I know, kind of a strange title for a blog post, but this has been bugging me for as many years as I have had kids that are potty trained. (Disclosure – I have sons age 12 & 13 and a daughter who is 4).
Here is my question and the prompt for this post: Why the heck can’t a business that focuses on kids have restrooms that are kid friendly? For most parents it is an annoyance that their children simply outgrow. For me as a marketer, this is simply a detail that is consistently missed when a business looks at its target customer and what they need to be comfortable.
This really started bothering me a few years ago on a trip to Disney World. Really. A theme park designed for kids. And the Magic Kingdom is focused on the smaller ones. But I don’t recall a single restroom that we walked into having a toilet that was sized for a child (and they do make them). A couple of times I remember seeing a urinal on the wall low enough for a 10 year old – but not for my (at the time) 6 and 7 year olds. And then the sinks are all at adult height – so if you want to practice and teach your kids good hygiene, you have to pick them up and hold them while turning on the water and getting the soap. Disney is usually so good with the details – I could not believe how consistently this set up was the case. And it wasn’t until we got to Epcot on the last day that I finally found a rest room that had kids in mind. If you do the math, you can see that this has been bugging me for 5+ years.
Then last evening, I took my daughter and one son to Chuck E. Cheese’s. You know, “The place where a kid can be a kid” EXCEPT in the restroom. Everything there is adult size and even the paper towel holders were higher than a 4-year-old could reach. So this topic once again popped into my head – with one additional thought: If this place is marketing to families with kids, why don’t they have a family restroom (like a lot of the malls and even BJ’s does? ( I so enjoy taking my daughter into the men’s room ).
So my plea to anyone who targets families with small children is to please look at your total establishment. Your decorations, theme, menu and supporting items may cater to the kids. And you can show how much you care about your target market by making them (and their parents) a little more comfortable when nature calls.