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Dining Out Savings - Kids Eat Free

Free is a word that everyone loves, and when it comes to dining out with kids, getting their meals free can make it an affordable and fun evening out for the entire family. In an economy that is still recovering from a recession, more families have opted to eat at home to save money. The word free is bound to get their attention, though.

Pay Attention to Restrictions

Restaurant owners still need to make money, so they are not going to be giving away free kids meals without any restrictions in place. Typically, it is required that the child be under 12 years old and be accompanied by an adult who pays full price for their meal. Most restaurants also limit the number of free children's meals to two per paying adult. Finally, there may be other qualifications in place, such as the need to purchase a beverage off the kids menu in order to get the meal free.

These types of promotions usually arrive on days and times that restaurants tend to have lower business volume. Tuesday evenings seem to be an especially popular time for offering the Kids Eat Free deals. The promotion is also limited to certain hours, so customers need to make sure they do not go in before or after the deal if they expect to get a free meal.

How to Find a Kids Eat Free Restaurant

Restaurants who offer these deals commonly have a big sign in their window promoting it, along with details of the day of the week and the time the Kids Eat Free deal is available. However, they don’t always post signs, so be sure to ask when at your favorite restaurants about such promotions. For people who are traveling and don't know the restaurants of the area they are in, there are free applications available on iPhone applications or over the Internet that lists restaurants offering Kids Eat Free promotions and organizes the restaurants offering them by city and state.

Is the Kids Eat Free Promotion Profitable for Restaurant Owners?

It is a given that offering such a promotion will increase business, but will that increase come at a cost for restaurant owners? If care is taken to use the promotion wisely, the answer is no. Restaurant owners need to begin the promotion by making the restrictions very clear, such as limiting the dollar amount of the free kid’s menu item or making the promotion available only for a set amount of time. By doing that, owners and managers will not have to deal with customers who have come to expect a free kids meal indefinitely and who may become upset and take their business elsewhere when the deal ends.

Another important consideration for restaurant owners and managers who decide to start a Kids Eat Free campaign is how they will go about advertising it. The whole point of such a deal is to attract new customers, so the advertising campaign needs to figure out a way to reach people who they hope will become loyal customers even after the promotion ends.

Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email Thanks!


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