WiFi and Complementary Kid’s Meals are the Same Thing.

Back a few months ago, the family Smith and family Van Buren dined at a Claim Jumpers Restaurant. I’m still impressed, that by default, they came out with a complementary kid’s plate (cheese sticks, tortilla, deli turkey slice).

If you have kids, you understand how brilliant this is. It shows the restaurant actually acknowledges parents travel with their kids (in the same way people generally travel in pairs). What Claim Jumpers also understands is how cheap and easy it is to make that experience less stressful for everyone involved (parents, kids, service staff, and fellow diners) – give the kid something healthy, finger-friendly, and immediately. I don’t remember an explicit charge for the kid’s plates. I’m assuming the buck or two they cost was baked into the menu as a whole.

Perfect. Right where I want it. In fact, my ideal dining experience is to not have to make any explicit decisions, not select from a menu, and still have some idea of the final bill up front.

Offering complementary WiFi is exactly the same. It shows a venue understands the context of my visit (it’s rarely just for access – usually lunch/coffee + access) and they want to make my stay comfortable and less stressful.

Neither of these efforts are hard or expensive (unless forced to be) and the win on the customer side is huge. Conversely, the lack thereof is a strike against.