Nation's Restaurant News: How restaurant chains are catering to families, kids during the coronavirus pandemic
Before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, families were already increasingly turning to restaurants for convenient, affordable solutions to put dinner on the table. Now that the whole family is at home 24/7 for the foreseeable future, savvy restaurant operators are pivoting, leaning into and rolling out creative at-home meal and entertainment solutions for kids and families.
“It’s a huge shift and huge stress for parents,” said Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dallas, Texas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.
To alleviate some of that stress, the 520-unit barbecue chain has made a shift of its own, moving its decades-long tradition of kids eating free in its dining rooms to online.
“As we come into these challenging times, [we asked] how do we meet our key values?” said Dickey. “What would help as everyone is upended that extends the concept?
A chopped brisket slider with a side of mac and cheese is among the kids-eat free deals offered online (usually dine-in only) from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.
In addition to kids eating free, Dickey’s has extended its 2 for $24 meal deal through April, launched new Family Packs (choice of two meats, three sides, plus rolls and sauce) online for a price of $34.99, and is offering whole meats by the pound and whole cuts of meat that can be broken down at home for consumption at a later date.
The message, said Dickey, is “we’re here, we’re open, let us serve you.”