For kids … by kids

In these early weeks of “back to school” for my own children and for families across the country, I’ve been curious to see which hotel brands would roll out new family-focused programs operationally and across social media platforms.

Hyatt is among the brands that stand out with compelling new family initiatives. Earlier this summer, the brand announced a new F&B program called “For Kids, by Kids.” The program introduced healthy and playful new menu options for kids available at Hyatt’s full-service hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean (115 properties). New offerings included a three-course organic menu featuring romaine hearts, carrot curls and a radish rose for dipping in lemon vinaigrette; grilled chicken with pesto sauce; and strawberry and orange slices served in a cup made from a real orange. These tasty additions, while certainly “for” kids, were hardly the creation of a junior team, as they were developed by acclaimed restaurateur Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. 

In fairness, Hyatt’s (romaine) heart was certainly in the right place, and the program’s full menu did, indeed, include items developed with input from kids as young as 11 years old. These items include “Top Your Own Taco” at breakfast with scrambled eggs and cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla. A lunch favorite is chopped salad with roasted chicken, vegetables, brown rice and yogurt-basil dressing served in a container that kids can shake up themselves at the table.

As Labor Day weekend and “back to school” grew closer, the brand ramped up social media posts using images such as this one, from a “For Kids by Kids” event at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The new children’s menu items at Hyatt are part of a broader effort to offer more healthful and sustainable foodservice options across the brand, in a campaign dubbed, “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” The program lays out step-by-step shifts toward the use of all-natural meats, cage-free eggs and sustainable seafood throughout more than 300 full-service properties worldwide.

Efforts to encourage kids to try healthy menu options on the road are sure to be popular with many parents and lend themselves to engaging social media content, as they’re relevant to parents’ daily lives. If you’ve come across a new family initiative within the hospitality industry that you would like to see covered, please reach out and comment!  Meanwhile, I hope you and your family enjoy the “back to school” season, and can take the time to dig in to some chopped salad with chicken and yogurt-basil dipping sauce.