If Disney had a virtual suggestion box, here would be my request.
It’s not often I think you’ve been bested. In fact, the Disney experience is so exemplary it is the standard by which I judge my other customer experiences. Which, when thinking about it, is not the best approach for me to take – the other businesses never compare and inevitably I end up disappointed muttering something like “it just isn’t Disney” under my breath. That is until this week. So, what company dares to threaten your dominance in the customer service market? Ikea and its Ikea Café.
Let me give you some background. We’re an average family – two adults, three kids; two are under the age of five, one mainly rides in a stroller. When we grab quick service, it goes something like this. I scan the dining area for an empty table that I desperately hope doesn’t require a biohazard team to clean while my husband has the enviable mission of securing the table. He holds down the fort with the kids while I go in search of food. Since becoming a mom, I’ve mastered the fine and ancient art of carrying twice my weight in children, diaper bags, toys, packages, groceries, and even an umbrella without missing a step. This makes me well prepared to navigate an obstacle course of tables and chairs, an ice cream cone that was the victim of an unfortunate spill, and even the occasional errant child who darts in my path, all while juggling trays of hot food, drink, utensils, and piles of napkins. But, do I want to show off my mad mom skills every time we eat? Not especially. With the customer experience at Ikea’s Cafe, I didn’t have to carry trays precariously stacked with food and drink. So what is this modern marvel that transformed the way I experienced quick-service dining with the kids?
The Ikea Tray Cart.
Your eyes do not deceive you. This cell phone picture (sorry, I didn’t have a camera) is of a cart that holds three trays containing meals, including beverages and desserts, for three adults and two children.
Using the incredibly maneuverable cart, I was able to singlehandedly purchase and deliver food for five with a baby perched on my hip and only one hand on the cart.
Disney, there is a better way to experience quick-service dining. Just as disposable diapers, infant car seats that snap into strollers, and Velcro instead of laces on shoes make for an easier parenting experience, so will a maneuverable tray carrier for quick-service dining locations.
For all the caregivers, please take this suggestion to implement a solution for a person to easily transport multiple trays in your quick-service locations under consideration. You could be at the forefront of a revolution in how we experience quick-service dining with children.
Lisa M. Battista
Photo Credit: Laura DelTufo
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You call follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer and Facebook.