 350 parents with children under the age of 6 aimed to determine attitudes toward family-friendly establishments and how this affects their use in terms of loyalty and purchase patterns. It found that the bottom line is that families visit a facility more often and spend more time and money there if they have clean, safe child accommodation amenities.

In fact, the study revealed that 75 percent of these families deliberately seek out places that have child accommodation amenities. Nearly 66 percent mentioned booster seats, high chairs and baby-changing stations as being important to them, while 75 percent mentioned small activity tables as options that facilities could offer that would make them more comfortable visiting with their children. The families rated baby-changing stations as important as children's meals and family-sized restrooms and second only to having a family-friendly staff. They feel that it's just as crucial to offer baby-changing stations as high chairs. At public pools and waterparks, baby-changing stations help protect the water from bacteria by providing parents the opportunity to change soiled diapers conveniently at any point during their visit.

Since baby-changing stations were first introduced, the options and features have expanded greatly. Newer design options include surface- or recessed-mount units, as well as vertical models that are ideal where space is limited. Stainless steel models are often the choice for upscale establishments. Baby-changing stations now offer high-quality construction with materials like high-density polyethylene and durable features like full-length, reinforced steel-on-steel hinges that eliminate plastic wear points and provide superior child protection and durability. There are horizontal, vertical, oval, stainless steel and countertop units available, as well as a variety of colors. Some manufacturers also offer built-in anti-microbial material integrated into the high-density polyethylene that provides additional sanitary and cleanliness benefits.

Another product offered today is the child protection seat, which allows parents to comfortably secure their child while tending to siblings or other matters in restrooms and fitting rooms.

As an added revenue source, some companies carry dispensers for diapering essentials including items like wipes, swim pants and sanitary baby-changing station liners, which offer parents a convenient resource when they've forgotten their own products at home.

More than 90 percent of families expect to find high chairs in casual, sit-down and quick-service restaurants, and a whopping 78 percent are less than fully satisfied with the high chairs provided. Parents feel that the two biggest points against available high chairs are that they aren't sanitary and they have crevices that collect dirt.

You can offer your patrons a variety of high chairs these days as well. Many come in modern designs and colors, and are more durable and easy to maintain. Seating options have also expanded from the typical high chair to include specially designed units that safely hold an infant car seat at the table while the family dines. Most practical are the fold-up units that are durable but lightweight. Booster seats are ideal for restaurants, theaters, auditoriums and beauty salons and make it possible for kids to enjoy their experience as much as adults. If you want to attract more families to your facility, then purchasing family-friendly products like these makes for a good investment.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Koala Kare Products, a Division of Bobrick:
888-733-3456
www.koalabear.com


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