While in Northern Spain – Asturias to be exact – we were invited one evening to a meal at a merendero. From my limited knowledge of Spanish, this translates loosely to a picnic area. What we in fact had was a lovely tapas evening in a restaurant with a merendero attached. I have written before about business being child-friendly, or not as is often the case. The merendero concept is so simple; a lot of picnic tables, some play areas/equipment, a simple ordering system where you collect you food. And, all this at minimum cost to the restaurant I would imagine – at least in fixed costs. On the revenue side, the turnover of the restaurant is probably increased quite a bit as 1) more parents come and 2) future customer (the kids) are secured. In the particular merendero we visited, there were at least 100 places outside for people to eat and drink – a sizeable increase in volume without equally high costs. If only the Irish weather were good enough to do this! But, I’m sure a clever restaurant owner could take some of the idea and increase their business success (and revenues).