Casual dining restaurant means family-friendly to most Canadians

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The latest Harris/Decima research shows that most Canadians expect casual dining restaurants to be family-friendly. This includes an environment in which kids are welcome and where amenities such as highchairs and change tables in the washrooms are available. Overall, one-third of all those surveyed say they typically take kids to a casual dining restaurant. There is a greater prevalence in each Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta to do this than there is in the Atlantic region. One-in-two Canadians say they often/sometimes select a particular casual dining restaurant because it is known for being family-friendly and three-quarters say they have rarely or never avoided a particular restaurant because it was known for being family-friendly.


According to Harris/Decima Vice-President Susan Sanei-Stamp: “As restaurants work hard to differentiate themselves within this highly competitive market it is reassuring to learn that being family-friendly is not a detractor to guests. A third of Canadians reported that they currently have children 17 years of age or under living in their household – that’s a lot of families who need somewhere they feel welcome.”

The poll also reveals that those who don’t have kids are twice as likely as their counterparts to have left a casual dining restaurant because someone else’s kids were acting up. Research conducted by Harris/Decima back in the summer uncovered that those who had had a bad experience at a restaurant in the past 3 months had then gone on to tell an average of 7 other people about their experience. Adds Sanei-Stamp: “From a business standpoint, although it’s reassuring to see that being family-friendly is not a barrier to those Canadians who don’t have kids at home, we also know there is a potential impact of leaving a restaurant attributable to factors outside the restaurant’s control”. So although being family-friendly is not a barrier to visiting, such disruptions can cut the visit short and impact how that restaurant is then perceived.

Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1,000 Canadians through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey. The data for this poll were gathered from January 24-28, 2013. A sample of this size has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.