Those of us with families, especially ones with younger children, know how hard it is balancing everyone’s needs and desires even for simple things. So when doing things as a family, most tend to gravitate toward those places and activities that have some sort of family friendly element. What I have noticed, as my young family has become more and more mobile, is just how few places are actually family oriented. Whether it’s an activity or a location, one would think that catering to families from just a pure economic stand point is a great business model. However, I have realized that this is not always the case. Although some are better than others, here are 4 places that should be more family oriented.
Car Dealerships: After shopping for a new family vehicle recently, it dawned on me that most dealerships are not as family oriented as they ought to be. Buying a new car can be very drawn out experience and if the family is with you – it can be nearly impossible. There are a few dealerships out there that have plenty going on to keep the family entertained with snacks or a television, but most are severely lacking. Out of all dealerships we visited, only one was truly family oriented with a play area for the kids and a cafe for the adults. Catering to the needs of families only ensures that everyone has a pleasant buying experience especially for those that market vehicles for families.
Sporting Event bathrooms: Although high profile attention has been paid towards the lack of diaper changing tables in men’s rooms, it is still difficult to go to sporting events with the family, especially for those families with young children. The thought alone of having to take a young child into a typical sporting event bathroom can be a nightmare scenario for parents. Also, due to the volume of attendees at most events, not only do the bathrooms become filthy but standing in long lines is also not conducive for smaller bladders. A couple of family restrooms can ensure that everyone’s needs are met while enjoying the event together, not to mention, an increase in family attendance.
Movie Theaters: Most theaters usually have a special matinee time geared towards families, especially when there is a family oriented movie playing. Yet, wouldn’t it be nice if the theaters themselves were more family oriented? In addition to more family oriented restrooms, it would be nice to have family seating where the rows are not as long and perhaps even an area where kids who don’t do well sitting in a chair for 90 minutes, have an area where they can stretch out and be comfortable. Also, movie theaters should get rid of the “no outside food” policy. It’s expensive enough for a family to go to the movies but having to buy the overpriced and often times unhealthy snacks, is just too much.
Restaurants: Unless the dining establishment is specifically family themed, many restaurants are not equipped for family dining beyond having a kids menu. Putting the lack of family oriented restrooms aside, many families avoid dining out due to the lack of options. Whether it’s the seating arrangements, plate sharing policies, or just the general ambiance, there is a lot that restaurants can do to be more appealing to families. But, it also provides families greater opportunities to dine together, as well as explore new foods and locations.
What experiences have you had with these locations? Which other businesses could be more catering to families?